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Novice and experienced principals’ attitudes towards support in their leadership

Conference contribution
Authors Mette Liljenberg
Klas Andersson
Published in Paper presented at the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement, Stavanger, 8-12 January 2019
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Education and Special Education
Language en
Keywords school leadership, support structure, novice principals, experienced principals
Subject categories Pedagogy

Abstract

In the decentralized school system principals experience intense work situations as they are expected to be accountable decision-makers and take responsibility for economic, marketing, work environment, and personnel issues. When supporting principals in their leadership role, different leadership perspectives can be noted in different arrangements. The aim of this study is to examine western Swedish principals’ attitudes towards support in their leadership, testing two different approaches, the so-called heroic and distributed approaches, investigating whether principals believe that these approaches could improve their job satisfaction, competence and relationships within the school. In order to capture principals’ attitudes to different approaches to leadership support, data were collected in a scenario-based experiment. The participants were exposed to one of two randomly distributed scenario versions of the hypothetical support, introduced to improve practice. The study involved 154 novice western Swedish principals recruited from the National School Leadership Training Program and 85 experienced principals taking part in professional development programs. The preliminary results indicate that novice principals are in favor of the heroic leadership approach, except when it comes to relational work. Yet, for experienced principals no differences between the leadership approaches could be detected.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012
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