This distinction helps to illuminate two major ways that educational leaders have been ill-served by naive and corporatist presentations of culture. The first that cultural competence ‘is much more often interpreted as related to ethnicity issues and not to the much wider range of cultural issues’ (p.585) and second the falsehood that ‘assumes that organizations can unite behind a single culture that is benign and supports the interests of learners’ (p.580).
Seeing culture as a whole in a school distracts leaders from analysing the different components of their organizations which would lead to useful insights. Such integrationist perspectives are more likely to support the continuance of inequities in education than seek to remove them.
The integrationist perspective assumes that organizations can unite behind a single culture that is benign and supports the interests of learners… [yet]…the dominant culture is likely to be working in each school or college in favour of some and disadvantaging others. In other words, culture is implicated in the modulation of power. (p.580)
The goal should be that of changing oneself, rather than others, by recognizing that the culture is beyond the control of leaders but open to their influence and ‘understanding more fully one’s own culture and its relationship with the alternative and oppositional cultures that exist in each organization’ (p.587). School leaders should be searching ‘for evidence within their organization that reflects the prevalent global valorization of competition, efficiency and standardization’ (Luke and Luke, 2000)’ (p.582) as they face the moral challenge of deciding upon a direction for the organization.