Article

Empirical Perspectives in Education Leadership

James W. Guthrie and Patrick J. Schuermann

in Education

ISBN: 9780199756810
Published online December 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199756810-0022
Empirical Perspectives in Education Leadership

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  • Education
  • Organization and Management of Education
  • Philosophy and Theory of Education
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Leaders ensure for an organization that it does the right things, and they pay equal attention to ensuring that, within an organization, things are done right. “Leadership” refers to the traits and behaviors of those who direct collectives of human beings, be they formal organizations such as religions, nations, tribes, or clans, or informal groups such as families. A leader is one who pursues personal or group purposes by organizing and motivating the actions of others. Leaders have as potential tools dynamic interactions and conditions such as a vision of an organization’s future, the accumulation and allocation of resources and rewards, the recruitment and training of followers, and the manipulation of incentives. The “inherent quality” of a formal or informal organization will always be further improved by extraordinary leadership—and will not, in the long run, survive unusually poor leadership. In this article is a summary set of references regarding generalized leadership. Subsequent sections provide citations to specific topics within educational leadership. However, there is a caveat here. There are literally thousands of popular books and articles focused on leadership and leadership-related matters such as management, motivation, personal appearance, and how to use one’s time. This bibliography omits references to most of this body of writing because the tendency is for these popular publications to be highly normative and lacking an empirical grounding. The following listings emphasize research and objective reports. There is general expert consensus regarding the scientific or technical part of leadership. Leaders routinely perform a consistent set of functions, no matter which organization they lead: They contribute to shaping an organization’s purposes, create a vision or a roadmap of means for achieving these purposes, select and motivate followers to follow this roadmap, obtain and allocate resources consistent with the plan for achieving organizational purposes, continually evaluate the success of the organization and its members’ performance in pursuing an agreed-upon path, guide midcourse corrections when information suggests such are in order, and represent the organization to its external audiences.

Article.  2648 words. 

Subjects: Education ; Organization and Management of Education ; Philosophy and Theory of Education ; Schools Studies ; Teaching Skills and Techniques

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