Although the importance of shared leadership to school success has been widely recognised in the literature, only scant attention has been paid to the feelings of vice‐principals over undertaking more responsibilities. Maintained by the researchers in this somewhat neglected area is the assertion that vice‐principals who find their jobs more satisfying have stronger desire for principalship whereas those experiencing less job satisfaction were more likely to wish to remain in their present roles. The feelings of vice‐principals towards their jobs thus warrant further investigation given the current shortage of principal applicants, which is predominately comprised of vice‐principals, in many places of the world. This paper aims to investigate this issue.
Taking into consideration that most of the studies on vice‐principalship in the literature have been descriptive and provided little empirical support, this study attempted to empirically verify the job satisfaction and desire for principalship link based on a quantitative survey covering vice‐principals in all Hong Kong secondary schools.
The results suggest that professional commitment, sense of efficacy and sense of synchrony are the three satisfaction factors affecting the desire of vice‐principals for becoming principals; the effect of the first two is positive whereas that of the last one is negative.
The negative relation between sense of synchrony and desire for principalship is worth noting; it suggested vice‐principals in Hong Kong who upheld the Chinese cultural value of workplace harmony had found it hard to strike a balance between maintaining a harmonious working relationship with colleagues and seeking for career advancement and thus chose to remain in their vice‐principal positions. The perceived tension between school performance and work harmony held by vice‐principals in Hong Kong is a crucial issue to be addressed by policy makers.
This paper is the first of its kind to investigate the direct link between job satisfaction and the career aspiration of vice‐principals using a quantitative methodology.
Kwan, P. (2009), "Vice‐principals' dilemma – career advancement or harmonious working relationship", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 203-216. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513540910941711Download as .RIS
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