Marketization, Managerialism and Welfare State Professionalism
Edited by Tanja Klenk and Emmanuele Pavolini
Chapter 10: Reforming school leadership: from primus inter pares to managers?
The publication of the PISA-study in 2001 resulted in considerable turbulence within the German educational system. It opened a window of opportunity for political initiatives for organizational reform that were, indeed, actively pursued (Tillmann et al. 2008). Among the diverse objectives of reform, the transformation of school management is of special importance. Principals who were once conceptualized as primus inter pares are now supposed to transform into managers and to act as agents of change. In line with discourses on new public management, increases in managerial competences are conceived as necessary conditions for improving organizational performance. These principals are witnessing a transformation of their professional identity. A transformation that can only be fully understood if it is situated within the dynamics of welfare state reform. In general, the restructuring of the welfare state in terms of new public management is pervasive in contemporary world society (Sahlin-Andersson 2001). It takes place in a social landscape that is populated by legions of organizations (Perrow 1991; Schimank 2005). Professional organizations like hospitals, universities or schools play a decisive role in delivering public services. They are characterized by organizational structures (Luhmann 1988) that mediate organizational demands with professional expectations (Abbott 1988; Oevermann 2008; Stichweh 1996): Their programs and networks of communication, their personnel and their positional structures have to accommodate to case specific behavior based on a body of general knowledge that crosses organizational boundaries.
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