Conceptual perspectives on school leadership

Meta Krüger, Jaap Scheerens

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

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Leadership has become a concept of increasing importance in the education literature. Stacks of books and articles have been written about leadership—about how to define the concept, what it should comprise and what effects it has. Despite the many researchers and the many definitions of leadership that appear in the literature, there remains very little consensus concerning what leadership is and what it comprises. In an attempt to map the field of leadership studies, Ribbins and Gunter (2002) compared and contrasted the concepts of administration, management and leadership, demonstrating the magnitude of the confusion. Administration was sometimes understood to consist of three successive processes: vision, planning and policy. The term administration thus subsumed management and leadership. In contrast, others have viewed leadership as an overarching concept; leadership is understood to affect policy, values and vision. In an overview of leadership theories, Richmon and Allison (2003) argue that the search for an unambiguous definition of leadership is in vain, as it simply does not exist. Krüger (2010) agrees, stating that leadership may be conceived as a process of influence, as a process of leading and following, as a matter of personality, as a way of persuasion, as a manner of interacting, as a process of goal attainment, as a way of creating structure, as negotiation in power relations and as stimulating change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSchool leadership effects revisited: review and meta-analysis of empirical studies
EditorsJ Scheerens
Place of PublicationDordrecht
Number of pages152
ISBN (Print)978-94-007-2767-0
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameSpringer briefs in education


  • IR-82050
  • METIS-285549


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