School Organisation: Authority, status and love as an integrative power

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter explores authority and status, and the boundaries and hierarchies they create, as ubiquitous features of educational organisations. The context is the openness discourse which challenges boundaries in contemporary organisations. Concepts of authority and status and their continuing relevance in more open organisations are examined. Their benefits in legitimising differences and boundaries in expertise, capabilities and experience conducive to innovation and mutual learning are recognised. So too are their negative features - the potential for division, conflict and injustice that can threaten goals of integration and the promise of innovation and mutual learning. In response to the challenges of these negative features, the notion of love as an integrative power lessening or transcending power distances embedded in authority and status relationships is examined. The chapter concludes that love as an integrative power is capable of fostering critical evaluation of authorisation and status attribution and their resultant boundaries and of nurturing integration that aids innovation, learning and values of shared humanity and social justice. Love is commended as an important capability that can be developed and exercised in critically navigating the numerous and diverse authority and status divisions in more open organisations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe SAGE Handbook of School Organization
EditorsMichael Connolly, David Eddy Spicer, Chris James, Sharon Kruse
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherSAGE Publications
ISBN (Print)9781526420664
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2019


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