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A study of leadership effectiveness in a large VET institution in Australia

Don Adams (University of Newcastle, Callaghan, Australia)
David T. Gamage (University of Newcastle, Callaghan, Australia)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Article publication date: 28 March 2008




This paper aims to focus on a study of the effectiveness of head teacher leadership within TAFE NSW.


Quantitative and qualitative methods were employed to identify and measure the effective leadership attributes of the head teachers. The research sample consisted of head teachers and teachers.


The results suggest that the effectiveness of head teachers' leadership needs to be improved substantially. More specifically, there was a significant difference between the self‐perceived leadership effectiveness of the head teachers and the leadership effectiveness perceived by the teachers. The study also showed that the effects of gender, length of service as a head teacher, length of service in the position and the educational discipline area did not have a substantial effect on head teacher leadership effectiveness. However, emergent issues such as workload, lack of support and training, and the gap between the head teacher and higher‐level management were significant factors affecting head teacher leadership.

Practical implications

The findings suggest leadership development programs should be initiated to assist in developing the leadership areas in need of improvement, and additionally the need for better succession planning of the organization.


A study of the nature and scale, focused on the head teacher leadership effectiveness has not been undertaken before, within the Australian context, and this paper presents some useful information for future workforce planning of VET institutions and significant addition to the existing stock of knowledge.



Adams, D. and Gamage, D.T. (2008), "A study of leadership effectiveness in a large VET institution in Australia", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 214-228.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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