Advertisement

Superintendent Leadership in Hierarchy and Network

  • Jan Merok Paulsen
  • Elisabet Nihlfors
  • Ulf Brinkkjær
  • Mika Risku
Chapter
Part of the Educational Governance Research book series (EGTU, volume 2)

Abstract

School superintendents are coupled hierarchically with the top apex of municipality organization through their membership of leadership teams and through personal ties to the top municipal manager, which provides opportunities to take part in strategic decision-making processes beyond the educational sector. Superintendents are also vertically linked to their school leaders through strong and dense network ties. Along the horizontal axis superintendents are active network players with peers, for example through superintendent associations or more frequently mentioned through personal ties to superintendent colleagues. Superintendents are linked to school boards through strong formal ties. In this chapter, the formation and utilization of network ties within the hierarchy by superintendents is analyzed in concert with horizontal network with peers. School board networking within hierarchy and with the political power center of the municipality is analyzed. Finally, the use that school leaders make of the network in relation to superintendents is discussed.

Keywords

Governance hierarchy Social network Network structure Network engagement Organizational trust 

References

  1. Blau, P., & Scott, W. R. (2003). Formal organizations. A comparative approach. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Borgatti, S. P., & Foster, P. C. (2003). The network paradigm in organizational research: A review and typology. Journal of Management Studies, 29(6), 991–1013.Google Scholar
  3. Brass, D. J., Calaskiewicz, J., Greve, H. R., & Tsai, W. (2004). Taking stock of networks and organizations: A multilevel perspective. Academy of Management Journal, 47(6), 795–817.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Burt, R. S. (1992). Structural holes. The social structure of competition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Castells, M. (2000). The rise of the network society. Malden: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  6. Cross, R., & Cummings, J. N. (2004). Tie and network correlates of individual performance in knowledge-intensive work. Academy of Management Journal, 47(6), 928–937.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Daft, R. L., & Weick, K. (2001). Toward a model of organizations as interpretation systems. In K. Weick (Ed.), Making sense of the organization. Malden: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  8. DiMaggio, P., & Powell, W. W. (1983). The iron cage revisited: Institutional isomorphism and collective rationality in organizational fields. American Sociological Review, 48(2), 147–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Floyd, S. W., & Wooldridge, B. (1997). Middle management’s strategic influence and organizational performance. Journal of Management Studies, 34(3), 465–485.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Granovetter, M. (1973). The strength of weak ties. American Journal of Sociology, 78(6), 1360–1380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hansen, M. (1999). The search-transfer problem: The role of weak ties in sharing knowledge across organizational subunits. Administrative Science Quarterly, 44, 82–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hernes, G. (1983). Forhandlingsøkonomi og blandingsadministrasjon [Negotiation-economy and blended administration]. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.Google Scholar
  13. Homme, A. D. (2008). Den kommunale skolen. Det lokale skolefeltet i historisk perspektiv [The municipal school. The local school field analyzed from a historical perspective]. Doctoral dissertation. University of Bergen, Bergen.Google Scholar
  14. Hooghe, L., & Marks, G. (2010). Types of multi-level governance. In H. Enderlein, S. Wälti, & M. Zürn (Eds.), Handbook on multi-level governance. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  15. Høyer, H. C., & Wood, E. (2011). Trust and control: Public administration and risk society. International Journal of Learning and Change, 5(2), 178–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Høyer, H. C., Paulsen, J. M., Nihlfors, E., Kofod, K., Kanervio, P., & Pulkkinen, S. (2014). Control and trust in local school governance. In L. Moos & J. M. Paulsen (Eds.), School boards in the governance process (pp. 101–116). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Johansson, O., Nihlfors, E., & Steen, L. J. (2014). School boards and their functions in Sweden. In L. Moos & J. M. Paulsen (Eds.), School boards in the governance process. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  18. Katz, N., Lazer, D., Arrow, H., & Contractor, N. (2004). Network theory and small groups. Small Group Research, 35(3), 307–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. March, J. G., & Simon, H. A. (1993). Organizations (2nd ed.). Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Business.Google Scholar
  20. Mayer, R. C., Davis, J. H., & Schoorman, F. D. (1995). An integrative model of organizational trust. Academy of Management Review, 20, 709–734.Google Scholar
  21. Mintzberg, H. (1993). Structure in fives. Designing effective organizations. New York: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  22. Nelson, R. M., & Winter, S. G. (1982). An evolutionary theory of economic change. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Nihlfors, E., & Johansson, O. (2013). Rektor – en stark länk i styrningen av skolan [The school principal-a strong linkage in school governing]. Stockholm: SNS Förlag.Google Scholar
  24. Nonaka, I. (1994). A dynamic theory of organizational knowledge creation. Organization Science, 5(1), 14–37.Google Scholar
  25. Nordby, T. (1994). Korporatisme på norsk [Corporatism in Norwegian]. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.Google Scholar
  26. Pappas, J. M., Flaherty, K. E., & Wooldridge, B. (2004). Tapping into hospital champions-strategic middle managers. Health Care Management Review, 29(1), 8–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Paulsen, J. M. (2014). Norwegian superintendents as mediators of change initiatives. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 13, 407–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Paulsen, J. M., & Hjertø, K. B. (2014). Exploring individual-level and group-level levers for inter-organizational knowledge transfer. The Learning Organization, 21(4), 274–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Paulsen, J. M., & Moos, L. (2014). Globalisation and Europeanisation of Nordic governance. In L. Moos & J. M. Paulsen (Eds.), School boards in the governance process. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  30. Paulsen, J. M., & Skedsmo, G. (2014). Mediating tensions between state control, local autonomy and professional trust. Norwegian School District Leadership in Practice. In A. Nir (Ed.), The educational superintendent: Between trust and regulation: An international perspective. New York: Lambert Academic Publishing.Google Scholar
  31. Paulsen, J. M., & Strand, M. (2014). School boards in Norway. In L. Moos & J. M. Paulsen (Eds.), School boards in the governance process. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  32. Perrow, C. (1986). Complex organizations. A critical essay (3rd ed.). New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  33. Powell, W. W. (1990). Neither market nor hierarchy: Network forms of organization. Research in Organizational Behavior, 12, 295–336.Google Scholar
  34. Rhodes, R. A. W. (1997). Understanding governance: Policy networks, governance, reflexivity and accountability. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Rousseau, D. M., Sitkin, S. B., Burt, R. S., & Camerer, C. (1998). Not so different after all: A cross-discipline view of trust. Academy of Management Review, 23, 393–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Scott, W. R. (2003). Organizations: Rational, natural, and open systems (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall: Pearson Education International.Google Scholar
  37. Simon, H. A. (1997). Administrative behavior: A study of decision-making processes in administrative organization (4th ed.). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  38. Song, M., & Miskel, C. G. (2005). Who are the influentials? A cross-state social network analysis of the reading policy domain. Educational Administration Quarterly, 41(2), 7–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Stoker, G. (1998a). Governance as theory. International Social Science Journal, 50(155), 17–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Stoker, G. (1998b). Governance as theory: Five propositions: UNESCO.Google Scholar
  41. Telhaug, A. O., Mediås, O. A., & Aasen, P. (2006). The Nordic model in education: Education as a part of the political system in the last 50 years. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 50(3), 245–283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Thompson, J. D. (1967). Organizations in action: Social science bases of administrative theory. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  43. Thune, T. (2006). Formation of research collaboration between universities and firms. Doctoral dissertation, BI Norwegian School of Management, Oslo.Google Scholar
  44. Tsai, W. (2001). Knowledge transfer in intraorganizational networks: Effects of network position and absorptive capacity on business unit innovation and performance. Academy of Management Journal, 44(5), 996–1004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Tushman, M. L., & Scanlan, T. J. (1981). Characteristics and external orientation of boundary spanning individuals. Academy of Management Journal, 24(1), 83–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Wageman, R., Nunes, D. A., Burruss, J. A., & Hackman, J. R. (2008). Senior leadership teams. What it takes to make them great. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing.Google Scholar
  47. Weber, M. (1947). The theory of social and economic organization. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Merok Paulsen
    • 1
  • Elisabet Nihlfors
    • 2
  • Ulf Brinkkjær
    • 3
  • Mika Risku
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculty of Teacher Education and International StudiesOslo and Akershus University College of Applied ScienceOsloNorway
  2. 2.Department of EducationUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  3. 3.Department of EducationAarhus UniversityCopenhagenDenmark
  4. 4.Institute of Educational LeadershipUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland

Personalised recommendations