Hofstede (2001) defines organisational culture as components which are intertwined, at the heart of the organisation – rituals, symbols and artefacts which manifest themselves into the organisation and become ‘the way things are done’. In so many educational settings there is the evidence of rigid structures, policies, procedures, observation systems, scrutiny – formulated over years from powers inside and outside the organisation creating the ideas around corporate culture and similarities to those operating in the private sector.
In the last 11 months the only certainty has been uncertainty, especially in education and the transition to digital and blended learning – ad hoc springs to mind. How does an organisation cope with this type change? a change out of their control? A change which requires expertise, money, buy-in from stakeholders and urgency?
The pressure and volatility of the external environment certainly tested the operations of the education industry, pushing them to almost bursting. As an Advanced Practitioner and Business Tutor in the FE sector, March 2020 imposed the shift to an existent but unfamiliar TLA delivery model. However, in many circumstances when looking further into the depths of culture in colleges this has become a welcome opportunity – the question is has there been a shift to Enterprise culture? Burnett and Huisman (2011) cited a cultural model by McNay (1995) and invited the idea that in this type of culture policies were tight but operational control was loose, open to external opportunities. The work I have been completing for the last 7 months has been integral to the external element. Looking for ways to improve and develop digital and blended learning and the knowledge being welcomed back into the organisation, to create vision and new focus on digital strategy.
Fast forward to today – in reflection the enterprise culture formulated by a state of emergency, developed by teachers and students, with an emphasis on TLA, creativity and innovation. Opportunities to work outside of the organisation developing the culture with an outward-looking lens. Collaborating with communities and building on the notion of trust and openness
The impact of trust and collaboration has meant that effective strategies are in place for blended learning, which are constantly adapting and developing. The ideas around shared spaces have opened up doors for being stronger together in the FE community. ‘’FE does not just exist in the context of your setting. It’s around us: it’s the communities, employers, parents, like-minded people wanting to make a difference’’ (Salt, 2021). My role and responsibilities has allowed me to step out to search and share and step back in to develop and support others in a digital context.
Burnett, S and Huisman, J (2011) ‘Universities responses to Globalisation: The Influence of Organisational Culture’ The Journal of Studies in International Education. 17:(117). Page 121. DOI: 10.1177/1028315309350717
Hofstede, G. (2001) Cultures consequences: Company values, behaviours, institutions and organizations across nations. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage.
Salt, S. (2021) ‘Thanks to Twitter I Thrived as a Teacher Last Year’ Tes: https://www.tes.com/news/thanks-twitter-i-thrived-teacher-last-year.
- further education
- blended learning