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The cost of performance: The effects of schooling on students’ disposition towards acting as change agents in organisations.

Kehoe, Ian (2014) The cost of performance: The effects of schooling on students’ disposition towards acting as change agents in organisations. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

The thesis is concerned with how schooling is affecting what students learn about acting as change agents in organisations. It is deemed of importance because of the concerns about how schools may require and valorise passive organisational roles of students and particularly because of the challenges the next generation of school leavers face in terms of organisational reform and taking the role of change agent. The research deepens our understanding of the change agent role through a literature review which combines ideas from the sociology of education, student voice and organisational theory. It set out to develop our understanding of the problem, and attempted to affect the problem, by setting up a systemic action research process in two secondary schools. This created opportunities for students to act as change agents on cultural and organisational issues that concerned them. The process created a bounded sub-system and explored how those boundaries were affected by the students, the schools and the facilitator in order to further understand how processes may foster or inhibit the students’ disposition to act as change agents and what they reveal about perceptions and understanding of the role. The contribution this thesis makes to the field is to illuminate how schooling affects students’ disposition towards acting as change agents, and their understanding of the change agent role in specific organisational terms. It does this by using a unique framework of concepts, demonstrating their feasibility, and through studying organisational processes using a convergence of educational theory, organisational theory and systems psychodynamics. It illuminates some of the processes that dispose students to interpret change agency processes and the change agent role through the lens of performance culture and the implications of this for their learning about the organisational role. It offers a model of the organisation-in-the-mind students may be developing and shows how, using a convergence of the concepts of organisation-in-the mind and organisational socialisation, this represents learning which students may be disposed towards reproducing as adults in organisations. Finally it offers an organisational structure which may enable students to develop a less inhibited disposition towards the change agent role.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.631459
Depositing User: Mr Ian Kehoe
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2014 10:35
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 11:18
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/7498

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