Educational Organizations as Loosely Coupled Systems

Karl E. Weick

Karl E. Weick, Educational Organizations as Loosely Coupled Systems, Administrative Science Quarterly, 21(1):1-19, March 1976.

In contrast to the prevailing image that elements in organizations are coupled through dense, tight linkages, it is proposed that elements are often tied together frequently and loosely. Using educational organizations as a case in point, it is argued that the concept of loose coupling incorporates a surprising number of disparate observations about organizations, suggests novel functions, creates stubborn problems for methodologists, and generates intriguing questions for scholars. Sample studies of loose coupling are suggested and research priorities are posed to foster cumulative work with this concept.


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