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Leadership, the logic of sufficiency and the sustainability of education

Bottery, Mike


Mike Bottery


The notion of sufficiency has not yet entered mainstream educational thinking, and it still has to make its mark upon educational leadership. However, a number of related concepts – particularly those of sustainability and complexity theory – are beginning to be noticed. This article examines these two concepts and uses them to critique the quasi-economic notion of efficiency, before arguing that the concept of sufficiency arises naturally from this discussion. This concept, originally derived from environmental thinking, has both metaphorical and practical impact for educational organizations and their leadership. An examination of three possible meanings suggests that while an embrace of an imperative concept of sufficiency seems increasingly necessary, its adoption would probably lead to a number of other problems, as it challenges some fundamental societal values and assumptions. Nevertheless, the article argues that these need to be addressed for the sake of both sustainable leadership and a sustainable planet.


Bottery, M. (2012). Leadership, the logic of sufficiency and the sustainability of education. Educational Management Administration and Leadership, 40(4), 449-463.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 1, 2012
Online Publication Date Apr 25, 2012
Publication Date 2012-07
Deposit Date Apr 22, 2016
Publicly Available Date Oct 27, 2022
Journal Educational management administration and leadership
Print ISSN 1741-1432
Electronic ISSN 1741-1440
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 40
Issue 4
Pages 449-463
Keywords Complexity, Efficiency, Leadership, Sufficiency, Sustainability
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is the authors accepted manuscript version of an article published in Educational management administration and leadership, 2012, v.40 issue 4.


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