Change is a regular feature of life. Few would argue that the school environment provides any exception. However, the way that change, and particularly organisational change, is studied is significant to the understanding which is derived. Examinations of school based organisational change have traditionally favoured structural lenses despite alternative approaches having the potential to offer greater value. The outcome plays into the hands of those imposing change, where power and politics might well be exhibited through covert efforts to limit understanding, particularly with regard to the ramifications of the required action.
This paper highlights one alternative to the structural approaches; the processual lens. Here there is acknowledgement that any single change is part of a larger framework of activities. The processual approach does not reflect the simplicity of structural lenses, but it does echo the dynamism found in the school based context. Identifying the link between robust examination of organisational change and use of the processual approach, argument is presented that a failure to consider the validity of the approach in the examination of school based organisational change has ramifications both for understanding and practice.