The impact of grade organization on the organizational culture of junior-senior and senior high schools

Frank Anthony Cocchiola, Fordham University


The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a relationship between the grade organization and culture of secondary schools from a student perspective. The types of secondary schools studied were the junior-senior high school, grades 7 or 8 through 12, and the traditional high school, grades 9 through 12. There are a large number of school districts who currently use or are considering a secondary school organization which combines junior and senior high school students. The combination of students from such a wide age variance may impact on many of the variables associated with an effective educational program. This study focuses on the impact of grade configuration on school culture. Field research was used to collect data. Three junior-senior high schools and three senior high schools were studied using observations, interviews of the principals and students and a questionnaire. The questionnaire used was the Organizational Culture Inventory-Level V published by Human Synergistics. The results show that despite differences in grade organization there is little difference in the culture of secondary schools according to the students' perspective. All the schools studied displayed characteristics low in the styles considered to be conducive to high levels of student satisfaction. In conclusion, the results indicate that grade organization does not affect organizational culture. The cultures of all six schools are virtually the same. The fact that the Task/Security style is most predominant followed by the People/Security, then the Satisfaction styles is disturbing. The Satisfaction style has been identified by the author of the Organizational Profile as the most conducive to an effective organization. It includes achievement, self-actualizing, humanistic and affiliative styles. Further research may reveal the reasons for this. The research might involve the parents' and or staffs' perspectives or a long-range study which would follow the students through their years in secondary school.

Subject Area

School administration

Recommended Citation

Cocchiola, Frank Anthony, "The impact of grade organization on the organizational culture of junior-senior and senior high schools" (1990). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9034627.