This paper addresses the problem of developing an empirically supported knowledge underlying the practice of educational leadership and management in East Asia. The first part of the paper addresses the universality of the knowledge base in educational leadership and management. We develop the argument that the field of educational leadership and management in East Asia (and other parts of the developing world) relies heavily upon theory and empirical findings generated from Western socio-cultural contexts. We assert that leadership and management are socially constructed processes embedded in the normative cultures of particular societies. As such, while some aspects of leadership and management are undoubtedly “universally” applicable, others are not. This implies that the construction of a valid knowledge base has certain boundaries that cannot be taken for granted. Thus, we must test theory and conclusions generated in one culture against their application in other societal contexts. In the second part of the paper, we consider more specifically how to accelerate the development of an empirical knowledge base for the field in East Asia. This portion of the paper reflects on experience in Western contexts where the empirical knowledge base in the field has evolved slowly over the past 60 to 80 years. We suggest strategies that could be used to develop a more focused agenda and programs of research. We suggest that such strategies could reduce the amount of time needed to develop a stronger knowledge base with relevance to the practice of educational leadership and management in East Asian societies. Copyright © 2010 The Author.
|Publication status||Published - 2010|