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Navigating the leadership tensions in creating collective responsibility

Navigating the leadership tensions in creating collective responsibility The purpose of this research is to use a collective responsibility theoretical lens to examine the work of three school principals as they focussed on school-wide goal-setting processes to achieve valued student achievement goals. The tensions principals face in creating collective responsibility are examined so that these might be intentionally navigated.Design/methodology/approachQualitative case studies of three New Zealand schools include data from interviews with principals, middle leaders and teachers. An inductive and deductive thematic analysis approach was employed.FindingsPrincipals face four key tensions: (1) whether to promote self or centrally directed and voluntary or mandatory professional learning; (2) how to balance a top-down versus a middle-up process for accountability; (3) ways to integrate both educator and student voice and (4) the complexity of both challenging teachers' beliefs and providing support. These challenges seemed inherent in the work of developing collective responsibility and leaders tended to move along response continuum.Research limitations/implicationsThis research highlights the importance of being intentional and transparent with staff members about both the nature of these tensions and their navigation, and opens up further questions in relation to leader, and teacher perceptions of tensions in creating collective responsibility for achieving school-improvement goals.Practical implicationsAn understanding of the tensions that need to be navigated can help leaders and other educators to take effective action, scrutinize the reasoning behind decisions, and understand the inherent challenges faced.Originality/valueLeadership tensions in creating collective responsibility are explored and implications for leadership practice and learning considered. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Professional Capital and Community Emerald Publishing

Navigating the leadership tensions in creating collective responsibility

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References (22)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2056-9548
DOI
10.1108/jpcc-03-2020-0014
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to use a collective responsibility theoretical lens to examine the work of three school principals as they focussed on school-wide goal-setting processes to achieve valued student achievement goals. The tensions principals face in creating collective responsibility are examined so that these might be intentionally navigated.Design/methodology/approachQualitative case studies of three New Zealand schools include data from interviews with principals, middle leaders and teachers. An inductive and deductive thematic analysis approach was employed.FindingsPrincipals face four key tensions: (1) whether to promote self or centrally directed and voluntary or mandatory professional learning; (2) how to balance a top-down versus a middle-up process for accountability; (3) ways to integrate both educator and student voice and (4) the complexity of both challenging teachers' beliefs and providing support. These challenges seemed inherent in the work of developing collective responsibility and leaders tended to move along response continuum.Research limitations/implicationsThis research highlights the importance of being intentional and transparent with staff members about both the nature of these tensions and their navigation, and opens up further questions in relation to leader, and teacher perceptions of tensions in creating collective responsibility for achieving school-improvement goals.Practical implicationsAn understanding of the tensions that need to be navigated can help leaders and other educators to take effective action, scrutinize the reasoning behind decisions, and understand the inherent challenges faced.Originality/valueLeadership tensions in creating collective responsibility are explored and implications for leadership practice and learning considered.

Journal

Journal of Professional Capital and CommunityEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 22, 2021

Keywords: Collective responsibility; Leadership; Professionalism; Goal-setting; Relational trust; School improvement; Educational change

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