Perceptions and Pressures: Legitimacy in Outreach Schools

  • Author / Creator
    Graham, Jackson C
  • This dissertation is an organisational case study of the legitimacy behaviours of two Outreach schools in Alberta, Canada. The study used Organisational Theory to examine how institutional processes, policies and practices impacted alternative education and in what way members of these schools experienced isomorphic pressure. The themes that emerged from the research included: Learning and Knowing, Responsiveness, Legitimacy, Power, Scarcity and Organisational Identity. These themes lead to the discussion norms and values highlighting and contrasting personalisation and isomorphism. The findings of this case study noted unintended tight coupling of Outreach schools with governing bodies and the significant blurring and overlapping of educational boundaries. The findings also noted legitimacy and status actions continued to drive the behaviours of organisations that do not have social capital. The notion of a “last stop” identified a significant cultural change within and outside of Outreach education. The phrase “dynamic coupling” was used to explain the fluid nature in which these schools were capable of moving from tight to loose coupling with other organisations according to the needs of the school. Finally, the case study suggested alternative education would continue to remain in the margins.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2015
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Education
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Specialization
    • Educational Administration and Leadership
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Spencer, Brenda (Educational Policy Studies)
    • Shultz, Lynette (Educational Policy Studies)
    • Wallace, Janice (Professor Emerita at University of Alberta)
    • Wallin, Dawn (Graduate Professional Programs, and Research)
    • Steinhauer, Evelyn (Educational Policy Studies)
    • da Costa, Jose (Educational Policy Studies)