Successful school leadership: the Norwegian case

Jorunn Møller (Department of Teacher Education and School Development, University of Oslo, Blindern, Oslo, Norway)
Astrid Eggen (ILS, University of Oslo, Blindern, Oslo, Norway)
Otto L. Fuglestad (Department of Education, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway)
Gjert Langfeldt (Department of Teacher Education and School Development, University of Oslo, Blindern, Oslo, Norway)
Anne‐Marie Presthus (Faculty of Education, Agder University College, Kristiansand, Norway)
Siw Skrøvset (Tromsø University College, Tromsø, Norway)
Else Stjernstrøm (Department of Teacher Education, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway)
Gunn Vedøy (Department of Teacher Education, Hedmark University College, Hamar, Norway)

Journal of Educational Administration

ISSN: 0957-8234

Publication date: 1 December 2005



This paper aims to identify what counts as successful school leadership within a Norwegian context.


The paper uses multi‐site case study methods as a methodological approach. In selecting cases the first strategy included schools appointed as “good practice schools” by the Ministry of Education and Research. The second strategy was to obtain a desired variation based on different factors like school size and structure, rural/urban representation and principals' gender.


Leadership in the case schools are almost entirely practiced through collaboration and team efforts, and a learning‐centered approach is the focal point for the schools' philosophy as well as for its practice. Respect of the individual student and colleague in the building of professional communities of practice seems to be a guiding norm of conduct. In addition, school leaders that are successful in fulfilling a moral enterprise based on democratic principles and values, manage to deal with the types of dilemmas that are at the core of working with people in a school.


The study shows how successful leadership is an interactive process involving many people and players.



Møller, J., Eggen, A., Fuglestad, O., Langfeldt, G., Presthus, A., Skrøvset, S., Stjernstrøm, E. and Vedøy, G. (2005), "Successful school leadership: the Norwegian case", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 43 No. 6, pp. 584-594.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.