Friday, June 10, 2011

Moral Leadership Chapter 3 The Sources of Authority for Leadership

  • When we base our leadership practice on bureaucratic authority, teachers respond appropriately or face the consequences.
  • Psychological authority is expressed in the form of motivational technology and human relations skills. When we base our leadership practice on psychological authority, teachers are supposed to respond to our personality, and to the pleasant environment that we provide, by behaving appropriately and collecting the rewards we make available.
  • Principals' being instructional leaders and basing their practice on teaching-effectiveness research or school-effectiveness research: in other words, rely on technical-rational authority. Technical-rational authority exists in the form of evidence derived from logic and scientific research.
  • Expect teachers to respond in light of what is considered to be true.
  • The true leader is one who builds in substitutes for "follow me" leadership, which enable people to respond from within.
  • "Follow me" leadership, in other words, is management-intensive.
  • It tends to induce a state of subordination among teachers
  • Professional authority, in the form of seasoned craft knowledge and personal expertise
  • Teachers can be expected to respond to common socialization, accepted tenets of practice, and internalized expertise
  • Moral authority- duties derived from widely shared values, ideas and ideals
  • Teachers can be expected to respond to shared commitments and felt interdependence
  • What to follow: the shared values and beliefs that define us as a community
  • Why: because it is morally right to do so
  • Whom should we follow: Ourselves as members and as morally conscious, committed people
  • expect and inspect
  • Most school administrators tend to see knowledge and skill about how to motivate, apply the correct leadership style, boost morale, and engineer the right interpersonal climate as representing the heart of what school administration is- the "core technology" of the educational administration profession
  • Psychological leadership cannot tap the full range and depth of human capacity and will
  • There are better motives for teachers', students', and parents' involvement than the leader's personality or psychological rewards
  • Being a successful administrator depends not on the adequacy of one's view, not on the educational policies that one adopts and how reasonable they are, and not on how successful one is in communicating these reasons to others.
  • Like other professionals, teachers cannot become effective by following scripts. Instead, they need to create knowledge in use as they practice - becoming skilled surfers who ride the wave of the pattern of teaching
  • Professional authority as a basis for leadership assumes that the expertise of teachers is what counts most
  • When there is conflict, knowledge yields
  • Professional authority is a very powerful force for governing what teachers do. For it to take hold, however, we need to increase our investment in teacher preparation, professional development, and other efforts to upgrade teaching
  • We can do much to advance leadership by moving moral authority - the authority of felt obligations and duties derived from widely shared professional and community values, ideas and ideals - to center stage.
  • We must direct our efforts to creating learning communities in each school.

This chapter focuses on the sources of authority that leaders have to influence the school: bureaucratic, psychological, technical-rational, professional and moral. These 5 sources of authority elicit different outcomes based on the level of followership. The main purpose of exercising authority is to provide development and increase instructional practice.

I feel that these stages are relatively appropriate through professional authority. Once entering into the phase of moral authority, the emphasis on leadership shifts from the leader in the professional phase, where the leader becomes facilitator to the organization. Moral authority to me seems to be tricky because control is left to the shared values of the organization. where this can be a drawback is if the organizational values shift over time and are out of perspective with the goals of the organization. In this case, the leader must employ various other sources of authority to steer the organization, which might cause some alignment issues.

Once an organization is at the professional and moral authority stages, there seems to be a connectedness between the leader and organization, so much so that any change in leadership might disturb the organizations maturity. A new leader entering an organization at an advanced phase needs to observe and flow for a while while gauging where the organization is at, and then contributing to the organization. In this sense, it is extremely important for the organization to hire for that leadership position based on the qualifications of the leader and the direction of leadership and goals for program improvement, but also for the followers in the organization to have input. Once an organization reaches the professional/moral levels, the leader is both authority and follower, and must have comfort and skill (and experience) in leading from this position.

Works Cited
Sergiovanni, T. (1992). Moral Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.


  1. How Authority related to leadership?

    1. Sergiovanni asserts that leadership doesn't "just happen". Leadership comes from certain sources. These sources - wellsprings of authority - are bureaucratic, psychological, technical rational, professional, and moral in nature.

      Most importantly are the asserted outcomes for organizations for each Source of Authority: bureaucratic, technical rational, psychological - constrained; professional sources of authority - expansive; moral sources of authority - expansive and sustained.