ERIC Number: ED294296
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Languages of Leadership: Metaphor Making in Educational Administration.
Bredeson, Paul V.
Leaders in any organization can usually see beyond their immediate surroundings and stir the consciousness, emotions, and energies of others to move in a similar direction. This paper suggests metaphor as a useful construct for understanding how people in schools respond to these elusive, yet persuasive leadership influences. Metaphoric languages are at the heart of organizational leadership and communications and provide helpful frameworks for enhancing teaching, research, and educational administration practice. Recent research has explored how metaphors underlying organizational life are generated, how they represent organizational processes, and how they guide the actions of those within particular social settings. Using metaphor as an instructional device allows students to examine school structures, beliefs, values, and social norms from multiple perspectives. One example might be comparing schools and service stations. Using metaphor as a research tool can provide distinctive lenses for viewing, describing, and interpreting social phenomena and can help create new realities, concepts, and ways of viewing the same phenomena. For example, viewing the school through rational/mechanistic, organic, or critical theory lenses is bound to produce varying results. The most important application of metaphor to administrative practice is as a tool for creative insight into organizational problem-solving. Since leadership is the exercise of influence, school leaders' choice of metaphors can be a source of power. Included are 17 references. (MLH)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the University Council for Educational Administration (Charlottesville, VA, October 30-November 1, 1987).