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School discipline, investment, competitiveness and mediating educational performance

Hana Krskova (Department of Marketing and Management, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia)
Chris Baumann (Department of Marketing and Management, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia) (Seoul National University (SNU), Seoul, Korea)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Article publication date: 10 April 2017




The purpose of this paper is to combine seemingly unrelated factors to explain global competitiveness. The study argues that school discipline and education investment affect competitiveness with the association being mediated by educational performance. Crucially, diachronic effects of discipline on performance are tested to demonstrate effects over time.


Partial least square (PLS) modelling is used to analyse the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) data. The study further draws from World Bank data on Government Expenditure and World Economic Forum data on competitiveness. Five PISA dimensions of school discipline (students listening well, noise levels, teacher waiting time, students working well, class start time) are hypothesised to affect academic performance in reading, math and science, and to ultimately impact competitiveness.


Findings confirm the relative importance of school discipline (88 per cent) in comparison to education investment (12 per cent) on educational performance, with both variables also being found to be significantly associated with competitiveness directly.


This study demonstrates the time effects of discipline, more specifically that discipline dimensions (students listen well in 2003 and students work well in 2009) are associated with competitiveness in 2012. Implications for school policy and further research are discussed.



The authors wish to thank the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Educational Management for his kind guidance, and they wish to acknowledge the useful input from the anonymous reviewers. An earlier version was submitted as a part of fulfillment of requirements for Master of Research at Macquarie University.


Krskova, H. and Baumann, C. (2017), "School discipline, investment, competitiveness and mediating educational performance", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 31 No. 3, pp. 293-319.



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