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ERIC Number: ED283260
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986
Pages: 90
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-0-7300-0415-5
ISSN: N/A
The Reconstruction of Leadership.
Foster, William
The study of leadership has faltered partly because the wrong phenomenon has been studied. Whereas the usual definition considers leadership either as a personal property or as a property of position, this paper argues that it is a transient phenomenon residing neither in the person nor the situation and one that can be practiced equally well by different social players. Four attempts to redefine leadership, by Selznick, Burns, Tucker, and Bennis, do come closer to developing a hermaneutic view; however, all imply that leadership is an intrinsic property possessed by certain individuals. But in fact, leadership resides in actions, not in persons. Leadership acts are a communal, democratic effort founded in the notion of praxis and each act must have a social context and critical audience. Three elements of leadership are that it involves the penetration of structure, that it must be politically and critically educative and that it is conditioned on language and communication. Included in the document are three readings that support this position. First, "Leadership: The Socratic Model," by L. Grob, asserts the critical spirit as the ground for all leadership; second, "Leadership Research: Choosing Gods and Devils on the Run," by M. W. McCall, Jr., makes the case that the purpose of leadership research is to display its effectiveness or ineffectiveness and to point out areas for future research; and, finally, "Leadership Is a Language Game," by L. R. Pondy, explores the potential influence of leaders' language on their effectiveness. The document includes 4 lists of references and an annotated bibliography of 26 suggested readings. (RG)
Publication Sales, Deakin University Press, Victoria 3217, Australia ($12.50 Australian; quantity discounts).
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Deakin Univ., Victoria (Australia).
Note: Prepared as course material for "Educational Leadership in Schools."