Organisational culture and the development of IT in further education
Central government funding has assisted the introduction of\ud Information Technology (IT) to many areas of the curriculum\ud through a variety of schemes over the last ten years. The funding has been provided to support a wide range of educational organisations differing in, amongst other things, size, geographical location and ethos.\ud \ud There has been extensive research into the relationship\ud between organisational structure and the organisation's ability\ud to manage innovation in industry and commerce. An attempt has been made to distinguish four organisational types or\ud 'cuItures' and apply these concepts from industrial and commercial organisations to educational institutions. (Handy. 1986).\ud \ud Furthermore Handy maintains that if one particular culture,\ud task culture, is dominant then the organisation is likely to be\ud more amenable to the management of innovation and the\ud introduction of new technology.\ud \ud The researcher has made an attempt to grasp the nature of the organisational culture of an opportunity sample of colleges\ud of Further Education as perceived by lecturers that have been\ud involved in a government funded project to introduce IT to the\ud curriculum.\ud \ud A social psychological approach has been used with the aid\ud of questionnaires, diagrams and focused interviews to elicit the lecturers' perceptions.\ud \ud An attempt to use computer aided analysis of qualitative data has been made with the use of macro commands from a word\ud processing package to facilitate the coding, sorting and retrieval of data.\ud \ud It appears that the preferred organisational culture, from the small sample of lecturers taking part in this investigation, is that of 'task' culture according to Handy's terminology. There was also evidence of shared concerns about the nature and implications of the introduction of IT to the curriculum.\ud \ud It is concluded, however, that organisational culture is a\ud dynamic concept and that a study of a small group of colleges can only provide a snapshot glimpse into the nature of lecturers' perceptions of their organisations' culture. Sometimes there is more than one cultural type perceived as operating in the same organisation and such perceptions as these may vary contingent upon an individual's position in the organisation.
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