Organizational change is entwined in an organization’s culture in order to maintain a competitive advantage. Organizations have to continually adapt to stay abreast of societal demands and changes and meet the needs of its customers. Educationally, schools must continually evolve to meet the growing demands and needs of its students. Lichtenstein (2000) noted that the need for change induces a high level of stress. However, stress and discomfort can be a catalyst for organizational change. In education, the stress can come from a number of accountability measures.
The ability to manage change and adapt to a globally competitive environment are intensifying (Cao and McHugh, 2005). The paradigmatic structure of leading effective schools is constantly evolving in response to societal changes. Essentially, educational change can be categorized into two distinct categories: piecemeal change, which involves making adjustments to the current educational model, and systemic change, which involves transforming the current model ( ). The effort to leading change takes a systematic approach to promote collaborative problem solving that includes reviewing data to determine existence, scope and magnitude of the problem (Senge,1990)
Senge’s The Fifth Discipline
Senge (1990) characterized the learning organization as one where “people
continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free and where people are continually learning how to learn together”.
Senge developed five essential discipline of learning organizations by helping its members learn. The five disciplines are essential to leading organizational change by analyzing the organization’s system of relationships and removing any obstacles to facilitate learning and collective shared and individual responsibility and accountability. The five disciplines are shared vision, mental models, system’s thinking, personal mastery and team learning (Senge, 1990).
Shared vision represents the way an organization moves towards common goals. These goals could represent ideals for improvement, mastery, or growth and strategically direct the flow of the work towards common practices. The vision drives the school and should be accepted by staff in a way that it is fully-embraced thereby maintaining the same standards and expectations. While most principals simply tell the staff what the vision is, the vision should be created with the staff thereby garnering full support for the vision and ensuring close implementation (Senge, 1990).
Mental models represent the thought processes that drive who one is and how one interacts with world and makes sense of the world around him. It is an interpretation of the world that influences how one understands, acts, and reacts to behaviors, processes, and situations. In short, mental models help us understand and interpret data and thereby make...