A Scoping Review of Organizational Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Schools: A Complex Systems Perspective
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonEducation Sciences. 2021, 11 (3), 1-21). https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11030115
This study is a scoping review of the literature on organizational adaptation in school settings during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dramatic and unexpected environmental changes raise questions about the capacity of schooling organizations to adapt to in response to the pandemic. Different management practices have implications for the selection of organizational behaviors, electively in school settings. The research literature on school responses is analyzed from a selectionist perspective. The aim of this study is to identify and describe three constituting elements of this perspective: variation, interaction, and selection. An additional element is considered in this analysis and comprises the mechanisms of exploration and exploitation in the context of organizational adaptation. Sixteen studies met the selection criteria of describing emergent processes in schools. The findings highlight the emergence of exploration, as teachers actively experimented with a range of strategies and methods in order to maintain educational activities in the complex and uncertain context of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, several questions are raised regarding the effects and maintenance of new practices in the post-pandemic scenario. Management practices that facilitate variation and open communication about learning processes can contribute to the process of organizational adaptation.