Ledelse, organisering og forandring i folkeskolen

Marcus Phillip Henningsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


Since 2003 and in particular after the municipal reform of 2007 the number of public schools in Denmark has declined considerably. The fewer but larger municipalities are hoping to economise on school mergers and closures, but arguments in favour of the changes also comprise more teacher collaboration and strengthened professional competencies. Furthermore, the demographic fact that the fertility rate in many regions is declining and has been for some years makes some municipalities feel forced to act. Thus many school managers now find themselves in a situation where they are in charge of bigger schools with more employees and more pupils, perhaps even distributed on several locations. It is this new reality which I want to examine. The question which this thesis attempts to answer is: In which way does organizing take place in the school management following a structural change? The ambition is to provide both an exhaustive overview of structural changes in public schools per se and to draw them into a bigger picture of the Danish public school seen as the perhaps most important cultural institution. The method applied is a combination of an extensive analysis of relevant documents, interviews with school managers and teachers on three chosen public schools which have been subject to mergers within recent years, and a thorough survey of all structural changes since 2003. The thesis shows that school managers are faced with a number of challenges which I have analysed and grouped into two ways in which organisation takes place: Firstly, the organisational practice means to manage process. In this perspective the usual change management conceptualisation consisting of transitional fases is dropped in favour of the understanding of change as ongoing and continuous. Thus, a school merger may be seen as a planned change initiative surrounded by otherwise emergent change processes, and the success of the former depends on the amount of attention given to the latter. Secondly, the organisational practice revolves around culture building. This work, however, is falsely premised on the idea that managers are able to build culture. Also, this work is important mainly to the school management, since teachers go about their work in more or less the same manner as before the merger, which is why they see no reason to have to participate in culture change initiatives.

EducationsMSc in Human Resource Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2012
Number of pages122