Using Structural Coupling Approach for Defining and Maintaining Identity of an Educational Institution. Experience Report

Ilia Bider and Erik Perjons (2018)

This paper presents an ongoing study on defining and maintaining organizational identity of an institution of higher education, such as a department or school. The theoretical background used in the study is the concept of structural coupling that comes from biological cybernetics. The study concerns the authors own department. The paper presents proposals of to which elements of the environment such an institution is structurally coupled and how the identity maintenance is arranged. The paper provides examples of how maintaining identity works or not works in practice based on reflections on the authors' experience of working in their own department. It also shows that maintaining identity may requires changes in different components of the socio-technical system, e.g. methods, people, technology.

Published in Proceedings of STPIS'18

Systems Thinking