Making sense of assignment: on the complexity of being a school leader

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he primary aim of this paper is to narrow down the description of how school leaders interpret the assignment (the task) and identify the markers for how they look upon the conditions of doing a good job in Sweden. The aim is in the context of practice-based and process-oriented research. We use complexity and complexity theories to frame the emerging practice of leading and organizing. This is in contrast to technocratic homogenization—that is, law texts, steering documents, documentation, standardized methods, planning, and ceremonies. A questionnaire was conducted with three open questions (n=363 out of a possible 548 participants) and four focus groups (n=21). Complexity, dilemmas, and inconsistency emerge in the respondents’ answers the closer they are to everyday action. The results show that complexity theories put focus on a conflict between the image of schools as complicated and complex. Complicated is accompanied by generalizing and weak contextualizing of control systems, standardized methods, planning, law texts, and evidence-based education—that is, the concept of technocratic homogenization. Complexity theories emphasize the life in organizations, everyday practice as leaders, and a conflict between weak and robust contextualizing from the perspective as practice-based and process-oriented research.

Sidor (från-till)149-164
Antal sidor15
TidskriftNordic journal of comparative and international education (NJCIE)
StatusPublicerad - 2018

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