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School principals’ systems thinking: antecedents and consequences

Pascale Benoliel (School of Education, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel)
Haim Shaked (Hemdat Hadarom College of Education, Netivot, Israel)
Nechama Nadav (School of Education, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel)
Chen Schechter (School of Education, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel)

Journal of Educational Administration

ISSN: 0957-8234

Article publication date: 11 March 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Today’s educational complexities require principals to adopt a more systemic perspective toward school management. Although research has emphasized the benefits associated with the holistic perspective of systems thinking, research in the educational field has been limited. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the mediating role of principals’ systems thinking (PST) in the relationships between instructional leadership (IL) and subject coordinators’ organizational commitment and job satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected by surveying a sample of 226 subject coordinators from different elementary schools randomly chosen in Israel. Subject coordinators completed questionnaires on their PST competencies, their principals’ IL, job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Structural equation modeling was used to test the research hypotheses.

Findings

The results confirmed the main hypotheses: PST did facilitate subject coordinators’ organizational commitment and job satisfaction. Findings also showed that PST mediated the relationship between IL and subject coordinators’ organizational commitment and job satisfaction.

Originality/value

By integrating research from both educational and non-educational literature, this study contributes to deepen our understanding regarding the antecedents and consequences of the PST as perceived by their subject coordinators, providing a broader leadership framework on their functions in today’s complex school systems.

Keywords

Citation

Benoliel, P., Shaked, H., Nadav, N. and Schechter, C. (2019), "School principals’ systems thinking: antecedents and consequences", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 57 No. 2, pp. 167-184. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEA-08-2018-0144

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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