Can a school change its spots? The first year of transforming to an innovative school

Dorit Tubin, Noa Ofek-Regev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Transforming into an innovative school is one of the strategies schools apply when facing changes in a turbulent environment. In the first year of such a transformation these schools face an essential dilemma: how to facilitate changes without jeopardizing their environmental legitimacy. Examining an Israeli elementary school as an instrumental case study through two theoretical frameworks-institutional theory and resource dependence theory-we found two ways in which the school faces this dilemma. First it seals its technical core while demonstrating the innovation by symbolical practises, and second, it employs buffering and bridging tactics in its reciprocal relations with its various partners according to the nature of their expectations. We conclude that the question is not why innovation does not change a school, but why a school needs innovation in order to change and improve. Further research directions and implications for innovative schools are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-109
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Educational Change
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 May 2010


  • Change
  • Educational
  • Elementary school
  • Innovative schools
  • Institutional theory
  • Israel
  • Leadership
  • Resource dependence theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'Can a school change its spots? The first year of transforming to an innovative school'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this