This article is aimed to disentangle how the emergency transition to online education was coped by Italian school during the first lockdown (March-May 2020) related to the Covid-19 outbreak. In particular, combining two bodies of literature - Sociological New Institutionalism and Science and Technology Studies - we focus on the organizational solutions schools adopted in emergency, and on the consequences of a sudden introduction of technology-mediated education. We maintain that organizational choices, school climate, coordination, conflict and work-related stress were influenced by pre-existing individual (digital skills and professional attitudes) and organizational (school governance and leadership) factors. To explore these issues, we used an original study - a web survey of over 2,000 Italian teachers in every stage of the Italian education system, that was administered between April and May 2020. Our findings show that individual level features (digital skills, age, education, career) count as much as some structural dimensions (e.g. the type of school). Nevertheless, such features are mediated by relevant organizational dimensions. In particular, stress and conflicts were limited where roles for digital transformation were already in place, and where school leaders were perceived to adopted less hierarchical and more coordinated leadership styles.
Keywords: Covid-19, school, school leadership, emergency management, organizational conflict