Purpose – The role of relationships in the process of leadership and change is central, yet the social aspect of the work of reform is often background in favor of more technical approaches to improvement. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to argue that social network theory and analysis provides a useful theory and set of tools to unpack the complex social work of leadership. Design/methodology/approach – In this paper the authors begin by reviewing social network theory in education to date. The authors identify strengths and gap areas and use findings and data from existing social network studies of educational leadership to highlight major concepts. Findings – Along with empirical examples, the paper proposes four important strands of social network analysis for future research in educational leadership: multiplex networks; multi-mode networks; longitudinal networks; and real time networks. Originality/value – This paper builds on recent scholarship using social network analysis in educational leadership and suggests that social network theory and methods provides unique and important analytic purchase in the study of educational leadership.
International Journal of Educational Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 14, 2015
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