26 SES 01 A, School Leadership, Middle Management and School Context
In recent years, there is a growing understanding for the fact that school leader (principals’) actions are subject to many conditions. The assumption that general leadership styles exist that have a positive effect on the school’s output needed to be revised, corrected or modified given evidence from international school leadership research and school effectiveness research (Huber 2006, 2010). Traditional ideas concerning the existence of generally effective leadership styles were increasingly challenged, not least because of findings from school effectiveness research. There is quite robust evidence that context variables at the macro-, meso- and micro level are relevant not only for a school’s output but also for leadership behavior and leadership tasks. Diverse contextual variables of an organization and its environment need to be considered when describing its configuration (cf. Walker & Dimmock 2006). These external and internal contextual configurations can have different effects depending on the state of the individual school. To make matters even more difficult it is easier to empirically ascertain the measurability of reaching a target than measuring the broader context of the organization which underlie leader´s actions and practices (cf. Hallinger 2016; Schwarz & Brauckmann 2015).
Given the existing findings from research, a differentiated perspective needs to be taken on framework conditions and their role as facilitators or obstacles to effective leadership conduct. We can assume to find different patterns impacting on school leadership actions, for example owing to the social environment or daily routine in school organization. A situational management behaviour due to the context and an organisational answer to the context are required. At first an adequate and contextualised organisational consciousness as well as an awareness for the necessity of acting has to be created, both are often not given. The management behaviour, which then has to be developed, would be assigned to the agency, the development of the organisational structure to the structure (cf. Giddens 1984). Hierarchical led organisations reach more an more their limits (cf. Schwarz 2007, Heintel/Krainz 2000, Argyris/Schön 2008, Heintel 2006) and the organisation school faces the challenge of reveinventing itself (cf. Siegmund/Wildermuth 2012, Wille 2008, Altrichter et al 2007). If the organisation is seen as a meso-level which has to be developed and if its staff (teachers) has to be developed organisational-affine under the consideration of the whole educational and sociopolitical system (the macro-level), then leadership as well as participative ways of leading are required. It is necessary to consider all the contradictions which are part of the organisation school and which have an influence on the dealing with the organisational autonomy.
The question of contextual conditions thus also implies the question of obstacles to certain leadership styles or management practices owing to certain structurally or culturally based patterns of facilitation respectively impediment of certain leadership styles and management practices. Despite different concepts of organizational leadership and school development (cf. ), authors have consistently indicated that there is no alternative to a data-based analysis of a school’s situation as is. This seems to be a conditio sine qua non when establishing a foundation to process development, organizational and school development.
(1) Still, it is all the more difficult to find answers to the question of benchmarks (target states) for successful organizational leadership and its development?
(2) To what extent do the de jure state of the schools as an organization coincide with the de facto state of schools as an organization?
(3) It is yet unclear how these two measures (state as-is and target state) can be satisfactorily deduced theoretically and interrelated in a meaningful way?
Altrichter, Herbert/Brüsemeister, Thomas/Wissinger, Jochen (Hrsg.) (2007): Educational Governance. Handlungskoordination und Steuerung im Bildungssystem. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag. Argyris, Chris/Schön Donald A. (2008): Die lernende Organisation. Grundlagen, method, Praxis. Stuttgart: Schäffer Pöschel. Jahn Thomas/Bergmann, Matthias/Keil Florian (2012). Transdisciplinarity: Between mainstreaming and marginalization. Ecological Economics, 79, 1-10. Giddens, A. 1984. The Constitution of Society: Outline of the Theory of Structuration. Cambridge, MA: Polity Press. Glaser, Barney/Strauss, Anselm (1967/1998): The Discovery of Grounded Theory. Strategies for qualitative research. Chicago: Aldine. Hallinger, Philipp (2016). Philip Hallinger. Bringing context out of the shadows of leadership. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, p.1-20. Heintel, Peter/Krainz, Ewald (2000): Projektmanagement. Eine Antwort auf die Hierarchiekrise? Wiesbaden: Gabler Verlag. Heintel, Peter (Hrsg.) (2006): betrifft: Team. Dynamische Prozesse in Gruppen. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag. Wayne K. Hoy, Cecil G. Miskel (2008) Educational Administration: Theory, Research, and Practice. The McGraw Hill Higher Education. Huber, S.G. (2006). Kooperative Führung in der Schule: Entlastung oder Entmachtung von Schulleitung? In: S.G. Huber, Carmen Kloft, H. Rosenbusch & H. Sassenscheidt (Hrsg.) PraxisWissen Schulleitung(20.11). München: Wolters Kluwer. Huber, S.G. (2010). Preparing School Leaders – International Approaches in Leadership Development. In Huber, S.G. (Hrsg.). School Leadership –International Perspectives. Heidelberg, London, New York: Springer Verlag Lerchster, Ruth/Krainer, Larissa (2013): Out of the Ivory Tower, and into Reality. In: Challenging Organisations and Society / 2013, S. 274-288. Schwarz A, Brauckmann S (2015) Between Facts and Perceptions: The Area Close to School as a Context Factor in School Leadership. Wuppertal, Germany: University of Wuppertal. Schwarz, Gerhard (2007): Die heilige Ordnung der Männer. Hierarchie, Gruppendynamik und die neue Rolle der Frauen. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag. Siegmund, Michael/Wildermuth, Hartmut (2012): Die Neu-Erfindung der Schule. Die Befreiung der Menschen von staatlicher Bevormundung durch Permation und Autonomie. Norderstedt. Walker, A., & Dimmock, C. (2006). Preparing leaders, preparing learners: the Hong Kong experience. School Leadership and Management, 26 (2), 125-147. Wille, Ernst (2008): Autonomie für die Schule. Hamburg: Igel Verlag.
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