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Branding in Education
An examination into current branding, communication and innovation theories and their practical application to the modern educational environment
“Education Education Education Ask me my three main priorities for government, and I will tell you: education, education and education. We are 35th in the world league of education standards - 35th. At every level, radical improvement and reform”
"We are back as the people's party, says Blair", The Times, 2 October 1996 http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Tony_Blair
Marketing in modern education
Branding of schools
What message is being given how is it received by the various stake holder groups
\One of the key stakeholder groups are teacher - they are at the coal face. What message have they received and what do they understand is the key message that they then pass on to children, parents and potential parents that they meet?
So this project is to research into the brand values that the school offers and what the Brand expectations are to the teachers.
The results are then looked at in practical terms . how do the smt put the correct measures in place to effect the correct brand management. What actions do they need to take to ensure effective IMC.
We can examine brand protection within education by looking at Bedales - how does external policies effect the schools actions. There is a needs for full environmental audit SWOT, proximate factors (ie Porters five forces force change) and STEEPLE (or what ever).
Examination of brand awareness and how brand
We need to examine the change of perceived brand value fr Past to present and then to the future.
Is there confusion within the Bedales schools? Is the brand value understood by the staff. No marcoms
What is the brand? - Senior management don't know and give confusing messages - they talk the talk but have an academic agenda. They wear ties when having interviews but not when they the meet students
No reference in any meetings, including regular weekly meetings, student disciplinary meetings, pastoral meeting or new student selection meetings o the schools 5 key aims. Lighthouse says the aims of a school should give an outline for a “vision of the future” to which all staff members understand and this gives rise to a development plan Where is Bedales going?... No clear message; nobody knows for sure. There are lots of different ideas but no IMC. Every body thinks they know where the school has been. So we must understand Bedales as a brand and to protect this brand by taking the 5 key foundation stones of the aims and cementing them together via a clear simple message from the SMT via IMC and on this the organisation can build a vision for its future which can then be “sold” to all stakeholder groups (via marcomms)
There is a danger that external influence can cause a
In 1996 the Labour leader, Tont Blair gave us a Matura that was to be followed by government when then can to power has provided a call to arms “education, education, education” but what does this mean. Can all the aims and objectives of an education really be quantified into something as simple as an academic qualification? Can we really pretend that sitting down to do an academic exam can allow us to judge the success or failure of an individuals “education” in the broadest possible terms. Yet it allows us to let academics write academic exam papers that are designed for, and will be excelled by, future academics and provides simple measures that give the Government measures to prove they've done well but does this methodology suit a large number of students that are not desitined to become academic leaders; are we just pandering to the educated Oxbridge elite that run academic institutions, Government departments, political parties and Media groups?
What does modern education mean and what does the modern school need to provide to give students the education that the need for the modern world.
What is needed?
* Education for University entrance
* Education for life
* Education for work
* Education for a government that wants statistics
* Education for students
* Education for the individual
NOT ACCADEMIC VERS VOCATIONA must be marriage between theortical and applicied learning
To go against this government driven strategy a school must be confident in its leadership and management (twn very different roles) and this leadership must be confident in brand that is being offered and the brand itself must be resilient enough to survive critisums from external bodies who do not choose to understand or agree with the broader educ#cational ideas and objectives that are being offered.
This different approach to education needs to be marketed in a very careful way with the Marcomms being key to the message being developed and delivered.
6.1 Bedales School
1. To develop inquisitive thinkers with a love of learning who cherish independent thought
2. To enable students' talents to develop through doing and making
3. To foster individuality and encourage initiative, creativity and the appreciation of the beautiful
4. We will enable students and staff to take pride in the community's distinctiveness - to feel valued and nourished by the community
5. To foster interest beyond the school - engaging with the local community and developing an international awareness
6.Bedales should be an ‘educational laboratory where experiments might be carried out and reported on to the rest of the educational world', according to its founder, J H Badley. One hundred years on, his grand ambition was given new shape when the school held conference for students and staff from 13 of the UK's most progressive schools.
On the agenda at ‘Celebrating the Difference' was nothing less than the future of education in the 21st Century. The issue has seen fundamental clashes of opinion nationally between those government ministers who set education policy and head teachers. Heads claim that the UK education system focuses too heavily on controls, systems and testing; academic syllabuses, especially for GCSE, have become dull and undemanding. This is not education: it is standardization. It has little to do with nurturing the young minds and young individuals who should be at the heart of education policy. Bedales however, remains determined to do what is right for its students.
Bedales assessed Course (BACS) were introduced in 2006 to reinforce the school's commitment to intellectual rigour and enquiry. BACs have allowed students and teachers alike to pursue courses of study that are more stretching, more flexible and more absorbing than the average GCSE. In the same spirit Bedales will adopt the Cambridge Pre-U Music syllabus from September. Director of Music, Nick Gleed, said ‘The Cambridge Pre-U course and exams recognise the advanced level of musical enquiry amongst our students'.
Students at Bedales have always been encouraged to question, challenge and think for themselves - it is one of the traits that sets Bedales apart. However, as the ‘Celebrating the Difference' conference affirmed, this freedom to question means that the school must always be prepared to listen to the students and respond. Students should be seen as partners rather than passive recipients, especially when the school is introducing new ideas. The appointment of Becks Hobson as Director of Student Welfare (from September) is one signal that Bedales is committed to increasing student involvement. Already, over the last year, Becks has been active in discussions with Bedales students and staff about how student voice and student leadership can influence school life. The school council (founded in 1916) is the obvious conduit, and at a recent whole-school symposium, students discussed what they expect and need from the Council. Ideas for developing student leadership have included student-led assemblies, a student pastoral panel, a student teaching and learning panel and ‘student researchers' who would investigate whole -school issues.
Then lead onto Bedales five aims - then lead into the conflict that a school like Bedales has when dealing with Government policy and inspection.
BRAND PROMISE - how does it fulfil that promise?
Brnding ideas and thereoies
There are many ways to define a new product; so care must be taken in branding something “new”. The product many be the same but re-branded for a current market. The example of Lucazade in the health and sports drink market is oft quoted as a classic example of this. Does Bedales need to be rebranded for the current market place? Has its position within the educational market changed significantly? Central Government appears to want their cake and eat it. There is a demand for educational excellence but what is the measure of performance? We can see that education can be measure via exam “passes” and the use of GCSE, AS and A2 examinations are the current standard measures. This measurement of success are so entrenched in central governments (and so our) thinking that we now have league tables to give parents the perception of choice, values for money and so the best option for their children. But exams are written by academics, and so, one would argue, are best suited to gauge the potential for young people to become the academics of the future.
But isn't education, or more accurately, modern education expected to be for the whole population; the vocational child as well as the academic; the dyslexic child as well as the literate; the artistic child as well as the scientific; and, the disabled child as well as the able? Surely the use of simple level 1 or level 2 “pen to paper” style exams in what is a remarkably narrow range of subjects covering a very small set of “core” skills is a somewhat dated method of assessment. The modern world is changing at an ever fast rate; technology is moving forward at remarkable speed, human activity is having a remarkable effect, firstly on the physical world around us, with the effects of human activity on global warming becoming more and more accepted, and secondly on the political world around us, with a wave of political/religious fundamentalism causing more uncertainty than ever before.
This need to provide “crisis management” and “global sability” has prompted the UK government to commission the new “Queen Elizabeth” class carriers; the largest naval vessels the Royal Navy has ever had to ensure global influence via “4 acres of sovereign territory any where around the world. The only certainty we have for the future is uncertainty and the need for the educational system to encourage train create and provide problem solvers rather than academics will be the key to success in overcoming the uncertain world we face over the next century.
So it is argued that the modus operandi of the current main stream educational offering must be critically revalued, with the vocational subjects being raised in status. But more importantly students that have clear abilities in only one area, be it art, sport, theatre, building, car mechanics or plumbing must be allowed to remain in education and have their abilities acknowledged and celebrated so they become engaged as members of a broader “community” within the modern day society.
Bedales school has tried to provide a broader range of education with the ethos of the founder, John Badley, who stated that existing public schools “simply would not do”, being held closely by the current management. However the broader idea of individual education is against the current central governments lead trend. So how can a school retain its brand distinction and USP while still accepting and reacting to the demand from outside to become more academic.
This report examines the problems posed by central government intervention and goes on to discuss the need for, and maintenance of corporate, brand value and the management techniques needed to maximise success.
6.2 Central Government
7 Literature Review
“Not to innovate is to die” Freeman, 1982
Educational innovation needs progressive forward thinking management that provides a carefully thought out structure to allow new ideas that may provide solutions to old or new problems, situations and events to be considered, worked on and applied. These broader management ideals have been explored by Kelly et al. (1978) and involve:
a response to either a need or opportunity that is context dependent a creative effort that if successful results in the introduction of a novelty i.e. a USP the need for father changes.
They were investigated further by Paul Trott (2008), who used them as the basis of an Innovation Management Framework model (Figure 2.1). His model does not give us the answer; it provides us with the main factors that need to be considered if innovation is going to be effectively managed and what the interactions are between the various internal and external groups. The external forces will effect the need (whether perceived or real) to allow and/or encourage innovation because they will effect the core strategy of the organisation.
Anthony and Christensen in their work include by David Mayle (2006) discuss the effect of “disruptive innovation” where companies go against the existing market with a new idea that fulfils an unexpected need in the mass market. Apple is quoted as an example of a company that moves way from the perceived need for perfection in music reproduction and offers lower quality music but convenience with the i-Pod mp3 player; which has created a whole new market and completely changed the music industry since its launch in late 2001. So it can be seen that process of innovation can be revolutionary as well as evolutionary.
Type of innovation
Incremental - do better”
Radical - “do different”
Product - service offering to end user
Modified/improved version of an established service offering eg more customised mortgage or savings ‘products', add on features to basic travel experience (eg entertainment systems), increased range of features in telecom service.
Radical departure eg on-line retailing
Process - ways of creating and delivering the offerings
Lower cost delivery through ‘back office' process optimisation, waste reduction through lean, six sigma etc approaches
Radical shift in process route e.g. moving from face‑to‑face contact to on-line, supermarket and self service rather than traditional retailing, hub‑and‑spoke delivery systems
Position - target market and the ‘story' told to those segments
Opening up new market segments e.g. offering specialist insurance products for students
Radical sift in approach e.g. opening up new travel markets via low‑cost travel innovation, shifting healthcare provision to communities
Paradigm - underlying business model
Rethinking the underlying model eg migrating from insurance agents and brokers to direct and on line systems
Radical shift in mindset e.g. moving from product‑based to service‑based manufacturing
Tidd and Bessant (2009) explore these ideas further; providing us with four innovation types (or the 4 Ps of service innovation); these innovation types have been shown in Figure 2.2 with educational comments included and we can see that education as a service has the ability to innovate but one would argue via an incremental rather than radical change. It is important that we remember the intangibility of service and this key difference requires a different approach to management and orgainisational infrastructure (Tidd and Bessant, 2009). The educational environment is one of learning by teachers as well as students and the concept of the teacher being the font of all knowledge without the need for personal learning and development; it is now longer “Teaching and Learning” it is now “Learning and Learning” or perhaps “Learning and Learning how to help Learning”, which a clear and deliberate change in order for all involved.(lighthouse stuff from judy?)
We can examine the life of Soichiro Honda (Davis in Henry & Walker (Ed), 1991) to see the management of innovation in practice. Soichiro scorned structured education and regarded “imagination, resourcefulness [and] fresh ideas” as he key to his success (pp153) and through his drive created non traditional methods of management and innovation in what must be one of the most tradition based societies in the world.
The genuine personalisation of a product is now key for success in the modern market palace. Organisations are -
7.1.1 Industry Innovation
7.1.2 Educational Innovation
We can define the “new” in a new product in many ways. The key area to understand is we must regard the Bedales system as service innovation. It could be regarded as serendipity that John Badley had a rather eccentric idea for education that it could be argues was 100 years ahead of its time but on research it is clear that the truth is more complex with the Bedales education syet has been changing and adapting, adopting and reinventing itself over the last 100 years. The Interactive model given by Rothwell and Zegreld (1985) Figure 1 provides us with an effective description of how the system at Bedales has been altered over time with a push and pull elements causing a need and path for changes although this method may not give continuous changes but is able to provide the sudden changes seen in industry with the organisations capability, the needs of the market place and science and technology base will effect the progress.
Bedales is a small corporation that provides a wonderful arena to look towards innovation (Tidd & Bessant, 2009). The dynamics of the organisation can be allowed to evolve and develop so that new ideas are offered, considered, evaluated and reviewed.
7.1.3 Practical Innovation
Innovation can be managed (Jones, 2002)
The use of branding within the consumer goods market in an accepted part of the modern commercial framework; the arrival of brands such as Virgin to Formula 1 circuit or Tesco to the pensions market creates little surprise in the high street. However, the use of a school name, which may have a good reputation for quality attached to it, as a ‘brand', is rarely seen in today's educational market and is clearly not considered by management within schools in general terms. Patrick Smith, the European chief executive of FutureBrand, was quoted by The Guardian as recently as 2006 saying:
“The fact that many schools do not see themselves as being a brand or do not need to think about one is worrying. Any business or organisation has to work out and articulate what it stands for. Abdicating responsibility for the image of a school is not managing important messages to the public and local authorities.” Guardian News Website, 2010
As we have seen Bedales has 5 guiding principles that need to be integrated into the brand promise that is associated with the whole organisation; this promise has to be perceived by the students parents, staff and alumni and be strong enough to justify the premium demanded by the school in fees (Knox in Marketing Management, A Relationship Marketing Perspective, 2000).
This section will:
Provide a critical evaluation of current research on industrial branding using recent literature sauces and different academic perspectives;
Provide a critical evaluation of current research on educational branding using recent literature and different academic perspectives;
Give conclusions, recommendations and key implementation objectives to develop strategic branding competencies with Bedales School in Petersfield.
7.2.1 Industry Branding
Branding is perhaps one of the most important enhancements that can be placed on not only products but on corporations themselves. A ‘brand is a name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of these intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors' (Kotler 1998). Branding should add value to a product as perceived by the customer. This ‘value' can be in the form of attributes, benefits, values and personality. For instance the brand ‘could say something about the buyers values, thus Mercedes buyers value high performance, safety and prestige' (Kotler 1999). Branding, as a concept, is extremely complex with several definitions being offered, however, the following has been chosen as being the most appropriate for the question. ‘A successful brand is an identifiable product, service, person or place, augmented in such a way that the buyer or user perceives relevant unique added values which match their needs most closely' (De Chernatony & McDonald 1994). Branding symbolises a complex set of factors whereby it is not simply the name which creates the brand but the development of a ‘deep set of meanings or associations' (Kotler 1999). The challenge for marketing professionals is to ‘create, maintain, protect, reinforce and enhance brands' (Kotler 1999).
The key issue for Bedales School is that ‘the way a brand's identity and values are communicated can be the make-or-break factor in its business fortunes' (Dignam 1999). It can be assumed that branding is an effective form of communication but only if branding is understood by all interested stakeholders. Recent press in ‘Marketing' suggests that the industry is critical of too many brand and marketing managers for talking about the importance of ‘brand' without actually ensuring that the brand is active.
‘Maybe the answer is for chief executives to talk less about branding and put more of their energy into making sure the brand speaks successfully for itself. After all actions speak louder than words' (Mazur 2000).
The role of the brand is to build on core competencies, giving organisations an advantage through their positioning. Brands make the purchase decision that much quicker, brands can act as a barrier against competitors and greatly reduce risk if the strategy is to involve the company in extensions or diversification or global and international marketing. Branding can allow the consumer to have an image about the identity of a company and its products. For instance the successful branding of The Body Shop helps consumers identify with the caring, natural and socially aware principals of its central ethos.
Therefore it can be seen that very clearly branding is able to inspire consumers and stakeholders to have a perception about an organisation or product that differentiates the organisation or product from its competitors. Current academic debate surrounds the issue of the importance of branding. De Chernatony and Dall'olmo Riley suggest that ‘while brands continue to play important roles for both firms and consumers, it is the way brands are interpreted, managed and communicated that may need re-thinking' (1998). De Chernatony and Dall'olmo Riley argue that different types of communication programmes are needed if each specified brand's role is to be ‘properly fulfilled'. Interestingly the aforementioned writers suggest that branding is only effective as part of a communication strategy if the part that the brand is expected to play is ‘accurately specified' (De Chernatony & Dall'olmo Riley 1998).
In the last ten years there has been a huge increase in the number of threats to brands. For example everything seems to be branded leading to confusion with consumers who find it increasingly difficult to differentiate between quality brands and other cheaper brands. What appears to be happening is that in many markets ‘consumers are faced with brands that look the same, seem to perform similar tasks, and compete increasingly on price' (The Economist 1996 cited by De Chernatony & Dall'olmo Riley 1998). As a result many writers have referred to the ‘decline, or even to the death', of the brand (The Economist 1994 cited by De Chernatony & Dall'olmo Riley 1998).
The main conclusion and implication of branding for independent schools, from De Chernatony and Dall'olmo Riley is that the brand is ‘perceived as means of ensuring stable streams of income, provided that the brand achieves a defined position in the market place, either through differentiation or a cost driven strategy' (1998). Brands also enable organisations to expand their range of activities to different areas; it enables companies to transfer a reputation built in the original area of activity. Perhaps of most significance for De Chernatony and Dall'olmo Riley is that branding offers ‘focus and coherence to all the organisation's stakeholders' (1998). Having established what a brand can actually do for an organisation it becomes necessary to understand how to get your organisation/product to become a brand. ‘Brand building is about values that are created in the sub-conscious of the consumer through a series of messages. It is one thing that you say about yourself - through ads for instance - and another what other people say about you, whether it's the enemy or the media' (Haji-loannoud & Rogers 2000).
The debate on branding as an effective form of communication is widened by the paper given by Thomson et al, 1999. The paper considers that greater staff understanding and commitment impact on Brand and Business Performance. The paper is directly relevant to this paper in that Thomson et al have carried out extensive research to prove that not only should marketing communications satisfy consumers' needs but that communications with employees increases ‘intellectual and emotional buy-in' (Thomson et al 1999). The argument put forward reveals that if employees understand the brand strategy this is then inextricably linked to employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction. ‘Whether workers are customer facing or not, to truly reflect the values of the brand, they must fully ‘own' them and feel a strong sense of identification. Involving staff at all levels of brand development, especially values, promotes common understanding, consistency and pride' (Boulter 2000).
At the centre of the argument is that as ‘brands externally are clusters of functional and emotional values, then internally they should be driven by strategies that emphasise respectively staff understanding about brand strategy and staff commitment' (Thomson et al 1999). The problem for teachers is that ‘they find the commercial values of competition and individual choice incompatible with educational goals of providing equitable opportunities for the learning and development of all people' (Harvey 1996) and as such marketing their professional services appears to create a tension.
Internal marketing communications is becoming more and more important as a tool for enabling employees to deliver their brand's promises. There are three key relationships that must be managed i.e. company-employees (internal marketing); company-customers (external marketing) and employees-customers (interactive marketing). What it reveals about branding as an effective form of communication is that ‘company activities that underpin brands and show that brand building is not just between the corporation and its consumers, but between the corporation and employees' (Thomson et al 1999:821) encouraging employees to buy-in emotionally to the brand strategy should ‘stimulate growth in emotional capital' and Thomson argues that ‘successful brands are characterised by powerful relationships between employees and customers' (1999). Brand guru Stephen King wrote ‘In my view much the most important reason for putting a value on brands…is… to proclaim the purpose of the company - a signal that the health and development of the company brand and its product brands is the key long-term objective. Brand is one of the several signals that company leadership can use to inspire people and help them understand the corporate ethos' (cited by Arnold 1992).
7.2.2 Educational Branding
We need to appreciate if branding is appropriate in education and if a corporate brand can meet the needs of individual schools. The analysis of the second debate reveals that communication can be that much more effective if branding is understood by the internal market. This suggests that for branding to be even more effective as an outside source of communication then companies would be wise to investigate and invest in an internal communication strategy as part of integrated marketing communications, based on intellectual and emotional buy-in of the brand.
There are several motivations for branding and numerous roles expected from brands. Economics, strategy and marketing all have a need for branding. This paper suggests that marketing communications has a particular interest in building successful long term brand profile, not least because the lines of communication to all stakeholders and partners are made significantly easier when a brand is behind the communication. Perhaps one of the most significant roles brands play is as a ‘source of differentiation and competitive advantage' (De Chernatony & Dall'olmo Riley 1998). ‘I think that there are a lot of so called ‘brands', that are nothing more than names, which happen to have an awful lot of awareness' (De Chernatony & Dall'olmo Riley 1998).
Marketing communications is a management process through which an organisation enters into a dialogue with its various audiences. To accomplish this, the organisation develops, presents and evaluates a series of messages to identified stakeholder groups (Fill 1999). It is the effectiveness of the communication process that enables one organisation to be distinct from another. The differentiation can take place through the product, price, promotional and distribution networks, but it is how the differentiation is communicated which enables one organisation to remain competitive and distinct over another. Marketing communications provides the means by which ‘brands and organisations are presented to their audiences with the goal of stimulating a dialogue leading to a succession of purchases' (Fill 1999). Communications need not necessarily result in a purchase but communications can be used to differentiate products and services, remind and reassure customers and potential customers, inform and persuade targets to think or act in a particular way. If branding is related to communications then historically branding is perceived as a unique way that growth and development can be achieved through reputation, trust and commitment. Effective Communications and branding need not directly affect sales but can have a huge impact on stakeholders in the way that they relate to the corporation and product/service.
There is no doubt that branding is an impressive communication tool and that industry recognises the value of a powerful brand, however what is difficult is the measurement of brand power (Kotler, 1999). The coca cola industry for example clearly shows that although manufacturers all can make cola it is Coke as a brand that commands a high degree of brand loyalty. In more recent years accountants have begun to place a value on the brand itself.
‘Brand equity' enables end of year projections etc to accurately reflect the true value of the company bearing in mind that the brand value might be heavily weighted in intangibles such as reputation and perceived value.
Co-branding is another way in which organisations can communicate a certain message to its stakeholders. In its purest form co-branding embraces a collaborative venture designed to advance the interests of two or more parties in a considered, strategic fashion.
‘The purpose of co-branding is to create something new, be it a product, service or an enterprise' (Blackett & Boad 1999). For instance there is IBM-Intel, Diet coke and Nutrasweet and BP Mobil. As an effective form of communication co-branding allows both organisations involved to reach different markets, and via the combined offer, the consumer can readily understand the benefits. Within the education environment schools could form mutually beneficial relationships with industries in specialist areas and in the case of Bedales School a link with the theatrical and music industries is an obvious area to consider.
There are a few difficulties related to powerful branding and even more difficulties related to co-branding. If the brand is extremely successful in convincing the consumer of its differentiation (which can be related to service, quality, personality, added value etc) then it is extremely difficult to change the ‘value' of the brand therefore powerful branding can mean greater inflexibility. The need to change the positioning of the brand might be the result of social changes or increased expectations on what the brand can deliver.
This becomes very complicated when dealing with a co-branding partner in that overall brand strategies must remain compatible if the venture is to be successful. Difficulties with co-branding as a relationship can be the result of the merging of two very different cultures where one company's internal politics, procedures and systems contrast with that of its co-branding partner (Blackett & Boad 1999). The danger of using the ‘brand' as the most important communication tool basically means that it could only take one mistake for the whole company to be at major risk i.e. Ratners. As discussed before Lucozade, however, have been successful in changing its brand values and attributes from a product and image that was an aid to recovery after ill health to an energising, health and fitness brand.
What becomes clear in the case of Bedales School is that the position that the brand holds in the mind of the potential consumer has affected the recruitment of pupils in the last 8 years. As will be discussed later in this paper parents seemed pleasantly surprised that their perceptions, of the pupils simply being ‘geeky inky swots' and that the school was an ‘academic hothouse', had been unfounded. It is vital for Bedales School to understand its current position within the minds of the consumer before developing either a repositioning strategy or reinforcing some of the existing messages. ‘The development of positions which buyers can relate to and understand is an important and vital part of the marketing communications plan' (Fill 1999).
In trying to understand its current position ‘predominantly determined by hard criteria (e.g. product quality) and relationship building factors (e.g. personal contact)' (Kalafatis, Tsogas & Blankson 2000), Bedales School must also consider such things as ‘company structures (i.e. geographical coverage), breadth of offerings and degree of integration' (Kalafatis, Tsogas & Blankson 2000).
There is a general consensus that the concept of positioning has become one of the fundamental components of modern marketing management (Kotler 1998). Its importance is increased as research suggests that there is a positive relationship between company performance (in terms of profitability and/or efficiency) and a well-structured and clearly defined positioning strategy (Kalafatis, Tsogas & Blankson 2000). Positioning is an important strategic concept and should form the basis of any marketing or business plan. Without understanding its own existing position in the minds of the customer no organisation can evolve, change or adapt its strategic plan and for Bedales School the unique way that it delivers value to customers will lead to it understanding its unique position. ‘Positioning is the act of designing the company's offering and image to occupy a distinct place in the target market's mind' (Kalafatis, Tsogas & Blankson 2000) and therefore the process of positioning as cited by Arnott in Kalafatis et al 2000 ‘is deliberative and proactive involving decisions at conceptual, strategic and operational levels' pp418. Most positioning theory centres on the basic idea that the organisation or industry is able to influence the position it holds in the mind of the customer, therefore Bedales School must first establish what position it holds in the mind of the customer and then strategically plan to reinforce or change that position depending on the result. Repositioning, however, is difficult to accomplish, often because of the entrenched perceptions and attitudes held by buyers towards brands (Fill:1999).
We can see that branding can anchor the origin of products, clarify why they exist and show where they are going, thereby setting guidelines and helping focus the activities of employees and stakeholders. ‘Eventually brands become a virtual contract between the organisation, its stakeholders and its customers and the expression of a relationship between customer and product' (De Chernatony & Dall'olmo Riley citing Arnold 1998). ‘It is the subsequent experience of the brand, rather than the initial promotional stimulus, which is likely to shape underlying attitude' (Arnold 1999). Communication of the brand has to be long-term and embrace and utilise every distinctive feature. Essence of branding is that ‘for established brands, external communication should be considered as a reinforcement tool, rather than as a means of increasing purchase frequency and brand loyalty (De Chernatony & Dall'olmo Riley 1998). Clearly branding is about the long-term success of an organisation. Having examined several debates on ‘branding' this paper suggests that brands do actually have a role in education marketing communications and strategy. The effectiveness of that role is dependent on the ability of marketing communications to enable all stakeholders to understand the importance of the brand and its distinct capabilities and intangible benefits over and above all other of its competitor brands.
Understanding how the brand relates to the consumer will dictate how you then present that brand. Finally, and perhaps of most importance is to recognise that although marketers instigate the branding process and use branding as a communication tool (i.e. branding as an input (De Chernatony & McDonald 194), it is the buyer or the user who forms a perception and image of the brand. The communication must be two-way in that the consumer should be able to respond back to the marketers enabling the marketers to react and respond back to the consumer's communication.
Bedales School does not have a clearly defined brand strategy and there is an assumption that outside world understands it message when no clear message is being given. However internally it is accepted that clearly defined strategies support high profile branding along with constant evaluation of the messages that are being sent out, but without the message the is no chance to really penetrate nationally as a major brand.
It is suggested in this proposal that effective branding of the Bedales difference and its Junior schools will have a huge impact nationally, clearly affecting areas such as development and sponsorship and locally where competitive environments are intense.
7.2.3 Practical Branding
We can become involved in the very early planning phases to guide you through a brand assessment process and create the new brand blueprint for your institution. Or, we can jump in at the implementation phase to create a successful campaign to effectively communicate your new brand story.
We help you answer questions such as:
How is your institution perceived by students, parents, alumni & contributors?
What does your brand stand for?
What is your brand story? What are the key message points?
What are your brand principles (top 5 ideals to live by)?
How are you different?
Where do your target audiences fall in the Student Lifecycle and how can you reach them more effectively with a compelling message? And what is that message?
From developing a branding campaign to launching a new degree program, to conducting a complete branding overhaul, let Teague Marketing craft and communicate your unique story more effectively.
7.3 Management & Leadership
The need for effective management in education has been recognised for many years with league tables reflecting the effectiveness of schools and colleges. However, the need for effective strategic leadership within this sector is only recently becoming apparent with the need for schools to become more accountable as to their place within the community and the package offered to students. This requires careful consideration because of the pressure of a multitude of external drivers e.g. globalisation, student fees, e-learning etc. (Marshall, 2007) and in turn has meant that the need exists for the Senior Management within schools to have a strategic vision of the future and to use leadership and management techniques to ensure that the vision they have becomes a reality.
Criticism has been raised relating to the methodology of the selection of Senior Management in schools; senior roles are gained thanks to teaching excellence rather than management excellence (Bush & West-Burnham, 1994). Senior Management are not trained in management, or leadership, and often have little experience of life outside their own sector. Strategic leadership differs from day to day management because of the broader scope and the longer timetable that is required and care must be taken to distinguish this from the day to day activity of school management (Bush & Coleman, 2001).
This section will:
* Provide a critical evaluation of research on strategic leadership and strategy using recent literature sources and different academic perspectives;
* Provide a critical evaluation of research on strategic leadership and strategy within the educational sector using recent literature sources and different academic perspectives;
* Give conclusions, recommendations and an implementation plan to develop strategic leadership competencies within Bedales School, Petersfield.
7.3.1 Industry Management and Leadership
“Leaders and leadership matter. Effective leaders are associated with successful work teams, high morale, and peak levels of performance; ineffective leaders are associated with dissatisfaction, low commitment, and failing performance.”
Burke & Cooper, 2006, pp1.
Strategic leadership as an academic idea and concept has been looked at by a range of people starting with the work done by Eden and Leviatan (1975) and since then various ideas and theories have been put forward by a range of parties. The concept of leadership has moved away from that of management and, although the role of manager and leader may be taken by the same individual, there needs to be an understanding that the roles are very different and require different approaches. A leader can be described as an individual who develops visions and drives new initiatives forward, while a manager will monitor progress towards objectives to maintain order and reliability (Buchanan & Huczynski, 2004).
Quinn (2003) discusses the idea of integrating the four established managerial models into one single managerial framework. This framework is designed to allow all the models to co-exist so reflecting the complexity of modern management where many hats are worn at once and different approaches are applied to ensure successful outcomes. The skill of being able to understand and use competencies and behaviours from the different models has been given the term behavioural complexity by Hooijberg and Quinn (1992). This concept is the basis for the Competing Values Framework shown in Figure 2.1 and we can see that in this framework the competing roles and expectations that may be experienced by a manager in terms of their leadership role.
The upper right quadrant of this model is of use to us as we examine the idea of strategic leadership within the management models. The need for innovation and vision for the individual is key within the framework and is an idea taken up by Burke and Cooper (2006). In their work, they quote Locke (1991) to help define leadership “as the process of inducing others to take action towards a common goal” (pp2) and describe leadership as relational (i.e. it involves followers), as a process (i.e. the leader must do something) and it gives us a result (i.e. it induces others to act). The basic model of leadership in their eyes was best defined by the work put forward by him and can be defined as having four elements:
1. Motives and traits
2. Knowledge skills and abilities
4. Implementation of the vision
In the first two points we can see the key areas that we expect to see in all management; that of motivation and knowledge; but in addition to these points we see that leaders have vision and, in an expansion of Quinn's ideas discussed above, implement the vision that they have. So a leader is an individual who develops an idea into a plan and then engages his or her team to get the plan executed to ensure the idea becomes a reality; the leader creates a strategy for change and builds a strong implementation network of motivated individuals (Burke & Cooper, 2006).
We can continue examining the idea of elements that make up leadership when we look at the work done by Stephen Young and his work in the Caux Round Table (CRT) as discussed by Maak and Pless (2006). Young discusses the idea that there are five key areas that need to be understood and these become lessons that help us understand what leadership is:
1. The application of the principles that separate leadership from management.
2. The implementation of these principles through management systems and benchmarks.
3. An understanding how the culture around the organisation will respond to these principles.
4. The willingness of leaders to address the interests and needs of people as well as their values and aspirations.
5. An understanding that dysfunction in corporations is the result of the decisions made by the most senior leaders and managers.
And from this it is clear that responsible leadership “involves complex, dynamic relationships based on values, emotions and mutual recognition” (Maak & Pless, 2006, pp12).
Many theorists argue that businesses need strategies to give direction. It takes time, effort and resources for each organisation to develop a business strategy with the aim of gaining a unique competitive advantage that they can sustain (Porter, 1985). But many oversee the need to invest in an effective leadership strategy to implement their approach.
Strategic leadership is seen as being necessary within an organisation in order to create a sustainable competitive advantage. According to Beatty and Hughes (2005), a strategic leader will make a strategy to create differentiation, clarity and focus, make sure that it is implemented, and that the organisation is a continual learning engine. Also that, “strategic leaders think of themselves as continually developing and discovering strategy, holding it in an ongoing state of formulation, implementation, reassessment and revision”. They see that this learning process of making and implementing strategy is driven by the strategic leader and has five primary elements (see Appendix A) and go on to say that strategic leaders need to be skilled in strategic thinking, strategic acting and strategic influencing to drive through the Five Elements of Strategy as a Learning Process.
The importance of strategic leadership is also supported by Ireland and Hitt (2005) who state that; “Without effective strategic leadership, the probability that a firm can achieve superior or even satisfactory performance when confronting the challenges of the global economy will be greatly reduced.” They see that strategic leadership may prove to be one of the most critical issues facing organisations in the 21st century. An organisation can be mobilized enabling it to adapt its behaviors and exploit different growth opportunities through effective strategic leadership. They present us with their Six Components of Strategic Leadership (see Appendix B) which will enhance an organisations ability to identify and exploit opportunities within the competitive environment of the future.
Although a lot of literature talks about ‘a' leader, strategic leadership doesn't necessarily come from a single person. Beatty and Hughes (2005) state that the CEO isn't the only, or even necessarily the best, strategic leader within an organisation. In fact, anyone, or any team, whose decisions and perspectives impact another area within the organisation is carrying out strategic leadership. Generally speaking though, strategic leadership theorists now focus on executives and the top management team (Cannella & Monroe, 1997).
Such an empowered team of executives can provide different perspectives and continuous improvement through its diversity (Yukl, 2002). Hambrick & Fukutomi (1991) agreed with the need for diversity within top-management teams and add that, ‘heterogeneous top-management teams show more strategic boldness than homogeneous teams'. However, there are problems with group decisions in that things take longer, members have incompatible objectives and decision quality may be reduced. These processes are influenced by the group characteristics (Guzzo & Shea,1992; Hackman, 1992).
In addition to this, a strategic management team can help avoid the dysfunctions of long tenure of the CEO, such as complacency and narrow mindedness, and avoid concentrating power in the hands of a single, dominant CEO (Yukl, 2002). It also provides a succession route for the replacement of a CEO. Hambrick and Fukutomi (1991) state that when the external environment is changing and new strategies are needed; it may be dysfunctional for the organisation to have a CEO with extended tenure and one way of breaking the pattern is by having the strategic team.
But what is the difference between strategic leaders and leaders or managers? Beatty and Hughes (2005) distinguish strategic leadership from operational leadership by stating that operational leaders use resources to ‘get the job done' whereas strategic leaders are: systemic, future focused and change oriented.
There are often some similarities between leaders and managers. Drucker (1996) goes as far to say that, ‘the only definition of a leader is someone who has followers'. Therefore a leader can be at any level of the organisation and can be formal or informal. Burke and Cooper (2006) state that effective leaders are associated with committed followers and high performance, whereas ineffective leaders are associated with low morale and failing performance.
Another factor affecting the commitment of followers is that of Implicit Leadership Theory (ILT) (Schyns & Meindl, 2005). This influences the expectations that people within the organisation have of the leader. A person develops implicit theories through experience over time. They are influenced by individual beliefs, values, and personality traits, as well as shared beliefs and values held within an organisation (Keller, 1999).
So according to Ireland and Hitt (2005), effective strategic leadership practices in the 21st century will be linked with the active involvement of the organisations employees (organisational citizens) where they are empowered to work as members of a community that is seeking to serve the common good of the organisation.
The above review clearly shows that there are a whole range of different academic perspectives relating to strategic leadership but with all of them the commercial aspect so never far away. Educational leadership has other factors that need to be considered and in the next chapter the academic work on this complex area is reviewed.
7.3.2 Educational Management and Leadership
“Head teachers and senior staff are primarily successful teachers who have been promoted to management positions largely on the basis of good performance in the classroom rather than successful experience as managers.”
Bush & West-Burnham, 1994, pp3.
Strategic leadership within some high profile independent schools has been very successful with the Senior Management Team (SMT) within the schools separating themselves from the day to day running of the school long enough to guide the key stakeholder groups of teachers, students and parents towards the development of new educational aims and objectives (Mauriel, 1989). These objectives may be traditional areas that are being reassessed and redeveloped or they may be very new areas where the school has not entered before. The modern school cannot be complacent and requires careful leadership to ensure that it has performed an effective environmental audit to ensure that it understands its key assets in terms of location, facilities, staffing skills and integration within local, as well as broader, communities. With this understanding of both the intangible as well as the tangible assets belonging to a school, the school's SMT are better informed to decide in which direction a school should develop. This is an overlooked part of planning and requires careful consideration of the options available after having considered a well prepared SWOT analysis. The SMT must create a well thought out strategic plan that has SMART objectives to plan how the school will realise its aims. Part of this plan is the method that will be used to develop and adapt this plan when and, if the situation changes, the method and leadership styles that will be used to build consensus across the stakeholder groups. This in turn will deal with the internal politics of these stakeholder groups that will inevitably arise. It is vital that transformational leadership techniques must be understood by the SMT and used within the school environment but importantly the transactional leadership is still used to ensure that the aims and objectives of the plan are reached via a day to day approach (see Appendix C).
Bush and Coleman (2008) discuss this in their work and point out that the educational leaders of tomorrow require the flexibility to adapt to the unexpected and the related need to have a helicopter vision to understand the broader picture and quote West-Burnham (1997, pp243), listing key elements needed arguing that a change in mind set to leadership is required:
* Intellectualism to strengthen the educative role and reflection
* Artistry to relate leadership to vision, creativity and communication
* Moral confidence or integrity of values
* Subsidiary or the ‘willing surrender of power' as opposed to the delegation of power
* Emotional intelligence, the ability to know yourself and others and handle interpersonal relations.
Bush and Bell (2002) examine the concepts and perspectives of leadership and provide us with “The Five Dimensions of Leadership” that includes consideration of the cultural, political and organisational aspects within educational institutions that are normally ignored by the creators of more traditional business oriented leadership models. The five dimensions cover the following areas:
* Human leadership
* Structural leadership
* Political leadership
* Cultural leadership
* Educational leadership (see Appendix D)
They view strategic leadership as “leadership for initiating, developing and maintaining the strategic management process” (ibid., pp64) and uses the above dimensions as leading each stage of the strategic management progress.
A key change of focus for schools has occurred over the last few years; that of the need to become market driven and customer focused. However, changing old strongly held attitudes to fit in with the changes in strategy is a very lengthy and difficult process for management (Furnham and Gunter, 1993; Scholz, 1987, cited in Senior, 2002). Indeed, according to Beer, Eisenstat and Spector (1993, cited in Senior, 2002) a high resistance to change is likely to be met because of incompatibility between the new strategy and old culture (see Appendix E) and ways of reducing this resistance must be considered. One way of trying to achieve this is to change the behaviour of the employees, and thus change their attitudes and values, by first changing their organizational context. Transformational leadership methodologies are shown within Bass and Avolio's (1994) Full Range Leadership (FRL) model and are shown to be effective in promoting adaptive and effective collective action and promoting changes in people, processes, groups and organisations. Avolio (2001) states that transformational leadership substantially influences employee's performance and organisation level outcomes. And, according to Burke and Cooper (2006), transformational leadership augments transactional leadership rather than replacing it.
The FRL model builds on the charismatic and transactional theories of leadership and arrives at transformational leadership. Leaders, according to the FRL, have a range of leadership behaviours that can be displayed dependent on their personality, mental model of leadership and the situation (Burke & Cooper 2006). So, a leader following the FRL model of leadership, would be able to use the most appropriate style of leadership behaviour depending on the situation.
We can see from the above that educational leadership requires vision but many Headteachers have problems with communicating their ideas and plans to their staff and can been seen to fail because of this shortcoming This whole issue is discussed by Middlewood and Lumby (1998), who go on to discuss the ideas that have taken root in Canada of completely re-thinking the school structure; moving it away from a departmentally based regime (that can be regarded as a dated and obsolete concept) and moving towards more flexible innovative learning structures that integrate technology, teams of teachers and cross curricular involvement. These kind of exciting ideas need leaders with deep seated belief in their self worth and abilities.
Bush (2003) discusses the importance of the management models to the modern educational leader and discusses nine leadership models and their use in education (Appendix F). Importantly he discusses how these models can be used to help leaders to gain commitment from staff and other stakeholder groups so that the school can move towards a better future.
Within this chapter it can be seen that the importance of visionary leaderships within educational establishments are vital for them to progress and develop in the most effective manner.
7.3.3 Practical Application of Management
“The absence of both a strategic plan and its related processes can only compromise the capacity of a school or college to translate the aspiration of its aims or mission into management action.”
Bush & West-Burnham, 1994, pp97.
Actions speak louder than words and it is important that the SMT within any school of college understand the need for the type of long term plans we have examined. As an independent school, Bedales School has to react to its market and communicate with this market about its own educational offering and why it is different enough to justify the premium school fees demanded.
The following five points give thoughts, recommendations and conclusions on how to develop strategic leadership within Bedales School and an implementation plan is attached as Appendix G, setting out actions and timings.
1. With the multitude of different leadership theories that have been discussed so far and the complex situation of the changing world education it would seem almost impossible for one person to be able to effectively act as leader and carry out the day to day tasks of management. It is recommended that the role involving strategic planning is separated away from that of administrator ensuring that the role is given the gravity it deserves.
2. The use of a small group of individuals to help with the strategic vision of the school should be considered. This would allow a broader perspective to be considered and the sharing of the power base and distributing authority across functions will create transparency and openness. By using a group centred leadership approach the head teacher will gain trust in the management and commitment from employees by involving and valuing their contributions.
3. The role needs to be understood by all the members of this Strategy Team and this means that there needs to be effective training and development of the members. In order to avoid waste in time and resources in the future, there needs to be an induction plan to support and introduce the new people entering this role to the functions, systems and people involved.
4. A strategic development plan for the Leadership of the Headteacher should be in place with one of the Governors acting as a mentor to facilitate this development. Starting with leader assessment and profiling to develop self awareness, the feedback gained in the future from the 360 degree appraisal should then be used in a constructive way as a base for on-going training and development.
5. There needs to be a meaningful continuous development and training plan for all staff as a motivational tool and as a lever to achieve cultural change and learning.
8 Research Methods
The need for effective research into this topic is very important. There is a small work force and this is turn has its own sub sections.
So what are we trying to investigate?
We want to know what
The need for some research has been established; we need to look into the understanding of the staff with relation to the Bedales brand and an appropriate research design has to be chosen. In order to investigate this perceived problem
9 Data analysis
12 Bibiography and References
Anderson A H & Kleiner D (1995), Effective Marketing Communications - a skills and activity-based approach, Blackwell Publishers Limited, Oxford, England
Arnold D (1992) The Handbook of Brand Management Century Business
Avolio B (2001). Developing Potential Across a Full Range of Leaderships: Cases on Transaction and Transformational Leadership. Mahwah, USA: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. p86.
Tidd J & Bessant J (2009) Managing Innovation: Integrating Technological, Market and Orgainisational Change (4th Edition) John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, England
Mayle D (Ed.) (2006) Managing Innovation and Change (3rd Edition) Sage Publications, London, England.
Henry J & Walker D (1991) Managing Innovation Sage Publications, London, England.
Baaguley J (1996) Successful Fundraising, Bibliotek Books, Stafford, UK
Bass A & Avolio B (1994). Shatter the glass ceiling: Women make better managers, Human Resource Management, vol. 33.