System leadership development in children’s centres in the UK

Stuart, Kaz ORCID logo ORCID: and Wilcox, Megan (2017) System leadership development in children’s centres in the UK. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, 8 (4). pp. 470-488.

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Purpose: The situation of children today, their development and future is a key dimension of the sustainability agenda. This case study aims to explore the value of “system leadership” as a useful concept for children’s centre leadership. Leadership in children’s centres is an under researched and under-supported area. This paper makes a new contribution to this sector of leadership and, in turn, broadens the scope of attention to sustainability leadership.

Design/methodology/approach: This paper uses case study as a methodology to convey the details of “system leadership” in Children’s Centres and enable the reader to assess the generalisability of the findings to their own context.

Findings: The data highlighted that the participants were coping with volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity as leaders of Children’s Centres. Leaders developed “system leadership” skills through action research oriented leadership development, and this enhanced their agency.

Practical implications: System leadership skills are effective in supporting leaders to cope with volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity and is applicable to Children’s Centres and beyond.

Social implications: Leadership development enhances the sustainability of organisations, staff and the people that they work with – in this case children and families. Investment in leadership development is therefore investment in the future of society.

Originality/value: This case study identifies leadership practices in an understudied and under theorised context – Children’s Centres in the UK.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal
Publisher: Emerald
ISSN: 2040-8021
Departments: Academic Departments > Health, Psychology & Social Studies (HPSS) > Children, Youth, Families and Community Work
Depositing User: Kaz Stuart
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2017 10:50
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 18:17


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