Leadership

Training Your Own: The Impact of New York City’s Aspiring Principals Program on Achievement

Training Your Own: The Impact of New York City’s Aspiring Principals Program on Achievement
Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 34(2): 232-253.

Corcoran, S. P., Schwartz, A. E., & Weinstein
09/13/2013

The New York City Leadership Academy represents a unique experiment by a large urban school district to train and develop its own school leaders. Its 14-month Aspiring Principals Program (APP) selects and prepares aspiring principals to lead low-performing schools. This study provides the first systematic evaluation of achievement in APP-staffed schools after 3 or more years. We examine differences between APP principals and those advancing through other routes, the extent to which APP graduates serve and remain in schools, and their relative performance in mathematics and English language arts. On balance, we find that APP principals performed about as well as other new principals. If anything, they narrowed the gap with comparison schools in English language arts but lagged behind in mathematics.

The blind leading: Power reduces awareness of constraints

The blind leading: Power reduces awareness of constraints
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49, 579-582.

Whitson, JA, KA Liljenquist, AD Galinsky, JC Magee, DH Gruenfeld, & B Cadena.
01/01/2013

Previous research has found that power increases awareness of goal-relevant over goal-irrelevant information. However, this work has failed to distinguish between goal-facilitating and goal-inhibiting information, both of which are goal relevant. The current research investigated whether power increases the cognitive resources devoted to goal-facilitating information or reduces the cognitive resources devoted to goal-constraining information. Two experiments found that, compared to low-power individuals, high-power individuals recalled less goal-constraining information and generated fewer potential constraints that would prevent the protagonist of a story from completing his goal. However, there was no difference between the powerful and powerless in their recall or generation of goal-facilitating information. These results suggest that the powerful are more likely to act on their goals because the constraints that normally inhibit action are less psychologically present for them.

Learn and Let Learn: Supporting Learning Communities for Innovation and Impact

Learn and Let Learn: Supporting Learning Communities for Innovation and Impact
RCLA and Grantmakers for Effective Organizations Guide; November 2012

Research Center for Leadership in Action and Scaling What Works
11/06/2012

This guide from RCLA and Grantmakers for Effective Organizations explores the power of learning communities to build connections and knowledge to increase organizations’ community impact. Based on six case studies, the guide explains ways grantmakers can strategically support these efforts as well as key elements for designing learning communities, executing for success and extending the learning.

Advancing Relational Leadership Research: A Dialogue Among Perspectives

Advancing Relational Leadership Research: A Dialogue Among Perspectives
Leadership Horizons Series, Information Age Publishing.

Ospina, Sonia and Mary Uhl-Bien eds.
07/12/2012

Leaders and followers live in a relational world-a world in which leadership occurs in complex webs of relationships and dynamically changing contexts. Despite this, our theories of leadership are grounded in assumptions of individuality and linear causality. If we are to advance understandings of leadership that have more relevance to the world of practice, we need to embed issues of relationality into leadership studies. This volume addresses this issue by bringing together, for the first time, a set of prominent scholars from different paradigmatic and disciplinary perspectives to engage in dialogue regarding how to meet the challenges of relationality in leadership research and practice. Included are cutting edge thinking, heated debate, and passionate perspectives on the issues at hand. The chapters reveal the varied and nuanced treatments of relationality that come from authors' alternative paradigmatic (entity, constructionist, critical) views. Dialogue scholars-reacting to the chapters-engage in spirited debate regarding the commensurability (or incommensurability) of the paradigmatic approaches. The editors bring the dialogue together with introductory and concluding chapters that offer a framework for comparing and situating the competing assumptions and perspectives spanning the relational leadership landscape. Using paradigm interplay they unpack assumptions, and lay out a roadmap for relational leadership research. A key takeaway is that advancing relational leadership research requires multiple paradigmatic perspectives, and scholars who are conversant in the assumptions brought by these perspectives. The book is aimed at those who feel that much of current leadership thinking is missing the boat in today's complex, relational world. It provides an essential resource for all leadership scholars and practitioners curious about the nature of research on leadership, both those with much research exposure and those new to the field.

On the folly of principals' power: Managerial psychology as a cause of bad incentives

On the folly of principals' power: Managerial psychology as a cause of bad incentives
Research in Organizational Behavior, 31, 25-41

Magee, Joe C., Gavin Kilduff, & Chip Heath.
01/01/2011

Faulty and dysfunctional incentive systems have long interested, and frustrated, managers and organizational scholars alike. In this analysis, we pick up where Kerr (1975) left off and advance an explanation for why bad incentive systems are so prevalent in organizations. We propose that one contributing factor lies in the psychology of people who occupy managerial roles. Although designing effective incentive systems is a challenge wrought with perils for anyone, we believe the psychological consequences and correlates of higher rank within organizations make the challenge more severe for managers. Patterns of promotion and hiring typically yield managers that are more competent than their employees, and ascending to management positions increases individuals' workload and power. In turn, these factors make managers more egocentrically anchored and cognitively abstract, while also reducing their available cognitive capacity for any given task, all of which we argue limits their ability to design effective incentives for employees. Thus, ironically, those with the power to design incentives may be those least able to effectively do so. We discuss four specific types of bad incentive systems that can arise from these psychological tendencies in managers: those that over-emphasize compensation, generate weak motivation, offer perverse motivation, or are misaligned with organizational culture.

Motivating people

Motivating people
In L. R. Burns, E. Bradley & B. Weiner (eds.), Health care management: A text in organization behavior and theory. New York: Delmar, 6th edition, 2010.

D’Aunno, T. & Gilmartin, M. J.
05/20/2010

Building Bridges from Margins: The Work of Leadership in Social Change Organizations

Building Bridges from Margins: The Work of Leadership in Social Change Organizations
The Leadership Quarterly  

Ospina, S. and E. G. Foldy
01/01/2010

Attention to the relational dimensions of leadership represents a new frontier of leadership research and is an expression of the growing scholarly interest in the conditions that foster collective action within and across boundaries. This article explores the antecedents of collaboration from the perspective of social change organizations engaged in processes of collaborative governance. Using a constructionist lens, the study illuminates the question how do social change leaders secure the connectedness needed for collaborative work to advance their organization's mission? The article draws on data from a national, multi-year, multi-modal qualitative study of social change organizations and their leaders. These organizations represent disenfranchised communities which aspire to influence policy makers and other social actors to change the conditions that affect their members' lives. Narrative analysis of transcripts from in-depth interviews in 38 organizations yielded five leadership practices that foster strong relational bonds either within organizations or across boundaries with others. The article describes how these practices nurture interdependence either by forging new connections, strengthening existing ones, or capitalizing on strong ones.

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