NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ882410
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 141
ISSN: ISSN-1741-1432
Complexity Theory, School Leadership and Management: Questions for Theory and Practice
Morrison, Keith
Educational Management Administration & Leadership, v38 n3 p374-393 2010
Complexity theory (CT) has had a meteoric rise in management literature and the social sciences. Its fledgling importation into school leadership and management raises several questions and concerns. This article takes one view of CT and argues that, though its key elements have much to offer school leadership and management, caution has to be exercised in accepting CT too readily, as it: (1) is unclear on its own novelty, nature and status; (2) can be regarded as disguised ideology in conflating description and prescription; (3) confuses explanation with prediction; (4) is relativist, undermining its own status; (5) contains problems in its advocacy of self-organization; (6) neglects the ethical and emotional dimensions of leadership and management; and (7) risks exonerating school leaders and managers from reasonable expectations of accountability and responsibility. The article concludes that there are questions to CT at the levels of theory, ontology, deontology and ethics, but that it offers useful challenges for school leadership and management. (Contains 27 notes.)
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A