Although educational management and leadership have drawn the attention of numerous scholars during the field’s 130-year written history, scholars have concluded it has not consistently generated strong theory and rigorous empirical research that could improve educational practices in schools. In this article, I provide some reflections on the field’s scholarly directions, focusing primarily on the aftermath of the theory movement that took place during the 1950s and 1960s—and my initial encounters with organizational theory as a framework for improving the quality of research on schools, in particular, school leadership and its role in school improvement. The application of organizational theory in key scholarly articles of the period formed a concrete reference point in the field’s historical land-cape to ground programmatic empirical inquiry since 1980, resulting in cumulative knowledge regarding the coordinating role of leadership in facilitating school improvement.

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