Administrative theory without the ‘L’ word

Last year at the inaugural Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Theory Workshop, Professor Gabriele Lakomski (University of Melbourne) challenged presenters and participants to discuss their theoretical positions and empirical projects of educational administration without defaulting to the somewhat universal label of ‘leadership’.

In the broader organisational studies, while central, the scholarly value of ‘leadership’ remains contested. However, Educational Leadership, Management and Administration discourses have legitimised, and arguably canonised, ‘leadership’ while abandoning and demonising previously popular labels such as ‘management’ and ‘administration’.

Taking Professor Lakomski’s challenge serious, at the 2nd Educational Administration Theory Workshop we seek innovative and provocative dialogue from established and early career (including doctoral candidates) researchers for the purpose of sketching possible alternatives for advancing scholarship.

In recognition of the inter-disciplinary location of administration studies, we invite papers from scholars located in: management and business; policy and administration; political science; sociology; organisational studies; psychology; philosophy; history; law; and educational leadership.

Importantly, this workshop is not calling for the application or mapping of novel approaches on to the administration of institutions. Such approaches would leave existing theorisations of administration intact. Instead, we seek the mobilisation of intellectual resources to understand administration in new terms.

Contributing questions include, but not exclusively:

– In what ways are administrative theories shaped by and shaping of social institutions?

– How do we come to understand social institutions and their administration?

– Is the canonisation of ‘leadership’ limiting our understanding of social institutions?

Abstracts of up to 400 words are due by 5:00pm 28 February 2014. Working papers of 3,000-6,000 words are due by 31 May 2014 and will be distributed to registered participants two weeks before the workshop to enable pre-reading and meaningful engagement with ideas. For further information click here.

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