A new biographical studies for educational leadership: challenges from a postcolonial and globalizing world

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)


This paper examines the nature, role and development of biographical studies in educational administration and leadership, how it has changed under neo-liberalism and the challenges posed by postcolonial studies. It first examines the nature and value of conventional Western biographical studies for educational administration, including a number of problems and limitations that also affect biographical studies in other parts of the world. The second section examines a number of issues in the postcolonial literature that raise questions about Western research, including biographical practices that lead to ‘orientalism’ (Said), inequities and communicative domination (Habermas), the construction of the subaltern (Guha, Spivak), a critique of colonial social forms and cultural processes (Bourdieu), and research practices that disadvantage the non- Western research subject (Smith). The final section examines research implications of a more decolonized and inclusive biographical studies for educational administration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-228
Number of pages30
JournalResearch in Educational Administration & Leadership (REAL)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2017


  • biography
  • administration
  • educational leadership
  • post-colonialism
  • globalization

Cite this