Document Type

Dissertation

Publication Date

12-14-1990

Abstract

The study examined the creation of an organizational culture at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. The study focused on the concept of change and the effects of change on the organization and the organizational participants since the creation of the Academy in 1985. Changes in the structure and management of the Academy provided the basis for participant response.

The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy is a public, three-year, residential school for students from the State of Illinois who are highly gifted in mathematics and science. Selected students enter having completed the ninth grade. The rigorous comprehensive curriculum, with strong emphasis on mathematics and science, supports active student learning, experimentation, exploration, and investigation. In the fourth year, the Academy enrollment totalled 560 with full enrollment of 760 anticipated in the fall of 1992.

A case study methodology was used with the researcher acting as a participant observer. Open-ended interviews were conducted with nineteen faculty members and five administrators who represented personnel hired in the first three years of operation. Participants were asked to share their perceptions of change in management and structure at the Academy over the first four years of operation and the effects of change on the Academy as an organization, themselves as organizational participants, and their colleagues as organizational participants.

The data gathered in the interviews was categorized into eight areas of management and structure with sub-categories emerging from the interview data. The eight major categories were: (a) size of the student body, (b) size of the faculty and administration, (c) governance, (d) funding, (e) curriculum, (f) leadership, (g) decision making, and (h) other issues of change. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of the data generated findings that were supported by the research literature relating to organizational culture, organizational change, other ethnographic studies in educational communities, and research done at the Academy in the first year of operation.

 
 

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