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Novice principals’ attitudes toward support in their leadership

Journal article
Authors Mette Liljenberg
Klas Andersson
Published in International Journal of Leadership in Education
ISSN 1360-3124
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Education and Special Education
Language en
Keywords School leadership, Leadership support, Novice principal, Pedagogical leadership, Scenario-based experiment
Subject categories Pedagogy


Novice principals experience intense work situations and various solutions have been suggested to handle them. This paper explores western Swedish novice principals’ attitudes toward support in their leadership. Specific questions addressed are whether the principals believe that two approaches, the so-called heroic and distributed approaches, could improve their job satisfaction, pedagogical leadership and relationships within their schools. The research provides novel contributions as it combines a scenario-based experiment with follow-up interviews to provide new insights regarding school leadership. The results clearly demonstrate that novice principals experience intense working situations. Moreover, they show that the principals significantly favor the heroic leadership approach for promoting job satisfaction and facilitating relational aspects of their work. However, for mitigating the loneliness associated with a leadership role, the principals significantly favor the distributed leadership approach. Thus, the results raise questions about previous suggestions that distributed leadership is a panacea for principals’ intense work situations.

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

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