Secrecy and Tradecraft in Educational Administration : The covert side of educational life book cover
1st Edition

Secrecy and Tradecraft in Educational Administration
The covert side of educational life

ISBN 9781138284913
Published November 7, 2016 by Routledge
248 Pages

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Book Description

During the last couple of decades, there has been an expansion in a number of related and overlapping fields producing evidence of covert activities: toxic cultures, destructive leadership styles, micropolitics, ethical problems in organisations and administration, abusive power and authority, and many other topics of dysfunctional management and leadership studies that frequently make reference to secretive and deceptive behaviour.

In this book, Eugenie A. Samier draws on a range of disciplines including education, psychology, administration and management studies and organizational theory to provide a comprehensive examination of the ways in which organisational leaders and administrators carry out their roles in a secretive or deceptive manner. Samier presents a theory of covert administration that can be used to:

  • provide an analysis and interpretation of secretive and deceptive activity
  • inform decision-making both theoretically and practically
  • offer a means of diagnosing errant management using secretive and deceptive practices
  • provide a general set of guidelines for determining when clandestine activities may be legitimate and moral.

Alongside a detailed presentation of the theory of covert administration, the book explores covert administration in practice, factors leading to it, and the results of attempts to combat its many forms. It will be key reading for researchers and postgraduates with an interest in the field, as well as administrators and policy makers.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Through the Looking Glass  Part 1: Foundational Theories and Critiques  A History of the Covert in Education.  The Covert in Administration and Leadership Studies.  In the Shadow of Organizational Power and Politics.  The Ever Popular Arts of War and Mirrors of Princes.  The Covert in Organizational Culture, Aesthetics, and Language.  The Psychology of Clandestine Behaviour  Part 2: The Structure of the Covert: Operationalizing Clandestine Activities  General Principles of the Covert: Lessons from Spymasters.  Recruitment, Training and Collection.  Processing, Analysis and Dissemination.  Covert Action: From Disinformation to Sabotage and Destroying the ‘Enemy’.  Counter-Intelligence, Surveillance and Counter-Surveillance.  Conclusion: To Spy or Not to Spy: Moral Considerations.

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Eugenie A. Samier is Associate Professor at the British University in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and a Visiting Fellow of Oxford Brookes University, UK. Her research concentrates on administrative philosophy and theory, interdisciplinary foundations of administration, theories and models of educational leadership, and comparative educational administration.


‘Post-Wikileaks there is huge international interest in organisational secrecy and puncturing the political mantra of transparency. This book provides an insightful view of how organisations are becoming less accountable, while purporting to be otherwise.’ – Professor John Smyth, Research Professor of Education, University of Ballarat, Australia