In the lifelong learning sector there has been a requirement to adapt to ever changing economic and social influences, in order to remain competitive and to raise the quality of teaching within the sector. DfES (2006, pp11:13) introduced a key report, Raising Skills, Improving Life Chances, which suggested that economic viability should be considered a vital role of the sector, in promoting a ‘world class education system that provides a high quality learning experience for all’. Competitiveness is essential in order to remain economically viable. DfES (2006) suggests that where management and leadership in Further Educational establishments (FE) demonstrate strength, quality will ensue.
Lifelong Learning UK (2005) indicate leadership in FE to be the process by which staff are focussed towards achievement of specified outcomes, having been motivated and provided with clarity on the vision to be achieved whereas management involves the methods and resources required to ensure success.
Fullan (1991, p157) makes the case that leadership 'relates to mission, direction, inspiration', whereas management 'involves designing and carrying out plans, getting things done, working effectively with people'. Jameson and McNay (2007) suggest that both leadership and management should exist concurrently at all levels within college in order for success to be achieved, a thought also stated by Bush and Middlewood (2005). Similarly Zaccaro (2002, p451) suggests that team work involves people who have ‘specific and unique roles, where the performance of each role contributes to collective success.’
Goleman (2002) as well as Jameson and McNay (2007), support the concept that leadership is distributed across all members of the team, at all levels suggestive of team work and the concept of a democratic leadership style as suggested by Lewin, Lippitt and White (1939). Western (2008) in contrast suggests leadership has, in previous years, been linked to an individual who holds power within an organisation, a concept held by Yukl (2002) and reflective of the autocratic leadership style outlined by Lewin et al. (1939). Western (2002) does go on to acknowledge more recently, a shift in thinking towards the need for leadership to be distributed or dispersed reflecting the view held by Goleman (2002).
Bennet, Wise, Woods and Harvey (2003) determined three clear principles associated with distributive leadership. It is firstly suggested that successful leadership evolves when individuals interact collectively utilising individual initiative and expertise, a democratic leadership style, and similar to the principles of teamwork outlined by Zaccaro (2002). Bennett et al. (2003) suggest this type of leadership results in greater achievements than would have been encountered by individuals, a concept supported by Gronn (2002); Maslow (1968) would suggest that security needs have been met hence the reason for greater achievements. Bennet et al. (2003, p7) go on...