Identity orientation and stakeholder engagement-the corporatisation of elite schools
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Identity orientation provides a means to understand the social motivations of organisational relationships and organisational policy and practices. This study uses identity orientation to understand the highly marketised context of independent 'elite' schools in Australia and how they relate to stakeholders to straddle their roles as social institutions that are increasingly required to operate in a corporate manner. Interviews with managers in quite new school roles such as marketing communication and business management were conducted in non-government schools to understand the schools' external orientations, coveted internal member traits, and frames of reference. The study shows that, in contrast to existing literature on the rhetoric of schools as focusing on 'the child', there was a strong emphasis on individualistic orientations in schools that saw stakeholders in instrumental terms of resources and connections, saw teachers as providing an innovative and leading edge, and used other prestigious schools as their frame of reference. To a lesser extent, schools would also be interested in the relationships with families, teachers, and the community for their own means. There were very few instances where the identity orientation was contributing to society, instead, focusing on university and network outcomes for pupils. Using identity orientation provides a theoretical lens to connect organisational governance to stakeholder engagement by providing insights into an organisation's identity including practices and behaviours, in relation to others.
Journal of Public Affairs
Corporate Governance and Stakeholder Engagement