Throughout the course of this class, I have been reflecting on the power of policy development and implementation. More so, as someone who has and will continue to have a say in organizational policy development and adoption, I reflect on unintended consequences or hidden agendas inherent in the course of policy making. I will be employing a critical paradigm to frame my dissertation research and can’t ignore that, oftentimes, policy language is a tool used within power structures to abuse and perpetuate political power (Fairclough, 1995). Moreover, viewing policy as ideology in practice positions the enactment of policy as a form of dominant logic. I conceptualize dominant logic in policy development as the way in which leaders conceptualize policies and make critical decisions based on their dominant assumptions. The dominant logic, which Bettis and Prahalad (1995) consider to be the fundamental aspect of organizational intelligence, i.e., information relevant to policy, can have either an empowering or detrimental effect on the process of learning about change.
I further this argument by emphasizing that the dominant logic beyond the process of learning, infiltrates the very cores of organizational systems. The power of policy language needs to be openly and reflexively investigated, not just assumed as a self-evident fact, as policies benefit from critical scrutiny, particularly concerning dominating logic (Alvesson, Kärreman, Fairhurst, Ashcraft, 2011). Educational
policy is oftentimes enacted with an assumption that somebody, somewhere, pursued some type of systematic investigation of an educational practice, and considered the likely impact of the practice, before adopting it as policy. Brady, Duffy, Hazelkorn, and Bucholz (2014) argue that, in recent years, a plethora of policies have been generated in legislatures and elsewhere with profoundly disturbing unintended consequences—some of which were quite predictable by professionals “on the ground.” In my opinion, the ills of educational policy development rest in the unintended impacts of the unproblematized and unexplored dominant logic. This critical discourse will guide me as I continue to learn and possibly produce policy that disrupts normative assumptions.
Alvesson, M., Kärreman, D., Fairhurst, G., & Ashcraft, K. (2011). Decolonializing discourse: Critical reflections on organizational discourse analysis. Human Relations,64(9), 1121- 1146.
Bettis, Richard A., & Prahalad, C.K. (1995). The dominant logic: Retrospective and extension. Strategic Management Journal, 16(1), 5.
Brady, Michael P., Duffy, Mary Lou, Hazelkorn, Michael, & Bucholz, Jessica L. (2014). Policy
and Systems Change: Planning for Unintended Consequences. Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas,87(3), 102-109.Fairclough, N. (1995). Critical Discourse Analysis: The critical study of language. London: Longman.
Kovačević, J., Rahimić, Z., & Šehić, D. (2018). Policy makers’ rhetoric of educational change: A critical analysis. Journal of Educational Change, 19(3), 375-417.