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Associate Professor Narottam Bhindi , University of Wollongong,

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Presentation on theme: "Associate Professor Narottam Bhindi , University of Wollongong,"— Presentation transcript:


2 Associate Professor Narottam Bhindi , University of Wollongong,
Dr. Richard Smith, AUT Dr. Jens J. Hansen, Waiariki Institute of Technology, Dr. Dan Riley, University of New England

3 Authentic Leadership in Education: A cross-country reality?

4 Leaders in their own mind?

5 LEGENDS in their own mind?

6 Abstract Authentic Leadership (AL) is emerging as an alternative perspective on leadership in different organizational settings, including education. This presentation draws upon extant research and commentary on AL - especially its relevance to leaders engaged in education. Missing/unacknowledged ingredients in the current AL paradigm are considered and proposals to address a research gap is described. Truncate and size

7 How many of the triggers in the next slide can you identify with
How many of the triggers in the next slide can you identify with? We reason that these triggers sparked the AL movement. One at a time

8 How many have you seen? Context of cynicism about leadership & dissatisfaction with status quo; Self before service; Profits before the common good; Deceitful practices & cover-ups; Insincerity & superficiality; Obsession with efficiency & outcomes; and, Disquiet about control based, industrial bureaucratic models.

9 And so we reason that… Crises of confidence and increasing workplace complexity impel a search for alternative, ethical, values- driven, compassionate and people centred leadership paradigms, and; an increasing thirst for a higher standard of leadership behaviour calls for greater congruence between what leaders profess and what they actually do; This really is old fashioned Argyris and Schön stuff, with leaders not double-loop learning and too often being heavy handed?


11 THE EDUCATION SCENE It appears that any educators and related stakeholders feel educational leadership has become too complex, complicated, burdensome and even draconian. Truncate - perhaps three slides -

12 They argue the traditional models of leadership-- Heroes, Show Ponies, Lone Rangers, ‘Head Kickers’ and ‘Lion Tamers’-- are outdated and inappropriate leadership ‘models’ for human service organizations such as education.

13 Which one is the hero?

14 What it is to be a show pony. If that’s leadership, get off the horse.

15 And to think that we entered education to promote peace and harmony!

16 Are head kicking leaders as effective as lion taming leaders?

17 The quest for professionalism, intellectual stimuli, and concern for effectiveness, efficiency, and quality must be underpinned by a strong humanizing values base if educational leadership is to become more dynamic, distributive, responsive and enabling, and empowering.

18 Some propose that leadership needs to become more authentic.

19 Understanding Authentic Leadership
Bhindi & Duignan (1997) argue that leadership is authentic to the degree that it is: ethical; sincere; genuine; and, trustworthy in leadership action and interaction. Bhindi & Duignan’s (1997) Authentic Leaders: uphold honesty and integrity in their everyday dealings; constantly search for True Self (self-enhancement/self-transcendence) and, reject actions and interactions that are deceptive, hypocritical, duplicitous, manipulative and destructive. REARRANGE

20 Authentic Leaders exercise stewardship. For such leaders:
Authenticity is neither accidental nor contrived but instead is intentional and, natural; Authenticity is connoted by deliberate sensibility and sensitivity to others. Tidy up.

21 Bhindi & Duignan(1997) Leadership is authentic to the degree that it is ethical, sincere, genuine and trustworthy. Authentic leaders uphold honesty and integrity in their everyday dealings; they practice mutuality and walk their talk. OK

22 The PASIFIKA way In Aotearoa New Zealand we apply a kaupapa Maori frame-work which includes, amongst other values: Whakawhanaungatanga & Whanaungatanga (belonging); Aroha (goodwill & trust); Tikanga (valuing each other); Manaakitanga (embracing ourselves), and; Kaitiakitanga (protecting resources). Similarly, there are value sets throughout the Pacific and its peoples, for instance: Vakavanua Fiji… Whakawhanua Tonga… Fa’a Samoa… …and of course, early colonizers preached numerous worldview versions; So what has academia done with all of this AL stuff?

23 Australian Work Author and Year Theme
Bhindi & Duignan, 1997, & also, Duignan & Bhindi, 1997. Ethical leadership, spirituality, sensibility, intentionality’ Duignan et al., 2003 Ethical behavior in service organizations Bhindi et al., 2002 Spirituality in workplace leadership Bhindi & McCann To be launched

24 North America Author and Year Theme
Terry, 1993; Staratt, 2004; Taylor 1991 Canvass philosophical and ethical understandings of authentic leadership Sergiovanni, Fullan & others Moral dimension of leadership Avolio & colleagues at Nebraska-Lincoln, 2005 Currently engaging in, or proposing additional research on AL from different angles Begley , 2006 AL, moral reasoning and sensitivity to others

25 New Zealand Perry, 2007 Covenantal approaches to leadership Robinson
Ethical leadership Youngs Servant leadership Giles Ethical/moral spiritual concerns

26 Summary of thinking so far…
The research/thinking on AL leadership seems mainly to have been leader-centric, descriptive and narratively driven; It sometimes seems to be very ‘happy-clappy’ in nature (or even seriously reminiscent of the ‘chosen-frozen’); Substantially, it’s very ‘new-ageist’. Norratam to complete

27 We’ve even moved beyond the old stuff into the exciting field of Polemic/Motivational ‘Homilies’
Cooper & Sawaf, 1997AL as an energy field; McGraw, 2001 Self-discovery; Goffey & Jones, 2005 Sustaining AL; Adrienne, 2006  Inauthenticity Conclusion  the new age of leadership is fragile and brittle to boot – can’t you feel the vibrations? Give it the vibrations, man

28 What seems to be needed…
Multi-faceted research is needed to reform our understanding of leadership authenticity – especially the perspectives and perceptions of followers; The research needs to focus on their perceptions of leaders’ behaviours; The research needs to be ‘baggage free’ and empirical in design.

29 Issues with AL Pittinsky & Tyson argue that many of the commentaries & research on AL are normative, philosophical, & tantamount to exhortations. They are: prescriptions for self- improvement, & are almost entirely leader- centered. Our issues are: Much ado about the eyes of the beholder – i.e. the leader; Being leader-centric overlooks follower-centred research possibilities. It’s a bit like Schrodinger’s cat… SCHRODINGERS CAT

30 Schrodinger’s cat is so tipsy – it’s finally used its final life…

31 AL is alive… …or is it mythical?

32 Balancing the Equation
“ Research on authenticity, has not, to date, examined authenticity from the perspectives of followers, in particular, what cues or markers are used by followers to determine whether a leader is authentic?” Pittinsky & Tyson, 2003 fix

33 Proposed Research We propose to investigate how teachers/educators regard authenticity in leadership; We want to discover what, if any criteria they use to ‘assess’ the authenticity of their leaders, and the extent to which these criteria are consistent with the extant research and literature; The research team will comprise: Bhindi (Wollongong); Smith (AUT); Hansen (NZ Consultant); & Riley (UNE).

34 A multi-faceted overarching question is being posed:
Who sees what behaviours, when, in which situations, and what effects are perceived with respect to their leaders’ behaviours and the effect of those leaders upon the educational remit of the setting?

35 Research Focus The proposed research will involve case studies of school leaders as authentic leaders as perceived by their teachers; It will explore the extent to which schools as human service organizations exemplify the ideals of autonomy, collegiality, and shared leadership in a manner that is consistent with the espousals of AL. There is undoubtedly value in also looking at leadership in tertiary agencies – leaders might become quite shocked at what their staff think.

36 Justification for Study
As leadership is legitimized by followers, it is important to ‘map’ (describe/plot) follower perspectives on markers of AL. In line with literature and practice of distributive leadership, the relationship between leaders and followers may, in fact, be better understood through achieving deeper understanding of what perceptions followers hold about the genuineness of this kind of leadership at their workplace.

37 Research procedures This will be a trans-Tasman series of case studies: Armidale, NSW; Wollongong, NSW; North Shore, Aotearoa New Zealand; Rotorua/Whakatane, Aotearoa New Zealand. The overarching methodology involves a case study evaluation of schools as organisations

38 Research procedures cont.
A mixed methods approach will be used: Relevant institutional and government materials for documentary analysis; Websites will be reviewed for evidence of AL; On-line surveys to staff from schools using a purposive sample of teachers; In-depth semi-structured focus group interviews with cross-section of teachers.

39 In summary… In summary, this mixed methods series of case studies will span rural and metropolitan settings, will gather qualitative and quantitative data and is, at best, exploratory in nature. It is not an ambitious task because it only completes an initial exploration of a leadership construct/myth that we believe to be important.

40 What emerges from this session?
There is a need for this study; A cross-country analysis may be useful; The politics of leadership will be scrutinized which may show that all that glitters is not AL: The happy-clappies might not be that happy The chosen-frozens might become heard; We’ve concluded that an empirical study with a range of data is required if we’re to move beyond the charismatic bind. We don’t want potentially explosive situations like this in schools, do we? Happy clappies versu chosen frozen

41 References Bhindi, N. and Duignan, P. (1997). Leadership for the New Century: Authenticity, Intentionality, Spirituality and Sensibility. Management and Administration Journal 25:2. Bhindi, N., Gerber, R., & Riley, D. ( 2002). Spirituality in Leadership: The Missing Link? Second International Conference on Catholic Educational Leadership, Australian Catholic University, 5 August. Bhindi, N. (2003). Practising Creative Leadership: Pipe Dream or Possibility? The Practising Administrator,Vol.1, pp Bhindi, N.(2004). Creating and Sustaining A Learning Breathing School. Keynote Presentation, Bomaderry Public School, Retreat, 18 July. Creighton, T. (1999) Spirituality and the Principalship: Leadership for the New Millennium. International Electronic Journal For Leadership in Learning, 16 April. Miller, C. (2002). The Politics of Grace and the Abuse of Power In Graves, S. R. & Addington, T. G. (eds.) Work on Leadership. Jossey-Bass. Moxley, R. (2000). Leadership and Spirit. Jossey-Bass. Starratt, R. J. (2004). Ethical Leadership. Jossey-Bass

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