Edited By Carrie Rogers, Kofi Lomotey and Adriel Hilton
Chapter One: Relational Leadership and its Implications for Educational Leadership and Practice (John J. Sherlock)
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Relational Leadership AND ITS Implications FOR Educational Leadership AND Practice
JOHN J. SHERLOCK
The intent of this chapter is to discuss the theoretical and practical understandings of relational leadership and to consider their implications for educational leadership and practice. While there has been general agreement for some time that leadership has a “relational” component (Follett, 1927; Graen & Uhl-Bien, 1995; Hollander & Julian, 1969; Stogdill & Coons, 1957), most of the attention in research and practice until recently has been limited to interactions initiated by designated “leaders” to “followers” (Wood & Dibben, 2015). Additionally, while the relational dimension of leadership has been discussed within educational leadership (Allen, Grigsby, & Peters, 2015; Gronn, 2002; Spillane, Halverson, & Diamond, 2001), it has not been the focus. Relational leadership views “relationship” as the fundamental aspect of leadership (Alvesson & Sveningsson, 2012; Uhl-Bien, 2006). While in her original conceptualization of relational leadership, Uhl-Bien (2006) referred to it as “Relational Leadership Theory” (RLT), her later work on relational leadership (Uhl-Bien & Ospina, 2012) describes relational leadership less of a theory and more of an overarching framework and “umbrella term” for research that “studies leadership as generated in social processes and relationships among people” (p. 573).
What follows begins with a discussion of the core elements of relational leadership. Given space limitations, the review of relational leadership literature is not intended to be exhaustive; rather, it draws heavily on the nearly...
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