Globalisation is an international trend

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Globalisation is an international trend in the educational leadership and management. As Bush and Middlewood (2004, p.6) mentioned, "Educational leadership and management are exercised at institutional level but are also influenced by a range of contextual variables." And there are various differences and similarities amongst countries. Thus, identifying and comparing such issues have great significance. Northhouse (2007,p.3) identified that "The leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal." Based on Drucker (2007), management is a serious of activities aimed at the certain educational objectives to monitor and achieve the goals with human resource.

In this assignment, I wish to explore the extent to which the managerialist model of management and leadership style adopted in England and Wales has influenced management culture in China. I also want to explore the impact that this may have on my own management and leadership style.

I will explore four key issues as follows:

1) What managerialism and performativity are. How they were introduced into Britain and why they are important in terms of education leadership. How managerialism and performativity impacts upon the freedom of teachers have in England.

2) I will also reflect on how and to the extent of which the Chinese government influences the actions of headteachers by using literature from my own country. Furthermore, I will try to analyse the impact that the controls have on the headteachers leadership approach and freedom.

3) Specifically, I want to compare and contrast the control system between Britain and China and the impact that the controls have on headteachers in both countries for different social, cultural, and economic circumstances.

4) I will also consider the implications that the educations controls in China will have on my which leadership theories could apply in China leadership style. In this process, I will choose three leadership theories, including the style, situational theory, and transformative theory.

Literature review

Part 1 State control of Education

In this section I compare and contrast the controls that the state exercise in England and China

1.1 Position in England

In 1979, Margaret Thatcher became the first female Prime Minister of Britain. Her political philosophy and economic policies reshaped British society in many aspects. She changed the financial sector, labour market, and also reformed the traditional education system to the "enterprise education" system. (Michael, 2001) Mrs Thatcher went against the existing management culture called bureau professionalism and formed a new managerial form in the 1980s which was inspired by James M. Buchanan and Gordon Tullock (1962, cited by McGrath and Coles, 2012 in press ), with various names such as the New Public managerialism(NPM), New Managerialism, Entrepreneurial Governance and Neo-Taylorism. (Clarke and Newman 1997) As pointed out by Pollitt (1998)' managerialism has existed in abstract since the first half of the 1980s in the UK and had considerable development in the mid 1990s. And in recent years, managerialism has been used commonly in the world, particularly by politicians and senior officials.

Piror to managerialism was the major philosophy in education management. According to Simkins (1999), bureau-professionalism is a value-centred management approach and it was based on students' well-being and learning needs. The managers and staff should build favourable interpersonal relationships with collective values and commitments. On the contrary, managerialism is an economy-centred management practice that is a reflection of capitalism development and the labour needs.

According to McGrath & Coles (2012 in press), managerialism is a practice which has given prominence to the manager's right to manage. Students were treated as customers in schools which were regarded as commercial organizations. The whole organization was divided into numbers of department and the implementation of schools teaching and learning programme was operating as though it was an assembly line. And the relationship between the staff and leaders is fragile since they may solely be connected by employment contracts. The same idea came from Simkins (cited in McGrath and Coles, 2012 in press), as he implies that this new form of management separates the link between managers and staff in education. Furthermore, it establishes an assessment system to adjust the personal aims and purpose in the work.

It shows that the industrialization and marketization that has been used in the British education system. As mentioned by Beckmann and Cooper(2004), "advocates of the new managerialism can make a number of claims in its defence - the need to improve the economic efficiency of organizations, avoid wastage and be responsive to the needs of a flexible 'global market'."(online reference)

Additionally, based on the statement of Beckmann and Cooper (2004), performativity is a way to control educationists. As Ball (2002, cited in Beckman and Cooper, 2004) (online reference) suggests that performativity works in management as "a disciplinary system of judgement, classifications, and targets". In other words, performativity contributed to assess the results of teachers and staff via analyzing information gathered by a set of performance indicators. Tolofar (2005) identified that "performativity is the concept that the efficacious use of allocated resources is the determinant measure of true value." And it is a key concern of school leaders which focuses on the outcome measurement. Ball (1998) mentioned that it required 'a number of significant shifts and transformations in identity and purpose for many schools and individual teachers'.

Furthermore, Ball (2003) argured that "the technology of performativity appears as misleadingly objective and hyper-rational". The teachers, who are working in this context, are "highly individualized" and "challenged by the terrors of performativity". The research clearly shows teachers' life and work in schools is becoming "mechanical".

Although the new managerialism contributed to raising educational standards, it has shortcomings. These flaws are outstanding in the economic principle which might urge the leaders to focus on a short-term and economic objective without humanistic culture. It changes the values of teachers in education influencing the quality and outcome of the teaching. Subsequently, this ideology forces the teachers and students to face the enormous pressure which is "a 'tougher' managerial discourse". Resulting in an increased workload for the middle managers and therefore emphasising the importance of their role as well, as mentioned by Mercer David and Ri Lai (2006).

1.2 Position in China

In modern Chinese society, the majority of managerial applications are learned from western models. This also true for education leadership and management in China as well (Wang, 2007). However, the difference compared with the foreign styles is that the Chinese education leadership style is changing and is influenced by the traditional culture, such as Confucianism, Lao Tzu, Buddhism, and so on. Wong (2010) present that the Chinese moral leadership as "subjective and normative" and "everyone can be succeed". He stated that faithfulness (chung, submit oneself to the leaders' direction) and altruism(shu, sacrifice for the others) are the virtue of Confucian ethics. And this opinion is as same as Northouse's (2007, p317), that the China has high in team-oriented and humane-oriented leadership. It follows that China shows significantly in this tripartite, group working, devotion, and loyal. Similarly, Gian Casimir and Waldman (2007) suggest that each Chinese leader should remain the collectivism, modest, and respect which are the most important features of Chinese leadership traits.

Zhang(2004), suggested that most Chinese headteachers have less personal occupational ambitions. This research notes that the headteachers can become outstanding if they get more attention from the government. Wong's(2008) case study also shows that teachers in China should enhance their professional awareness in leadership and management. It is necessary "to develop strategies to cope with new educational demands and challenges". Additionally, in the earlier time, Yang (2003) has introduced the school's external public relationship in China and perceived that the schools' leaders should build good relationships with publics. However, the faithfulness is still highlighted as a traditional virtue in Chinese management. It is a crucial element into a hierarchical structure in the education. As Casimir and Waldman(2007) stated, under this culture control, leaders prefer to be domineering, and the followers always be devoted and respectful.

However, under the influence of the managerialism, the education system changed to more autonomy and accountability. Take the state-university relationship as an example, the state had complete control of higher education before 1978 which copied the Soviet model (Wang, 2010). Following the Deng Xiaoping's direction, The Decision of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on the Reform of Education Structure (1985) restructured the relationship between school, the government, and party.

As seen from the following two charts built by Wang (2010), they show the managerial structure in Chinese education. In general, it is controlled by the government and the party with the certain extent of bureaucratic manner. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is the dominant power in the Chinese management, which also applies in the education system. There exists a committee of school management which is in charge of performance, assessment and school evaluation and culture in both the state and provinces, and the state and the party. The party supervising and state control of school s can guarantee the effectiveness of governance in higher education(Li, 2010). In order to connect the two organizations, The cadres are co-working and exchanging staff amongst universities or schools and the government. Wang's (2010) finding shows that the government control consisted of two parts: academic and administrative; and the former influenced by the latter strongly.

Figure 1¼ŽBureaucratic structure of education administration (adoted from Wong, 2010)

State Council


Academic Degrees Committee of the State Council

Provincial government

Provincial education supervision office

HEIs affiliated with MOE

Provincial education commission

HEIs affiliated with regional government

Private HEIs

MOE: Ministry of Education

HEIs: High Education institutions



This state-centred control influenced the headteachers in three dimensions: the policy, ideology, and organisation. (Wang, 2010) It reinforced the application of performance assessments. According to his interviews and research, the performance evaluations have been "frequent and overwhelming enough to disturb normal teaching and research and wasted public resources" they had even undertaken a new controlling strategy. He proved that the management of Chinese HE system has been influenced by managerialism. They enjoy a high degree of institutional autonomy and academic freedom. And influenced by the western leadership theories, Chinese leadership is changing from traditional hierarchy and directive approaches to participative, strategic, and visionary in recently.

Figure 2. Controlling organisation of CCP in education (adopted from Wong, 2010)



CCP central committee

CCP regional committee

Party group in ministry of education

Party group in provincial education commission

Educational work commission of the CCP regional committee

CCP: Chinese Communist Party

The decentralization has been implemented in China for nearly twenty years. (Wong, 2008) It is a process in which the control power devolved to the local government or schools and teachers from central government. Cheng (1999) pointed out that decentralization has contributed to the development and effectiveness of schools. In this context, schools and headteachers have more independent options in decision-making, particularly in financial revenue, the recruitment of students and teachers, and school management. (Wang, 2010) However, the freedom is limited. As shown from the research, the state still controls the instructional objectives and assessment criteria so that the schools and teachers have less control. For instance, the curriculum cannot be solely built by the school and it should adopt to the National Ministry of Education. The school can build some extra curriculum without the support from the government, but the learning outcomes are not included in the national assessment system. So, there still exist numerous restrictions on educational professionals.

Affected and directed by the Chinese traditional thoughts, the leaders and teachers emphasis is on nation-first and the policies and requirements from the government which should be considered in priority. Furthermore, although the decentralization has been carried out for a long time, it has restrictions in the practical situations inevitably. All in all, the Chinese management and leadership are ushering in a new round of change and challenge. Wong (2010) identified that "central to the governance changes and university autonomy."

1.3 Compare controls in England and China

As shown from the format above, there is a tight link between the educational control system and the national government in China. Based on the single-party state controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) since 1949, the public education system is controlled by the state and the party. And the CCP has central and regional organizations. Moreover, the educational system is a state-run system which controlled by the Ministry of Education (MOE). Thus, each educational decision-making and management is related to the state policy and should follow the "top-down" influence.

With this background, as a leader in school or college, the political attitude remains for a long term. The party members have infiltrated in to the educational organization from the central level to the regional levels. It can be identified by the national curricula, textbooks, examination, funding control, and the administration. It shows that the education system is a state/party-centralised and bureaucratic. As Lauglo (1997, cite by Bush, 2003 p.11) stated that "bureaucratic centralism is pervasive in many developing countries". For instance, the Chinese government centralised the professional educators as a policy-maker group at the state level. They make decisions base on the collective values and the organization culture. It conveys a strong nationalist idea in context. The leaders of the subunit department have to keep consensus actions with political decision.

In China, according to the latest news from MOE (2010), there are twenty-two departments in the education system and they are divided in to five levels, including the national, provincial, municipal, prefectural and the rural. It is numerous and complicated. On the contrary, in Britain, there are only five regional departments (DoE, 2010), including minister of state for schools, minister of state for children and families, parliamentary under-secretary of state for children and families, parliamentary under-secretary of state for schools and minster of state for further education, skills, and lifelong learning. It shows that the British educational system is controlled by ministry of education and the parliament and it is divided into two levels, national and municipal. As a result of the national conditions in two different countries, the contrast of the control system is enormous.

The difficulties of Chinese education system are evident gradually. Wang (2010) holds that the leaders lack self-determined administration and their responsibilities are unclear. (Wang, 2010) The decisions are made by the professional team which imperatively consist of party members from the top down. It shows bureaucratic and hierarchical features.

British education system also experienced centralization for the last 30 years. (Bush, 2003; Bottery, 1999) Nowadays, England and Wales educational system is change to self-management model which influenced by the decentralization. It highlighted by participative democracy, the market mechanism and the devolution (Bush, 2003). According to Alexiadou and Ozga (2002) found that the English education system has changed along with the economic imperative. They reflected that the local government has both tendencies, centralization and decentralization.

The education control system in England and Wales consists of the central government (Department for Education and Employment namely DfEE), local education authorities (LEAs) and the latter is the major controlling. (DfEE, 2011) There is a special role in the governing body called "link governor". He/she coordinates the relationship between the school and the local authority (LA), such as supervising the operation conditions of the school and providing certain of information to LA. (DfEE, 2011) In the Ministerial Working Group report on the governance system (2011), the finding shows that the governing bodies did a good job. However, they need to be reposition of their purpose in the management and to coordinate the relationship during the performance of tasks.

As shown from the Governing Body Decision Planner (2000), in the UK, there are four making-decision levels in school as the following:

Level 1 - Decisions made by the governing body

Level 2 - Decisions made by committee of the governing body

Level 3 - Decisions delegated to the individual governor

Level 4 - Decisions made by the headteacher

The full governing body dominants most of educational task except establishes and implements curriculum policy, and manages the collective worship. However, these tasks expected from the government control are the making-decisions at level 4.

However, compared to the Scottish education system, the England prefer to centralized policy base on an effective management as business. The managerialism makes education becoming a "big business" (Newman, 2001; Crouch, 2003; cited by Arnott and Menter, 2007) and the performativity makes education to achieve its commitment more effective. As the Arnott and Menter(2007) proved, these are reforming the teachers' roles and work and the evidence can seen from the paper Teachers: meeting the challenge of change(1998). Moreover, the threshold assessment (a form of merit pay) is commonly used in public and private sector which is also producing negative effects, such as the inequality between genders and ethics.

Unlike in China, in England and Wales, the non-government school is more popular than the state one because it has more academic and administration freedom while getting funding support from government. (Teelken, 1999) According to Arnott and Menter(2007) introduced that the England government control in curriculum and pedagogy is stronger. The local authority now is supervising and inspecting the education system instead of the direct controlling. As the evidence from financial report (2011), the governing body provide the financial expertise and strategic leadership. And the government supported and monitored the activities of headteacher. The LA provides the authority financial budget to the school and supervises its execution. If the government does not discharge its duty, the school make an action plan to develop the management. Based on analyzing the context of school leadership and management, Hallinger and Heck (2003) pointed out the future trend of it. The principals and headteachers can enhance the school effectiveness via their personal ability and professional decision, such as formulate the strategic plan without confusion of ideas, and increase cost to build the school as a learning organisation.

Overall, Chinese education leadership and management is a typical bureau-professionalism type while the England and Wales is tending to managerialism. As Simkins (1999) stated, the former makes decision base on the "bureaucratic plus professional discretion and judgement" which also consider the needs and rights of client. In contrast, the latter is emphasis on the "managerial discretion and techniques" and the performance and efficiency of organisation. Interestingly, in China, although it is running the bureaucracy and hierarchy management, it is also focusing on the collective values and organisation achievement. The evidence seems to suggest that the Chinese management and leadership is changing to managerialism and it is an inevitable trend. As Simkins (1999) said, "none of the areas of research potential identified previously belong exclusively to the field of management". It can be possible to be the multiple types of management at the same time.

Part 2 Leadership Styles in Education

In Britain leaders operate within the constraints placed upon them by the managerialist ideology. The style of leadership they use differs from person to person but often it is composed of parts of several different leadership theories. Below I outline three popular theories that English leaders use. In the next section I consider to what extent these theories could be applied by Chinese leaders.

2.1 Leadership theories in England

Leadership has been identified in various theories. Northouse(2007) has identified that "leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal." To be a leader, that means to influence the others by using personal potential and ability. And there are two major kinds of power in general: position power including legitimate, reward and coercive; personal power including referent and expert. In the following section, I will review and analyze three leadership theories that are widely used in the UK. These include style theory, situational theory and transformational theory.

2.11Style theory

The style theory emphasises behaviour and considers combining two kinds of behaviours together by task behaviours and relationship behaviours. Ohio State University divided it into two separate continuums by the types of behaviours: structuring/ authoritarian and consideration/democratic. While, the University of Michigan studies identified two types of behaviours: employee orientation and production orientation. Both of institutes established the idea that the leaders should find a right balance point between task and relationship. It works by describing their behaviours and providing an insight into themselves from other members. It also has few weaknesses, such as failing to identify the link between the task and relationship, overlooking the impact on performance and attitude of companies, and limitation of taking into account of the context or specific situation. (McGrath & Coles, 2012 in press)

2.12Situational theory

The situational theory is divided into directional and supportive dimension, and is based on the idea that different situation requires different kinds of leadership. In a particular context, a good leader should recognize the staffs' needs and offer reasonable support tactfully. The leadership styles composed of four categories: S1 directing, S2 coaching, S3 supporting and S4 delegating. It is also relates to the competence and commitment of subordinates. This theory is useful in leadership training because it is simple, intuitive, and practical. It also reminds the leader to differentiate the followers' demands and treats them in flexible ways. However, it has constraints in the following aspects: 1) few research studies 2) fuzzy definition of competence and commitment 3) the dimness of the followers' levels 4) applied solely to leaders 5) the localized gathering of the questionnaire. (McGrath & Coles, 2012 in press)

2.13Transformational theory (TL)

As Northouse (2007) argues, transformational theory is one of the current leadership approaches in the UK since the1980s. It derives from Burns (1987) and Bass (1985) and was developed by Bennis and Nanus (1985) and Tichy and De Vanna (1986 & 1990). It is concerned with values, ethics, standards, and long-term goals. It influences the individual and organizational work by raising the leaders' and the staff's motivation and morality. Base on the idea from Burns (1985), the basis of this theory is raising the consciousness levels of the followers, including the positive working attitude, connections between personal and organizational, and self-affirmation. This theory has been researched widely and has an intuitive appeal with, particular emphasis on the importance of the followers' needs. Although it has provided a new view of leadership, it lacks definitions of effectiveness on leadership and management in particular environments. It is elitist and anti democratic which might to be abused in the core leadership role.

Moreover, there exists a similar theory named charismatic leadership (CL). Weber(1947) identified that charisma is a special personality characteristic(Cited McGragth & Coles, 2012 in press). The leaders, as role models, can enhance the followers' efficiency, positive attitude, and potential in order to achieve their high expectations.

2.2 Reflections in China

As House et al. (2004) stated, culture will make leadership characteristics and styles acceptable and operational. (Cited by Casimir and Waldman, 2007) In this section, I will reflect on the extent to which Chinese leaders could use style, situational and transformational leadership theories.

As stated above theories are widely applied in British education management and to some extent they also operate within China. Although the Chinese leadership and management systems are learned from the western styles, it is worth noting that the Chinese remain the traditional behaviour which is similar with the TL and CL. The followers accept and support the leaders without question due to nation culture. The staffs are obedient to the leaders and regarding the leader as their hero or goals. Unfortunately, the complex control system restricts the role play of leaders. On the other hand, due to the faultiness training system of leaders, the quality of leaders insufficient to be great with charisma.

Northouse(2010) reports that according to the findings from GLOBE researchers (Global Leadership and Organizational Behaviour Effectiveness research programme), China and England has been provided into the two cultural groups. Based on the analyzes from the data gathered from each religion with the nine cultural dimensions as reference, China is identified as the Confucian Asia cluster and England is in the Anglo cluster.

Table 1: Culture clusters and desired leadership behaviours in China and England, adapted from Nothouse (2007) p317-318



Self-protective leadership

Charismatic/ valued-based leadership

Team-oriented leadership

Participative leadership

Humane-oriented leadership

Humane-oriented leadership

Charismatic/valued-based leadership

Team-oriented leadership

Autonomous leadership

Autonomous leadership

Participative leadership

Self-protective leadership

The above table shows that the leadership profile of the Confucian Asia and cluster Anglo cluster is based on relative importance and desirability. According to the characteristic of each profiles, and from McGrath and Coles (2012 in press), I have reclassified it depending on my findings as follows:

Table 2: Reclassified Nothouse's profiles based on the leadership theories

Nothouse's profile

Leadership theories

Self-protective leadership

Trait theory

Charismatic/ valued-based leadership

Transformational leadership

Humane-oriented leadership

Situational/style leadership

Participative leadership

Distributed leadership

Team-oriented leadership

Style leadership

Autonomous leadership

Distributed leadership

Chinese leaders prefer to make independent decision though works with others. Moreover, the self-protective nature of Chinese leader's is the most important characteristic while the English leader is running counter to this factor. Northouse(2007, p314) identified the self-protective leadership as the following:

…reflects behaviours that ensure that safety and security of the leader and the group. It includes leadership that is self-centred, status conscious, conflict inducing, face saving, and procedural.

The weakness of such theory is obvious that the leaders ignore the followers' need and right, which is also the advantage of the transformational theory. In other words, the transformational theory gives significant inspiration to Chinese leaders.

This report now will review the implications of styles, situational and transformational theory that the educationalists controls in England and China, from the following tables:

Table 3: Style theory in England and China



English education leaders display both task and supportive behaviour but the literature indicates that under pressure many of leaders resist to a task centred approach.

Chinese education leaders also display both task and supportive behaviour but actually most of them prefer to the task aids goal achievement by team works.

Table 4: Situational theory in England and China



England education leaders do use the approach with inexperienced leaders. But it is less used with experienced leaders.

Chinese education leaders use the directive or delegating approach mostly no matter with inexperienced or experienced leaders.

Table 5:Transformational theory in England and China



This theory is a valuable widely used approach in England education leaders. It provides a new thinking aspect about the subordinates' needs in their work but it restricted in the senior leaders.

Chinese education leaders realised the value of this theory but lack of using. They indeed need training programme to be good leaders who are closing to the followers.

In summary, this report reflects upon the possibility of applying the three theories in China, especially the situational and transformational leadership theory. First, Chinese leaders should redefine the positions of leader and manager and provide a systematic and professional training for them at the primary, middle, and senior position and organize cohesive management teams by experienced teachers and staff. Besides, it is useful to restructure and modify the managerial structure in education system, including the government department, school, college, and university to provide a flexible and creative working environment.


Nowadays, it is no doubt that the managerialism is a significant and popular approach in the education leadership and management. In this report, I have tried to discuss the leadership and management in education, which contrasts the application of managerialism and performativity in China and England, Wales. First, it reviews the development process of managerialism and performativity in England and the impacts of teachers' work and freedom. It also reflects the Chinese government control in education system integrating literature and practise. Then, for the different historical, cultural, political, social, economic circumstances it analyses that the comparison and contrast the educational controlling system between two countries.

The findings show that the development of leadership in China has its own features although influenced by the western countries. As Wang (2007, p.84) presented that "the delivery is process of dissonance, interaction, and integration between different cultures, values, philosophies, and beliefs". It is learning from the western management, not transfer straightly.

This report highlights three leadership theories used by English leaders: style theory, situational theory, and transformational theory. Through the study and research, I argue that the Chinese government needs to develop the leadership training programs, which to expand the using of varies of theories depend on the different position. The evidence suggests a number of trends towards managerialism and performativity in Chinese education system. And it seems likely that it will continue to be contested by bureaucracy and hierarchy which influenced by the traditional values and practices.

In China, the state and the party still dominate the political and economic control in education system. With the tendency of decentralism, to some extent, it is possible to have freedom for the leaders and managers to administrate their organization. It depends on their capacity. A question begging an answer centers on how the Chinese leaders can be furthest improved under the affect of traditional values. Determining the answer will not be an easy proposition, but is nonetheless one that deserves cautious and deliberate consideration