About Project SLEY

What is Social Leadership?

Theories of Social Leadership suggest that organisations need to adapt to the Social Age, which is characterised by the socialisation of information, the predominance of global networked communities, and the birth of the prosumer (Guglielmo & Palsule, 2014). In order to adapt, organisations need to embrace a kind of leadership that makes full use of the principles of community – membership, affinity and connectivity – in order to create organisations that work with rather than against Social Energy. In essence, theories of Social Leadership reconceptualise organisations as potential communities that come to life when there is a strong purpose and passion pulsing through the community.

Why might Social Leadership be helpful in improving Early Years (EY) provision?

  • EY provision is an essential part of working towards social justice in any society
  • EY provision faces many day-to-day operational challenges, including difficulties with recruitment, retention and staff wellbeing
  • Embedding a strong sense of social purpose at the heart of EY provision (through the Social Leadership approach) may support the sector’s contribution to social justice while also enabling it to overcome day-to-day operational challenges

What research is needed?

Our research centres around three questions:

  • What does Social Leadership look like in the context of EY provision?
  • What is the impact of a Social Leadership approach on everyday EY provision?
  • What training and experiences do EY staff need in order to become strong social leaders?

We’d love to be in touch with anyone interested in becoming more practically involved in the research – whether you’re an EY provider or a researcher. You can get in touch with us here.