The governance of the General Councils of Public Institutions of Education

Proceedings of ‏The 3rd International Conference on Advanced Research in Education

Year: 2021


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The governance of the General Councils of Public Institutions of Education

Dr. Isabel Maia



The governance “theories” have taken a central place in the academic research, in the last three decades. This paradigm shift in complex organizations’ management, as the non-higher education institutions, includes new players in top management bodies. It legitimized the representation of external stakeholders in the organizations’ strategic direction.

It became important the study of governance in the non-higher education institutions, which made us analyse the General Council operation, within the new governance model. To understand the General Council operation with the purpose of being possible to comprehend how the new governance model is being implemented in NHPEI became the main question of the research we have set ourselves.

The General Council is the new body of the strategic direction: collegial; democratic; with representation of all stakeholders. It is emergent to understand the operation of this body through the representation and the participation adopted.

We used a qualitative methodology, in accordance with the grounded theory, triangulating several sources of primary and secondary data. The sample is the result of a multiple case study in four NHPEI in a single administrative district: with different academic population profiles and several kinds of schools.

The implemented governance in the NHPEI with the operation of the studied General Councils, shows inefficiency regarding the fulfilment of the competencies described in the Law. The aim of the General Council being a strategic direction body is not verified: the players carrying out a representation of individual interests, illusory and substantially passive participation. We provide good practice recommendations for the General Council governance.

Keywords: Non-Higher Education Institutions; Director; Grounded Theory; representation; participation.