This paper reports some findings from an interpretative study which investigated the impact of an Australian leadership development offshore course upon the conceptions held by a group of Chinese educational leaders. The findings revealed that most participants tended to develop more complex understandings of leadership throughout the course. The study identified a general shift from task/directive orientations to motivation/collaborative orientated leadership conceptions. Five themes emerged from the findings: a) role of leader: operational implementer vs. visionary strategic planner; b) leadership approach: directive vs. participative; c) relationship between leaders and staff: command and obey vs. collaborate and participate; d) creating goals: idiosyncratic wills vs. shared vision; e) leading process: task oriented vs. motivation oriented. Before the course, most respondents seemed to value strong individual leadership and collaboration amongst teams of leaders. After the course, their conceptions tended to move to more complex perspectives of visionary, consultative and distributed leadership. They seemed to have attached more importance to motivating and engaging staff to shared visions and organizational goals. The study suggests that humanistic and shared leadership should be further promoted in Chinese educational institutions given the changing and networked nature of the world, although this change is a long and incremental process. The author argues that an open, positive and discerning attitude will facilitate expanded leadership conceptions and strategies in an international education context.
|Name||AARE conference proceedings|
|Publisher||Australian Association for Research in Education|
|Conference||AARE 2007 International Education Research Conference: Research Impacts: Proving or Improving?|
|Period||25/11/07 → 29/11/07|