Power relations affect all aspects of our lives. MacGregor Burns states that "Power is ubiquitous; it permeates human relationships … Power shows many faces and takes many forms". The purpose of this paper was to explore women principals' experiences with power relations in the schools during times of increase in decentralization and accountability. The findings of this phenomenological study were that the six principals viewed power as an enabling, and a positive energy for change and growth in schools rather than a source of "top-down" domination. Their descriptions of power also asserted that "power is not reducible to any one source", and that an understanding of poststructuralist and structuralist theories of power will be essential for school leaders facing the dilemmas and challenges of the twenty-first century.
Journal of Educational Administration – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 1, 2002
Keywords: Leadership; Phenomenology
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