Why has critical realism not been used more in educational leadership and management research? A critical realist exploration

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Critical realism is an established post-positivist philosophy applied by researchers in a number of fields and yet it is little used in educational leadership and management research. This article responds to calls from the field for a more critical approach to educational leadership and management (ELM) research by offering critical realism as a way to address these concerns and it explores why critical realism has not featured more in the field, particularly as it could provide that more critical approach. The use of critical realism as analytical approach as well as a content enables the linkage of the calls from ELM to critical realist features and then to some constraints upon its use in the field. Theory around the application of critical realism is advanced providing insights for researchers in its use, though no claim is made that critical realism is the only way to do so.

© 2019, Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The attached document (embargoed until 06/05/2021) is an author produced version of a paper published in JOURNAL OF CRITICAL REALISM uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-44
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Critical Realism
Issue number1
Early online date6 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2020

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