Educational centralization as a catalyst for coordination: myth or practice?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Using a document analysis methodology, the study analyzes official policy documents produced by the centralized Israeli Ministry of Education and by the State Comptroller responsible for reviewing the Israeli government's policies and operations. Coordination is assessed using three lenses: coordination among policy plans initiated by different governmental ministries; coordination among policy plans initiated by the Ministry of Education; and coordination within policy plans, referring to the congruence among various components comprising a particular policy. Design/methodology/approach: Following previous studies testifying to the significance of coordination for organizational effectiveness and to the contribution of centralized structures for coordination, the current study attempts to assess whether centralized complex educational systems exhibit coordination among their articulated policy plans. Findings: In spite of the highly centralized nature of Israeli governance, coordination among policy plans articulated by different governmental ministries is limited. This also applies to the coordination found among various educational policy plans or among various components comprising particular policy plans articulated by the Ministry of Education. Originality/value: While centralized structures produce administrative bottlenecks creating ideal grounds for coordination, it appears that the assumed connection between centralization and coordination may not be applicable to educational systems and that coordination among and within policy plans in complex systems is not a zero-sum game. Implications are further discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-131
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Educational Administration
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


  • Centralization
  • Complexity
  • Coordination
  • Loose coupling
  • Policy

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Public Administration


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