ERIC Number: EJ1055567
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
School Performance Trajectories and the Challenges for Principal Succession
Lee, Linda C.
Journal of Educational Administration, v53 n2 p262-286 2015
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to use empirical data on new principals to clarify the connection between different succession situations and the challenges their successor principals face. Design/methodology/approach: The study draws on two waves of interview data from a random sample of 16 new elementary school principals in a major urban school district in the USA. Findings: New principals face distinct practice challenges depending on the nature of their successions. The less planned the succession, the less information and knowledge the new principal tends to possess. The more discontinuous the new administration's trajectory is with the previous administration, the greater the staff resistance that the successor principal tends to face. Research limitations/implications: Few studies systematically examine how succession situations differ in schools that are in need of transformation vs those in need of stability. This study addresses this gap by illuminating the varied processes of succession and highlighting specific mechanisms that link these processes to different organizational trajectories. Practical implications: For district officials, this study suggests that principals in unplanned successions need greater support in quickly gathering information about their new schools while principals in discontinuous successions need greater expertise in how to balance trust-building and accountability in their attempts to promote transformational change. Originality/value: This study's primary value is its detailed articulation of how certain characteristics of succession situations are associated with specific types of challenges. Only studies at this level of specificity can be effective guides to practitioners and policymakers who are charged with preparing, selecting, and supporting new principals and their schools.
Descriptors: Administrative Change, Interviews, Elementary Schools, Urban Schools, School Administration, Beginning Principals, Planning
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A