The School Leader as Ideal Type: How to Reconcile Max Weber with the Concept of School Culture
Chapter, Peer reviewed
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Original versionOpen and Equal Access for Learning in School Management. 2018, 41-56
Managing and developing a school organization from a cultural perspective requires a different approach to leadership than instrumental or pragmatic standpoints. Most organizations have multiple and even conflicting subcultures. Central issues are how subcultures appear in the individual and in the social structures of the school organization and how they constitute a connected system of meanings. School leaders of today should develop strategic visions for their institutions and perform as role models for students and teachers. Maintaining the balance between long-term development goals and a rapidly changing reality is a challenge for every leader. The school leader as ideal type means that the traditional descriptions of leaders and leadership are no longer enough to face the twenty-first century challenges for schools. School leaders must acquire an ability to understand what social action is and use this knowledge in relation to individual social actors. By reconciling Max Weber with the impact of school culture, I visualize an ideal type for a school leader with a focus on equity and quality in education, in accordance to European demands and standards. School leaders can benefit from the use of autoethnographic strategies to achieve an increased understanding of their practice.