The difference between educational management and educational leadership and the importance of educational responsibility.

Michael Connolly, Chris James, Michael Fertig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)
242 Downloads (Pure)


Educational management and educational leadership are central concepts in understanding organising in educational institutions but their meaning, the difference between them and their value in educational organising remain the subject of debate. In this article, we analyse and contrast the two concepts. We conclude that educational management entails carrying the responsibility for the proper functioning of a system in an educational institution in which others participate. Carrying a responsibility of this kind is a state of mind and does not necessitate actions, though it typically and frequently does. In contrast, educational leadership is the act of influencing others in educational settings to achieve goals and necessitates actions of some kind. When those carrying a delegated responsibility act in relation to that responsibility, they influence, and are therefore leading. Although educational leadership is ideally undertaken responsibly, in practice it does not necessarily entail carrying the responsibility for the functioning of the educational system in which the influence is exercised. Through our analysis, the notion of responsibility, which is underplayed in considerations of organising in educational institutions, comes to the fore. Educational responsibility is an important notion and it should play a more prominent role in analyses of organising in educational institutions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)504-519
Number of pages16
JournalEducational Management Administration and Leadership
Issue number4
Early online date20 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


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