Educational management is one of a trilogy of overlapping concepts, along with educational administration and educational leadership. These three concepts are related but nonetheless possess definitional differences depending on where the terms are applied.
The complexity of educational management as a concept is evidenced by its inclusion of related but subsidiary though important notions such as ethics, culture, and diversity within differing educational systems. The overall purpose of educational management is to effectively and efficiently create and maintain environments within educational institutions that promote, support, and sustain effective teaching and learning, but how those key objectives are set and the means by which they are attained may differ significantly depending upon education system or level and across educational cultures. In striving to accomplish these goals, educational managers, through thoughtful practical application of management principles, enlist and organize a society’s available resources to attain the educational goals that have been set by that society’s political leaders. As such, the various educational goals set by differing societies to which educational managers at all levels of the educational system must respond are by definition changeable along with changing socioeconomic conditions within a society and the disruption occasioned by the rapid development of digital technologies used as management tools. Educational management, while guiding planned change, must be responsive to unplanned, disruptive change created by rapid changes in both social structures and cultures as well as advances in digital technologies. This is where the element of educational leadership that directs and guides the entire process of educational management and administration takes on particular importance. Leadership includes both manager and teacher professional ethics and is expressed within a variety of theories of ethical leadership in education that respond to cultural imperatives in differing societies. Educational management must be responsive to both global and local changes due to technological developments that directly impact teaching and learning through changes in curriculum in terms of pedagogical and assessment practices. It is in how educational management as a discipline evolves to effectively meet the needs of educational systems contingent upon the challenges derived from technological, social, cultural, and economic changes sweeping the globe in the first decades of the 21st century that will determine the effectiveness and efficacy of management practices going forward. Effectively and innovatively managing change is the primary challenge facing educational management locally, regionally, and globally in the decades ahead.