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The Importance of the Individual

15 January, 2016 - 09:23
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The subjective perspective offers some valuable insights, which act as a corrective to the more rigid features of formal models. The focus on individual interpretations of events is a useful antidote to the uniformity of systems and structural theories. Similarly, the emphasis on individual aims, rather than organizational objectives, is an important contribution to our understanding of schools and colleges.

    Subjective models have close links with the emerging, but still weakly defined, notion of post-modern leadership. Leaders need to attend to the multiple voices in their organisations and to develop a “power to,” not a “power over,” model of leadership. However, as Sackney and Mitchell (2001) note, “we do not see how postmodern leadership . . . can be undertaken without the active engagement of the school principal” (p. 19). In other words, the subjective approach works only if leaders wish it to work, a fragile basis for any approach to educational leadership.

    Greenfield's work has broadened our understanding of educational institutions and exposed the weak-nesses of the formal models. However, it is evident that subjective models have supplemented, rather than supplanted, the formal theories Greenfield set out to attack.

    Ambiguity Models