This case study offers insight toward the impact of the general-dispositional, internal structures on a planned organizational change in the field of education. The process used and the findings of this may be applicable to a variety of fields. Stones’ strong structuration (2005) served as the theoretical framework guiding this study, though Chater and Loewenstein’s (2016) model of sensemaking offers supplementary consideration.

The context for study was the shift to virtual learning because of the COVID-19 global pandemic and subsequent closure of schools beginning in March 2020. This empirical study examined agents-in-situ’s response to the change, including the structuring interactions between external and internal structures leading to active agency. Data were collected in 2 stages through semi-structured interviews and proffered documents first with change managers and second with teachers. Data collection and analysis followed the recommended methodological bracketing approach suggested in the strong structuration framework (Stones, 2005).

Broadly, this study examined (a) how several interdependent contextual structures within the organization interact with each agents’ internal structures, and (b) how agents interact with each other in the presence of these contextual structures to influence conduct or the response to change. Stage One interviews revealed six contextual features as contributing to agents’ response to change. Stage Two interviews were designed to understand agent conduct, which surfaced four general-dispositional, internal structures and six conjucturally-specific internal structures. All ten internal structures interacted with the contextual features, which provoked active agency and individual response to change. General-dispositional structures are those deeply held beliefs and general worldviews that would continue to influence agents’ response to change regardless of the context, whereas conjucturally-specific internal structures are specific to knowledge of the people and role responsibilities within the organization. The structuring interactions between the (a) external contextual features of the organization and the change, and (b) general-dispositional and conjuncturally-specific internal structures resulted in active agency and agents’ response to change within both the change process and a redefinition of professional values.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Organizational change; Preparedness; Business and education

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Christopher Lund