Thinking beyond leadership as a service to policy: 'Seeing things big' in a dialogic 'public space'

Bev Rogers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


What has been called the ‘Romance of Leadership’ (Meindl et al., 1985) is a deep-seated faith in the idea of a ‘leader’ or ‘leadership’ as the causal entity that renders ‘complex problems meaningful and explicable’ (Gronn, 1996, p. 12). Such a causal attribution is implicit in the preoccupation of countries such as England, New Zealand, the USA and Australia with school ‘leaders’ and ‘leadership’ of schools (Fitzgerald and Savage, 2013). The leadership industry in these countries is largely influenced by what Thomson, Gunter and Blackmore (2014, p. xi) call the Transnational Leadership Package (TLP), which includes prescriptions of a ‘one best way’ of leading, leadership and being a leader, a series of meta-analyses that attempt to establish the link between teacher quality and student achievement and an assumption that the role of the leader is to advance policy. Terms such as leaders and leadership now dominate policy discourses that sanction the means for education reform. The location of causal imputation is evident in the way policy texts have scripted school leaders to transform and deliver in ways that not only claim to achieve the mandated outcomes (Fitzgerald and Savage, 2013) but also establish that the outcomes are the result of the ‘leadership’ enacted.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQuestioning Leadership
Subtitle of host publicationNew Directions for Educational Organisations
EditorsGabriele Lakomski, Scott Eacott, Colin W. Evers
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781317293712
ISBN (Print)9781138183162
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameFoundations and Futures of Education


  • Leadership
  • school leadership
  • school leaders
  • teacher performance


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