Sustainable strategic change in practice

Roberts, Julie

August 2007

Thesis or dissertation

© 2007 Julie Roberts. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

This investigation looks at what Head Teachers are doing to make strategic change sustainable. It seeks to determine the ways in which senior leaders are using strategic approaches to build in systems and procedures that will secure improvement over the longer term alongside the short term leadership and operational challenges.

The research focuses upon the key theoretical perspectives and conceptualframework for strategic leadership and sustainable improvement in schools today and the review of the literature looks at the concepts of strategy and strategic leadership to articulate how strategic management is central to sustainability. In developing a theory for action it draws upon the literature to build the main areas of research.

This qualitative emergent study generates data from semi-structured interviews with ten secondary Lincolnshire Head Teachers. The researchlooks at the situation of the individual schools and semi-structured interviews incorporate both subjective and objective information to demonstrate subjective meanings of events, processes and strategic change measures to enhance sustainable progress within schools.

The findings highlight that sustainability is about sustaining all that is good in a school and demonstrate that there is no single solution for achieving sustainable strategic change in schools today. A taxonomy of nine key principles for achieving sustainable strategic change is articulated in the closing chapter and the conclusions reached within this thesis demonstrate that the main driver of sustainable strategic leadership is having a clear moral purpose around which strategic change revolves. This extends to the wider moral purpose of developing partnerships and sharing responsibility across the community. Sustainable strategic change begins within the school with school leaders sharing the vision, developing the people and working to achieve both the short and longer term goals and then binding this together with external partnerships that renew and revive the creative energies of all concerned.

Centre for Educational Studies, The University of Hull
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