Business-Education Partnerships: The Impact of Role-Appropriateness.Report as inadecuate

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Based on extensive fieldwork and documentary analysis undertaken during the course of the documentation and evaluation of the Office of Educational Research and Improvement's (OERI) Educational Partnerships Program (EPP), two hypotheses are offered, based on interactionist theory, to explain the differences between school-to-work partnerships and other educational partnerships. The hypotheses are: (1) perceptions of roles either facilitate or impede the early development and later institutionalization of the partnerships, depending on how accurately each institution's expectations fit the partner institution(s) norms; and (2) successful early implementation and institutionalization are more likely to occur when perceptions of relative social status and social relationships among key partner organizations are structurally defined rather than defined in terms of one or more organizations parenting other partners. Pluralist structures were more likely to establish coalitions, and paternalist structures were more likely to establish primary partner/limited partner relationships. Regarding support, pluralists tended to view organizational status as equal, and paternalists were more likely to view expertise as a sole-source commodity enhancing the status of one organization over another. Pluralism produced more productive relationships in business-education partnerships, in part, because horizontal paths of communication allowed better understandings of role-appropriate distributions of tasks. Seven tables and one figure are included. Contains 15 references. (LMI)

Descriptors: Cooperative Education, Cooperative Planning, Cooperative Programs, Educational Cooperation, Elementary Secondary Education, Partnerships in Education, School Business Relationship, Work Experience Programs

California State University, Los Angeles Department of Sociology, Professor Bodinger-DeUriarte, 5151 State University Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90032 ($1).

Author: Bodinger-de Uriarte, Cristina


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