Invitational leadership in a Catholic school

David Fincham

This article argues that the influential theory of invitational leadership can be enhanced and enriched in practice when it is informed by Christian values. David Fincham lectures on the MA in Catholic School Leadership at St Mary’s University, Twickenham.

The theory of invitational leadership has been well documented and explored in the literature on leadership. Stoll and Fink (1999: 109), for example, using Purkey and Novak’s (1990) metaphor of ‘invitation and disinvitation’, argue that:

Invitations … are messages communicated to people which inform them that they are able, responsible and worthwhile. Disinvitations are the messages to people, whether intentional or unintentional, which are uncaring, demeaning, devaluing, intolerant or discriminatory, and hurtful.

In discussions around the subject, exponents of invitational leadership believe that… nothing is more important in life than people. It is the people who create a respectful, optimistic, trusting and intentional society.. (Purkey; 1992:7)

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