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Section 1: Conceptual Framework

Page history last edited by Debra (ILA) 14 years, 1 month ago


Conceptual Framework
The purpose of this section is to offer an opportunity for leadership program developers to provide a comprehensive conceptual focus tailored to their specific leadership program.  This section contains questions that will help program developers make explicit the underlying conceptual framework, beliefs, theories and philosophies that guide their work. This explicitness is a key means to communicating clearly program values, checking for congruity between these frameworks and the pedagogical choices actually made and, finally, making it possible to challenge the validity and basis of educational design choices. Ultimately, clearly describing conceptual frameworks will lead to better programs and more student learning.
General Questions
•           What is the conceptual framework of the leadership program?
Popper and Lipshitz (1993) define institutional leadership development as a planned and systematic effort to improve the quality of leadership. A conceptual framework which relates to leadership development should include three elements: the development of self-efficacy in the domain of leadership, awareness of modes of motivating others and the development of leadership skills.
•           Has the conceptual framework been articulated in a way that makes it possible to derive program content, pedagogy and learning outcomes?


•           What theories, research, and wisdom of practice underpin the program’s belief that its purposes/goals are worthwhile and of value?


•           How does the program’s context (see section 2) relate to its conceptual framework?


          How does the program’s conceptual framework align with the institution’s mission, vision, values, and strategic plan?


Questions on Philosophy, Purpose and Goals
•           What are the theoretical foundations and historical perspectives underpinning the leadership program?
Philosophical perspectives are based on the programs values. Values are enduring beliefs about the kinds of behaviors or end-states preferable to others (Buchko, 2007). Values form the share conceptions of what is most desirable in a program and holds the organization together. Effective leadership programs should provide guidance the ensure clear and shared sense of the organizational mission and vision for the future (Ruben, Russ, Smulowitz, & Cunnaughton, 2007) Leadership with vision as a core component is recommended for organization to remain relevant in a global environment (Kantabutra and Avery, 2007). Clear measurable goals and objectives are derived from the programs mission, vision and values. Critical to the development of leadership programs is the question of ethics and how the program addresses questions of ethics.
The following sub-questions will help specify the philosophy, purpose and goals of the program:
•           What is the mission/purpose of the program?
•          What is the program’s vision for the future?
•           What are the program’s overarching guiding principles? 
•           What are the broad goals, objectives, and outcomes of leadership programs?
•           How are these connected to philosophy and mission?
•           How does the program engage ethical issues?
Questions related to Teaching and Learning
•           What theories and beliefs about teaching and learning underlie choices made about pedagogy, assessment, ordering of content and activities?
The teaching of leadership allows students to develop realistic perspectives and understandings based on contemporary leadership theories and observed behaviors. Teachers should draw on relevant leadership theories that promote such intellectual development in students (Allio, 2005). The teaching of leadership is conducive to student-driven learning where contemporary theories are linked to actual experiences (Allio, 2005). Typically leadership programs focus on leadership theory, concepts, and principles; promoting leadership literacy but not leadership competence however, paradoxically, while leadership cannot be taught, leadership can be learned. (Densten & Gray, 2005). The design of the program in terms of teaching and learning should consist of five elements
·Identification of the learners abilities
·Identification of criteria of successful performance
·Identification of factors that lead to success
·Designing learning situations with a high likelihood of success (Popper & Lipshitz, 1993)



Allio, R. J. (2005). Leadership development: teaching versus learning. Management Decision, 43, 1071 – 1077.

Densten, I. L. & Gray, J. H. (2001). Leadership development and reflection: what is the connection? International Journal of Educational Management, 15(3), 119-124.

Kantabutra, S. Avery, G. C. (2007). Vision effects in customer and staff satisfaction: an empirical investigation. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, v28 i3 p209-229

Popper, M. & Lipshitz, R. (1993). Putting leadership theory to work: a conceptual framework for theory-based leadership development. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 14(7), 23-27.

2007). Evaluating the impact of organizational self-assessment in higher education: the Malcolm Baldrige/Excellence in Higher Education framework.Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 28, 230-250.

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