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Investigating collaborative leadership for communities of practice in learning and skills

Investigating collaborative leadership for communities of practice in learning and skills

Jameson, Jill (2007) Investigating collaborative leadership for communities of practice in learning and skills. Project Report. Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK.

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This research report on the findings of a collaborative leadership research was funded by the Centre for Excellence in Leadership (CEL) at Lancaster University in 2006-07. The project aimed to collect and analyse data on ‘collaborative leadership’ (CL) in the learning and skills sector (LSS). The project investigated ‘collaborative leadership’ and its potential for benefiting staff through trust and knowledge sharing in communities of practice (CoPs). The project complemented CEL’s ongoing work in the Collaboration in Leadership programme (CiL), aiming to promote advantageous aspects of CL and avoid possible pitfalls. Using an online survey research design, the project collected 221 survey responses on ‘collaborative leadership’ from a range of participants in or connected with the sector.‘Collaborative leadership’ has increasingly gained international prominence as emphasis has shifted towards team leadership approaches beyond zero-sum ‘leadership’/’followership’ polarities into mature conceptions of shared leadership spaces, within which synergistic collaboration may be mediated. The relevance of collaboration to the LSS has been highlighted following the 2006 FE White Paper. The promotion of CL addresses concerns about the apparent ‘remoteness’ of some senior managers, and ‘neo-management’ control of professionals which increases ‘distance’ between leaders and ‘followers’ and may de-professionalise staff. Positive benefit from ‘collaborative advantage’ tends to be assumed in idealistic interpretations of CL, but potential ‘collaborative inertia’ may be problematic in a sector characterised by topdown policy changes. Constant pressure for achievement against goals leaves little time for democratic group negotiations, despite the desires of leaders to create a collaborative ethos. Prior models of intentional communities of practice (CoPs) potentially offer promise for CL practice to improve group performance. The CAMEL model (JISC infoNet, 2006) provides one potential practical way of implementing CL.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Additional Information: [1] This is one of a series of research reports carried out for the Centre for Excellence in Leadership, Lancaster University Management School. The later publication, Distributed and Shared Leadership, edited by Professor David Collinson (March 2008) builds further on this particular CEL research publication. [2] Please note that The Centre for Excellence in Leadership (CEL) joined forces with the Quality Improvement Agency (QIA) in October 2008 and is now the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS).
Uncontrolled Keywords: Leadership; educational leadership; communities of practice; learning and skills sector
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education & Health
Faculty of Education & Health > Centre for Leadership & Enterprise
Faculty of Education & Health > Education Research Group
Faculty of Education & Health > Department of Secondary, LLTE & PE & Sport
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Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:08

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