Ph.D Thesis

Ph.D StudentLiora Nutov
SubjectWhat is between Maslow and Schein?
Organizational Engagement Model as an Expression
of Culture, Needs and Management:
The Case of Role Design of...
DepartmentDepartment of Education in Science and Technology
Supervisor Full Professors Hazzan Orit
Full Thesis text - in Hebrew Full thesis text - Hebrew Version


This research deals with the design process of the high-school homeroom teacher (HRT) role - a teacher who is responsible for up to 40 high-school students. In Hebrew, the word for this role is Mechanech, that is Educator, and it is one of the central roles in the Israeli high-school system. Despite this centrality, however, this role has not received yet enough research attention. In order to partially close this gap, the presented research aims to explore the HRT role from an organizational perspective.

The research was conducted during 2007-2011 in four Israeli high schools; each school was investigated as a case study during one school year. Since the research focused on behaviors, conceptions, and beliefs, the qualitative research approach was employed. The qualitative data-gathering tools were interviews, observations, casual corridor conversations, documents, and researcher diary. In total, 65 school staff members were interviewed, including the school management teams, HRTs, and additional school role holders (e.g., school consultants). The interviews were tape recorded and transcribed by the researcher and casual corridor conversations were documented. In addition, various school events (such as HRT staff meetings, pedagogical council meetings, and social events) were observed and documented - in total 115 hours of observations.

The data analysis, conducted in the spirit of a grounded theory construction, led to the development of a model for the HRT role - an organizational engagement model (see Figure 1) - that reflects the HRTs' organizational activities and involvement. Specifically, the model describes the HRTs' role as a continuously shaped process via an ongoing interaction with the HRTs' personal needs (based on Maslow (1970) pyramid of needs) and the school organizational culture (based on Schein' (1990) model for organizational culture).

Figure 1: The organizational engagement model








The organizational engagement model contributes to the literature on organizational behavior in general, and to studies on educational organizations in particular, in three ways: (1) it stresses the principal's role in the design process of HRT role as the developer and keeper of the school organizational culture and as a fulfiller of the HRT's organizational needs; (2) it deepens the understanding of the concept of engagement by its examination through a qualitative lens; and (3) it suggests a professional development plan for HRT role represented by the engagement ladder: from empowering through organizational citizenship behavior to adaptive behavior, and finally, to role expansion.