Context-Responsive Leadership Article Review

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Bredeson, P. V., Klar, H. W., & Johansson, O. (June 01, 2011). Context-Responsive Leadership: Examining Superintendent Leadership in Context. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 19, 18

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Summary Description of Article

One of the concepts that have widely been practiced teaching practices has always been that the context of ideas would interfere with the manner in which leadership is carried out. The description of the nature of studies trickles down to the superintendents since they are the common denominator in establishing better studies. At the same time, the studies also show the manner in which the contest of their studies varies from one setting to another.

Statement of the issue or problem

The reason as to why the studies were carried out was to establish the nature of the relationship between the ideology of politics, demographics, geographic, psychological, organizational and cultural about the professional work that is conducted by the superintendents. The pragmatic perspective of the article was to investigate the element of the context in Sweden and Wisconsin to assist in the explanation of the paramount variances within the priorities set at work and the demands by the superintendents.

Summary of Article

One of the aspects that were vividly noticed was that the superintendents were leaders as they had a critical role in establishing the correct work priorities and essential roles that they can define according to their skills and reputation. At the same time, the superintendents were not in a position to establish and explain their leadership perspective and behavior since they knew that the best people to ascertain this were their professional colleagues. The leaders understood that their position was not about them but was governed by the explanation by others who could acknowledge them as generous, honest, caring, forthright and creative. However, the nature of their leadership could be weighed in the context of their daily participation in the activities within the system and work regarding their practices.

The article also indicated that the there is a paradox in leadership where all the superintendents in have similarities in the nature in which they conduct their work. The assessment of their work primary gives an indication that they have responsibilities that are attached to their formal roles rather than their expressions in their practice. For instance, the concept of measuring the academic performance of the students in Sweden could be compared to the concept of No Child Left Behind ideology in Wisconsin, which would command a significant aspect of leadership by the superintendents. Moreover, the art of leadership in superintendents is used in the explanation of concepts such as accountability, achievement gaps and standards within the system, which might not be present in a Swedish set up of leadership in schools.

The research conducted in the article also claims that leadership skills in superintendents establish an emerging theory whereby leaders are responsive to the context. The ideology presented in the article bases this argument on the implications of the contingency theory of leadership. Furthermore, there is a reciprocating ideology between the leadership and context since the emerging concept is supported by context-responsive leadership. The idea also instigates that the context responsive leadership can be expressed through the behavior of the leader, their action and the absence of the predisposed styles that consists of qualities that are de-contextualized. Through the studies, the article also highlighted five essential variations with the aim of illustrating the concept of the context-responsive leadership. The variations included organizational culture, school district size, geographic and context of the community, political context and commercial context. The variations give the superintendents the responsive and anticipatory engagement as per the dynamics explained by their practice.

Findings and Conclusions

The findings of the paper indicate that the ideas presented within the context responsive leadership are useful during the examination of different variations in the manner in which the superintendents conduct their work. At the same time, the concept is also useful for the leaders to acknowledge and realized their goals within their district. Superintendents that can recognize this ideology, and then they would be in a position to effectively practice their duties and enjoy a great deal of success.

Implications of the Ideas Presented In the Article for School and Community Relations

The concept is essential for superintendents in practicing a common approach in demonstrating their leadership skills through the application of context-responsive leadership. Moreover, the leaders have the capability of turning a micro-contextual ideology into becoming something that is complex and has a larger point of view. Therefore, the context is essential to establishing a long-term solution to the party that is willing to develop a trust and relationship while dealing with contentious issues in leadership. The concepts also helped the leaders in understanding their ability in knowing when to pushback and reshape their environment in practicing actions such as promoting the successes in the district and educating the stakeholders within their particular field on the important issues to be tackled by the community.


Bredeson, P. V., Klar, H. W., & Johansson, O. (June 01, 2011). Context-Responsive Leadership: Examining Superintendent Leadership in Context. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 19, 18.)

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