Relational Goods, Democracy, and the Paradox of Epistemic Privilege

Part of the Educational Leadership Theory book series (ELT)


Scott Eacott’s passionate advocacy for a relational approach to researching in educational administration borders on missionary zeal. It is almost a catechism. In his exposition of the virtues of adopting his version of a relational approach, he derides and criticizes much contemporary research on leadership as unproblematic and tautological where the a priori presence of a leader position in a bureaucracy is used as the raison d’etre for leadership itself. His disdain for much traditional “leadership studies” as amounting to a kind of folk wisdom is continuously hammered for the lack of scientific rigor replete with the absence of a specialized and technical terminology as dysfunctional and pre-scientific at best, self-deluding at worst. Relationality is more than simple civility or even mutual respect; rather it is centered on the more rational principles of reciprocity and at least intellectual parity among viewpoints so that there is an exchange. This is clearly not the case with Eacott’s advocacy and criticisms of educational administration and its lack of alleged scientificity as I shall illustrate in this brief chapter.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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