ERIC Number: ED420889
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Wounded Leader: Looking for the Good Story.
Maslin-Ostrowski, Pat; Ackerman, Richard H.
This study's purpose was to understand further "how" significant leadership crises create a very particular context for telling stories and, specifically, "how" the lives of school leaders are affected by the stories they tell. The study presents the stories of seven private and public school leaders who have experienced a serious conflict, dilemma, or critical event in their leadership practice that has in some way profoundly affected or "wounded" them. The study focused on school leader's "narrative identity" to determine "who" in each case the person had become in the story, "how" their story helped them to become that person and "why." The methodology was ethnographic in that it required retrospective interviewing and narrative analysis. Findings suggest that the difficult experiences evoked stories that could be tentatively grouped by common themes. The storytellers chose a restitution story of how the problem was fixed which echoes the myth of principal as hero; a chaos story of near disaster that was notable by what was absent, that is a distressed telling without order or coherence and an uncertain future; or a story of quest, one that leads to a new or evolved story. All themes, however, are apt to be present at different times in each of the stories. Another finding relates to the particular ways in which participants were self conscious and aware of themselves as story makers and tellers, thus could become in a sense "witnesses" to their circumstances. (Contains 25 references.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A