NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ800422
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0951-354X
Tension as an Enabling Characteristic of Innovating in Schools
Perillo, Suzanne
International Journal of Educational Management, v21 n7 p621-633 2007
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to argue that school innovation is a complex process requiring a detailed accounting of the relational activity characterising everyday innovating activity. It is further proposed that complex accounts of innovation practice that describe social factors only are insufficient. Design/methodology/approach: Using a case study methodology, a focus on ideas of resistance and tension is used to explore the character of actual innovating experiences. Underpinned by assumptions of relationality and indicative of a poststructuralist and postmodern perspective, Actor-Network Theory is applied as an analytical tool to investigate the sociomaterial character of everyday enactments of innovation practice in four independent boys' schools in Australia. Findings: Four data stories describe multiple patterns of innovating activity that cannot accurately be accounted for in terms of a general notion of resistance. The idea that tension enables innovation practice is proposed. Research limitations/implications: Approaches to school innovation that assume difference should be smoothed out or there is a risk of obstructing its practical accomplishment. Practical implications: This paper provides a case for school leaders to expect and cultivate conditions that enable innovative tension and the co-presence of multiple patterns of innovating activity. Originality/value: In addition to critically viewing managerial notions of school innovation, this paper draws on the cross-disciplinary research to include materiality as an active agent shaping, as opposed to providing a context for, innovating in schools.
Emerald. 875 Massachusetts Avenue 7th Floor, Cambridge, MA 02139. Tel: 888-622-0075; Fax: 617-354-6875; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia