Friday, June 10, 2011

Moral Leadership Chapter 7 Collegiality as a Professional Virtue

  • There is widespread agreement that collegiality among teachers is an important ingredient of promoting better working conditions, improving teaching practice, and getting better results.
  • Understood as a form of professional virtue, collegiality is another powerful substitute for leadership.
  • Barriers to achieving collegiality in schools are both structural and attitudinal.
  • Contrived collegiality, by forcing people together, can take a toll on a teachers' time and compromise their professional autonomy.

The Dimensions of Virtue
  • There are two dimensions of collegiality as professional virtue. The first involves the fulfillment of obligations that stem from memberships - in the case of the school, membership in the teaching profession and in the school as a community.
  • The second dimension of collegiality has to do with why one behaves collegially.
  • What makes two people colleagues is common cause, shared professional values, and a shared professional heritage

Collegiality and the Control Paradox
  • Every organized human activity ... gives rise to two fundamental and opposing requirements: the division of labor into various tasks to be performed and the coordination of these tasks to accomplish the activity.
  • One way to solve the control paradox is through collegiality as a substitute for leadership.
  • The six strategies are
1. Directly and closely supervising teachers
2. Standardizing the work of teaching
3. Standardizing the outcomes of teaching
4. Emphasizing professional socialization
5. Emphasizing purposing
6. Structuring for collegiality and natural interdependence
  • If the strategy does not fit the level of complexity, the level of complexity will change to match the strategy
  • If form does not follow function, function will be shaped to fit the form.

Direct Supervision
The simplest way to control the work of people who have different responsibilities is to have one of those people take responsibility for the work of others.

Standardized Work Processes
Standardized work processes represent a form of coordination achieved on the drawing board before work is actually undertaken.

Standardized Outputs
Standardized outputs as a form of control are achieved when everyone is required to produce similar products or reach the same level of performance

Professional Socialization
In relying on professional socialization, one need not standardize either work processes or outputs to solve the control paradox. The term professional socialization means the upgrading of the knowledge base forteaching and an emphasis on teachers' professional obligations

Purposing and Shared Values
As a form of control, purposing and shared values can provide the substance of symbol management, furnishing the "glue" that binds people in a loosely connected world.

Collegiality and Natural Interdependence
When collegiality and natural interdependence are used, the control paradox can be solved through informal communication and the need for people to cooperate in order to be successful.

  • As work gets more complex, the emphasis must shift, from direct supervision to standardized work, standardized outputs, and emphasis on professional socialization, purposing, collegiality, and natural interdependence
  • Complex structures result in simple behaviors, and simple structures result in complex behaviors.

Collegiality can be another substitute for leadership, as the organization works for one another because of attachments that are made working towards the same goals. Collegiality can be strategists in six steps: direct and close supervision, standardization of work, standardization of outcomes, emphasizing professional socialization, emphasizing purposing, and structuring for collegiality and natural independence. These strategies work toward developing a set of behaviors that range from simple to complex, and can be modified to meet the complexity level of the organization.

This chapter attempts to describe collegiality and the effects that it has as a substitute for leadership. Collegiality is the professional socialization of the organization towards a goal. As the organization develops goals and visions, it will migrate across a continuum of complexity. The issue is that there are multiple communities within the organization that mint be at various levels of complexity and collegiality, and some leaders or members of the organization cross-section those communities, so their collegiality level may be different through their various interactions. I specifically think of staff that may work part time in a middle school and part time in the high school; the organizations may have differing approaches to collegiality and followership which may add emotional stresses.

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

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