Most of the literature on culture in education relates to organizational culture and that is also the main focus of this section. However, there is also an emerging literature on the broader theme of national or societal culture. Walker and Dimmock (2002) refer to issues of context and stress the need to avoid decontextualized paradigms (p. 1) in researching and analyzing educational systems and institutions.
Dimmock and Walker (2002) provide a helpful distinction between societal and organizational culture:
Societal cultures differ mostly at the level of basic values, while organizational cultures differ mostly at the level of more supercial practices, as reected in the recognition of particular symbols, heroes and rituals. This allows organizational cultures to be deliberately managed and changed, whereas societal or national cultures are more enduring and change only gradually over longer time periods.
Societal culture is one important aspect of the context within which school leaders must operate. They must also contend with organizational culture, which provides a more immediate framework for leadership action.