This chapter presents arguments for the roles of theory and socially critical theorising in researching educational leadership. We argue that the dominant (functionalist) scholarship in the field is explicitly anti-theoretical: we demonstrate that such theory-blindness does ideological work in reproducing discourses positioning leadership as a key mechanism for effecting state-mandated neoliberal reform. We propose four important aims of theory-informed scholarship in the field. The first is to make explicit the use of theory; second, to reconceptualise educational leadership; third, to trouble the ontological categorisation of educational leader; and finally, to render visible power relations and their differential and differentiating effects.