Complexity and the beginning principal in the United States: perspectives on socialization

Gary M. Crow (University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA)

Journal of Educational Administration

ISSN: 0957-8234

Publication date: 1 July 2006



This paper aims to contribute to the literature and practice on beginning principal socialization by identifying the features of post‐industrial work that create a more complex work environment for the practice and learning of the principalship in the USA.


Based on recent literature on the changing nature of work, the paper applies those features of complexity to components of beginning principal socialization.


The nature of work in post‐industrial society and the changes in education, including a knowledge society, technology, demographic changes, and public accountability increase the complexity for US school principals. These features provide an important conceptual and normative basis for understanding and changing the content, sources, methods, and outcomes of beginning principal socialization.


The paper contributes a set of conceptual and normative features that strengthens the understanding of how beginning principals learn the role.



Crow, G.M. (2006), "Complexity and the beginning principal in the United States: perspectives on socialization", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 44 No. 4, pp. 310-325.

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