Structure as Possibility
The discussion of economic, social, and family changes that have occurred since World War II suggests that our society is undergoing a massive transformation. The technological innovation of computers alone has permitted massive organizational restructuring of a kind not possible in earlier times. Organizations everywhere are struggling with the need to integrate economic and social goals, with pressures from numerous external stakeholders or constituencies, and with the need to work more cost effectively. Many organizations, both public and private, have faced serious necessity of redesigning or transforming themselves if they were to remain at all competitive. Businesses, some governmental agencies, nonprofits, and health care institutions, like the family, are straining for survival under the many constraints that their external environment places upon them. Schools are no exception to these trends.
Interdependence among institutions has been highlighted by technological changes, the emergence of the global village, and a heightened awareness of connections through partnership programs, which bring different institutions into increasingly close contact with each other electronically and organizationally. These linkages ultimately will force the development of new institutional infrastructures. This infrastructure is the linkage that connects all types of institutions in much the same way that our roads link cities and towns or telephones link individuals and businesses. These linkages are literally reshaping the way organizations are structured and how they operate. 1 The rapid emergence of computer technology has, in effect, forced us to recognize and deal with the inter-