Assembling the actors: exploring the challenges of ‘system leadership’ in education through Actor-Network Theory

Type of content
Journal Article
Thesis discipline
Degree name
Informa UK Limited
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Kamp A

This paper presents insights into the leadership implications of recent shifts in a range of policy contexts towards notions of collaboration and partnership. The paper draws on empirical research into the formation and operation of government instituted networks in the context of education in Victoria, Australia. From 2001, School Networks and Local Learning and Employment Networks (LLEN) were implemented by the state government to support young people in their transition through school and into employment in a context of a risk society, a context where pathways into sustainable employment for young people, and others, had become more erratic. For comparative purposes, the paper also draws on published research into the implementation of joined-up approaches, including Primary Strategy Learning Networks (PSLN), in England. Using concepts from Actor-Network Theory (ANT), the paper argues for the value of considering the full range of actors – both human and non-human, real and unreal – involved in networking initiatives and proposes some thoughts on the implications of such a sociology of associations for both leadership and governance.

Kamp A (2017). Assembling the actors: exploring the challenges of ‘system leadership’ in education through Actor-Network Theory. Journal of Education Policy. 33(6). 778-792.
Partnership, Collaboration, Leadership, Actor-Network Theory, Governance, Networks
Ngā upoko tukutuku/Māori subject headings
ANZSRC fields of research
1301 Education Systems
1303 Specialist Studies in Education
1605 Policy and Administration
Fields of Research::39 - Education::3904 - Specialist studies in education::390403 - Educational administration, management and leadership
Fields of Research::39 - Education::3902 - Education policy, sociology and philosophy::390201 - Education policy
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