District -wide curriculum directors: One district's experience implementing this position
This qualitative case study examined one district's organizational change from high school chair positions to district-wide K–12 subject area curriculum director positions in a suburban district, and explored why this change caused such a high level of dissatisfaction among the curriculum directors, teachers, and administrators. Data were collected using one-on-one and focus group interviews with curriculum directors, teachers, and administrators. Public and private documents were also used as data. Data were analyzed initially by hand and then using Q.S.R. NUD*IST Vivo®, a software program designed to code and sort qualitative data. The study adopted a structural perspective and sought to consider how various design features of organizational structure influenced the dissatisfaction that emerged. The data show that aspects of the position design contributed to dissatisfaction. The scope of the position and a lack of clarity regarding responsibilities and authority relationships made it difficult for the curriculum directors to satisfy expectations regarding the position and contributed to problems with communication and the perception that the curriculum directors were not doing their job. The problem was further complicated by the decision process preceding the implementation, the eventual selection process, the lack of a formal orientation program for the curriculum directors, and a lack of support for the position. There were flaws in the position design and there were flaws in the procedures that the organization used to achieve coordination. Structural flaws were not recognized during the planning stages and then not addressed during the implementation. The structural flaws affected the performance of the curriculum directors, which affected people's satisfaction with the position. Although structure plays an important part in satisfaction/dissatisfaction with positions, people and culture are important as well. Additional studies may expand the scope to consider the interrelationship between culture and structure and their effect on interpersonal relationships and position performance.