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Grant Miller: Managerial Incentives in Public Service Delivery

School Shootings as Organizational Deviance

Publication Abstract

Fox, Ctbelle, and David J. Harding. 2005. "School Shootings as Organizational Deviance." Sociology of Education, 78(1): 69-97.

This article argues that rampage school shootings in American public schools can be understood as instances of organizational deviance, which occurs when events created by or in organizations do not conform to an organization's goals or expectations and produce unanticipated and harmful outcomes. Drawing on data from qualitative case studies of two schools that experienced shootings, the authors show how the organizational structure, environment, and culture of these schools led to the loss of information about socially or emotionally troubled students, information that might otherwise have led to some form of intervention or help for these students. Implications for educational policy and practice are discussed.

Country of focus: United States.

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