chapter  4
19 Pages

Micro-politics

Understanding the shadow system

Change and the prospect of change are the most potent and obvious engines of politics. Change often brings to the surface tensions and potentialities for conflict that in quieter times remain dormant. This chapter focuses on psychodynamic dimension of human engagement and change processes, which involve the familiar political patterns of grouping, splitting into factions, coalescing around differing ideas, perceptions and ideologies and alliances for and against individuals and groups and what they are perceived to stand for. Stephen Ball develops a classic politics of leadership with five style types in the performance of head teachers: interpersonal, managerial, political, adversarial and authoritarian. J. Blase and G. Anderson develop a micro-political leadership matrix with four similar leadership styles: adversarial, democratic/empowering, facilitative and authoritarian. The chapter describes how the college did attempt to occupy the learning zone, and reviews the competing forces that were encountered in the process.