Leadership and organisational performance: from research to prescription?

Daniel Muijs (School of Education, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Publication date: 18 January 2011



This paper is intended to give an overview of research on the impact of leadership on student outcomes, the main leadership activities related to these outcomes, and strengths and weaknesses in the research base.


This paper is a literature review of key papers addressing the relationship between leadership and student outcomes. Key authors and journals in the field were consulted.


Leadership has a significant indirect impact on student outcomes, though the role of contingency and school context in shaping leadership is important. There is some evidence for impact of transformational, distributed and instructional leadership. The evidence base for an impact of leadership development is limited, however. The research base suffers from significant weaknesses, such as dualism, over‐prescriptivity, lack of international research, limited methodologies, and poor measurement.


This paper provides a comprehensive overview of the evidence and points to ways in which research in the field can be improved to develop one's knowledge base further.



Muijs, D. (2011), "Leadership and organisational performance: from research to prescription?", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 45-60. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513541111100116

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