Date of Award

6-30-2016

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

First Advisor

Zachary Kelehear

Abstract

This researcher in this study examined the dynamics of organizational change in a rural, mid-sized school district in South Carolina, with a focus on socio-cultural factors that hindered effective implementation of reforms aimed at reducing educational inequity. The research was conducted through a series of 15 interviews with board members and current and former superintendents from the school district and surrounding school districts. An analysis of the various responses led to the following findings: 1) a deep level of distrust seems to exist between board members and superintendents, 2) there is an ignorance of how income disparities may block educational pathways, and 3) deeply-rooted racial lines still create enormous divides that hinder integration and mutual support. Data analysis revealed that organizational change and innovation aimed at reducing educational inequity cannot be effectively implemented (or implemented at all) if a socio-cultural component that addresses the, often problematic, areas of interpersonal relationships among school leaders and within their communities is not included. The findings of the study will provide much needed guidance to those involved in implementing school reforms and managing innovation.

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