Destructive leadership in education: a transdisciplinary critical analysis of contemporary literature

Pamela Ryan, George Odhiambo, Rachel Wilson
  • International Journal of Leadership in Education, July 2019, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1080/13603124.2019.1640892

Understanding the dysfunction of school leadership

What is it about?

Leadership is supposed to be influence exercised for good purpose but we know that's not always so. Poor educational leadership can have harmful consequences that impact on the whole school community. This paper explores leadership through its negative presentations by drawing on multiple disciples (philosophy, psychology and sociology) and on systems thinking. Our interest is in what it is, how it works and what can be done.

Why is it important?

Despite extensive investment in training of aspiring or incumbent leaders, stories of personal and organisational damage as a consequence of leadership are not hard to find. We believe understanding destructive leadership is a necessary step towards addressing the problem.

Perspectives

Dr Pamela (Pam) Ryan
University of Technology Sydney

There are so many good people in our schools working hard to create the best learning environment for kids. Seeing firsthand the devastating impact that dysfunctional leadership can have motivated my colleagues and I to understand better what's actually happening. Our article draws from my doctoral research on the subject and I see it as an opportunity to 'call out' an all too common problem. it doesn't have to be this way.

Read Publication

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13603124.2019.1640892

The following have contributed to this page: George Odhiambo and Dr Pamela (Pam) Ryan