Teacher, adminstrator, and support staff behaviors toward and perceptions of the implementation of a change

Regina C Manginelli, University of Pennsylvania


The purpose of this study was to examine, interpret, and understand how people experienced the implementation of a conflict resolution and peer mediation program in an elementary school. My intent was to inform educational reformers and organizational leaders about educational change and the larger issues of organizational change. I planned to accomplish this goal by presenting richly-textured personal information from the participants involved in the change process. Using a qualitative approach based on interviews, observations, and informal conversations, the study gives voice to the individual stories of the key players implementing the change. To learn their thoughts, I interviewed the assistant superintendent, the principal of the implementing school, the eight teachers charged with the implementation, four grade-level teachers, and three members of the support staff. I also observed and audio taped all events related to the conflict resolution and peer mediation program. Through a deep level of analysis, I discovered that the key players felt that lack of time, poor communication, difficult interrelationships, and weak leadership adversely affected the success of the implementation. Some of the teachers, however, did not view these factors as detrimental to the implementation and, for a short time, engaged in behaviors that moved the implementation forward. Applying Dwyer's model of human behavior and influence to this implementation, I concluded that when people are asked to make a change, they weigh potential benefits versus perceived costs and risks. As an implementation continues, people assess the value of their participation in it. If the implementers do not perceive that the value satisfaction of remaining involved with an innovation is greater than their costs and risks, they are not going to continue their involvement. A recognition of this dynamic is critical to explaining why many innovations, fail in organizations. When people believe that engaging in behavior to move an implementation forward will serve their values of self-esteem, pride, safety, respect, recognition, visibility, and/or power, only then will a change be successful. This conclusion is a very different message than the literature that I discussed in my literature review.

Subject Area

School administration|Educational psychology|Occupational psychology

Recommended Citation

Manginelli, Regina C, "Teacher, adminstrator, and support staff behaviors toward and perceptions of the implementation of a change" (1998). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9913307.