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ERIC Number: EJ864900
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1911
Education Policy, Distributed Leadership and Socio-Cultural Theory
Hartley, David
Educational Review, v61 n2 p139-150 May 2009
A current characteristic of governance in the public services in England is the advocacy of a permeation of once-discrete organizational and professional structures. New configurations are being called for. Examples are extended schools, workforce re-modelling, and multi-agency working. At issue here is a further indication of this loosening of hitherto discrete roles and structures: that of distributed leadership. When formulated, all of these policies lacked an evidence-base which justified them. To some extent this was due to a weak theoretical base. Emerging as a prominent theoretical position to inform distributed leadership is socio-cultural theory, which includes distributed cognition and activity theory. Two conclusions are drawn from the study here. First, an analysis of the most important contribution to this research--that generated by Spillane and his colleagues in the US--points up some important discontinuities between the socio-cultural approach adopted and its empirical endeavours. That is to say, whilst adhering to a socio-cultural position which regards only process as having any ontological status, Spillane's research nevertheless appears to assign ontological status also to individual agents. Second, in contrast to Engestrom's socio-cultural activity theory, Spillane's socio-cultural approach under-theorizes the question of power in distributed leadership. (Contains 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England); United States