SEARCHING FOR THE FEATURES OF INNOVATIVE CULTURE IN PRE-SCHOOLS AND COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOLS
To be innovative, the society and its organizations must possess the general characteristics of innovative culture, e.g. high tolerance of risk, complexity and change; emphasis on flexibility and mobility, enabled by flat organizational structures, 3) trust-based cooperative relation inside the organization, emphasis on creativity and learning.
The paper draws on the approach that the characteristics of innovative culture, learning among them, are treated as universal, but at the same time they may have unique features in certain socio-organizational contexts (Dombrowski et al., 2007; Jucevicius, 2008, 2009; Janiunaite, 2007; Hofstede, 2001; Inglehart, 1997). Those unique features may also be disclosed when innovative culture is addressed in organizations of different types. Profit organizations are usually treated as acting in a competitive environment. They may survive only drawing on innovations. Drawing on Thom and Ritz (2004), even though the new public management concept points out the productivity and innovativeness of public service providers, the public sector contains a number of barriers to innovations. For instance, there is a strong dependence of administrative activities and political decisions in this sector. For this reason, this kind of institutions seldom show initiative or try to solve problems by illegitimate decisions. Errors, in principle, are against a legal performance of the state. Risky innovations and socially sensitive errors are avoided. The focus of this paper is on one type of non-profit organization – educational institutions.
Innovative culture is important for educational institutions for several reasons. On the one hand, change and innovations determine the competitiveness of institutions, including educational, in the market, and, consequently, their survival. On the other hand, educational institutions, starting with pre-schools, are those that have the responsibility for developing innovative culture, creativity and entrepreneurship of individuals as one of the most important elements in their mission.
The paper addresses the following questions: what features of innovative culture prevail in pre-schools and secondary schools, how these features are related with innovative activities of educational institutions? The focus of this paper is on organizational learning and communication in an organization as an important characteristic of innovative culture.
The paper is based on the case study of two pre-schools and two comprehensive schools. The method of survey in written (N=83) and document analysis was employed to evaluate the features of organizational innovative culture: organizational learning, communication and facts of innovative activity.
The paper seeks to bridge the gap in innovatics, which emerges as a result of a narrow approach to innovative culture regardless of sectorial specificity, as the phenomenon of innovative culture is usually evaluated with reference to profit rather than educational organizations.