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The implications of loneliness among school principals

Peleg Dor-Haim (School of Education, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel)
Izhar Oplatka (School of Education, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Article publication date: 2 March 2021

Issue publication date: 6 May 2021




This paper explores the subjective interpretations of school principals' experiences of loneliness in the workplace and the implications of those experiences. The study poses two questions: (1) How do school principals perceive that their experience of loneliness affects their emotional well-being? (2) How do school principals perceive that the experience of loneliness influences their performance at work?


Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 22 elementary and secondary school principals in Israel. A qualitative research methodology was employed to collect and analyze the data.


Data analysis resulted in four overarching themes, which captured the subjective consequences of principals' experiences of loneliness at work: a negative effect on work performance, emotional distress, physical health consequences and a positive perspective on loneliness.


Expanding upon the current knowledge regarding principals' perceived outcomes of loneliness may help to deepen our understanding of principals' emotional experiences and functioning at work. This examination is of great value as previous research has demonstrated the central role of principals on school success.



Dor-Haim, P. and Oplatka, I. (2021), "The implications of loneliness among school principals", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 35 No. 4, pp. 803-814.



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