Five literatures of organisation : putting the context back into educational leadership

CLOSE, Paul and RAYNOR, Adrian (2010). Five literatures of organisation : putting the context back into educational leadership. School Leadership and Management, 30 (3), 209-224.

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In this article we develop the arguments of Glatter on the importance of adopting a more 'organisation-oriented' approach to educational leadership development. Through a critical review of current publications and national courses in the field, we argue that educational leadership is still very skills focussed at the expense of more sophisticated understandings of organisational context. This skills focus, or 'agency without structure', as Glatter puts it, encourages a 'can do' culture of simplistic solution-seeking rather than appreciation of complexity and paradox in the leadership experience which can produce better judgements. To identify such 'understandings', we then examine five traditions of thinking about 'organisation' through their related literatures. The first four, thinking psychologically, thinking structurally, thinking culturally and thinking politically, build on organisational 'frames'. The fifth literature explores how these frames are constantly and variously brought into play through 'complex responsive processes' of organising in our daily work lives. Implications of this more organisation-focussed approach for educational leadership development are discussed through examples from the authors' own research and teaching.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Institute of Education
Identification Number:
Page Range: 209-224
Depositing User: Hilary Ridgway
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2012 11:52
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 10:15

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