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Mapping educational leadership, administration and management research 2007–2016: Thematic strands and the changing landscape

Meng Tian (Department of Education, University of Bath, Bath, UK)
Stephan Gerhard Huber (Institute for the Management and Economics of Education, Padagogische Hochschule Zug, Zug, Switzerland)

Journal of Educational Administration

ISSN: 0957-8234

Article publication date: 10 December 2019

Issue publication date: 23 March 2020




The purpose of this paper is to examine the development of educational leadership, administration and management (EdLAM) research by identifying thematic strands that hallmark key publications and synthesise major research findings and limitations.


This study combines bibliometric and content analysis methods to review 2,347 publications from 15 core EdLAM journals published from 2007 to 2016.


The bibliometric analysis identified five EdLAM thematic strands: school leadership for enhancing students’ academic achievement and teachers’ effectiveness; leadership for educational change, accountability and promoting democratic values; leadership for social justice, equal education and narrowing achievement gaps; principal’s instructional leadership for school improvement; and distributed leadership and its impact on organisational climate and teachers’ attitudes and stress. The content analysis revealed that the EdLAM research from 2007 to 2016 further developed the following research areas: the dynamics between leaders and teachers in leadership work, the potential risks of distributed leadership and the EdLAM challenges brought by the New Public Management and neoliberalism.


This study depicts state-of-the-art EdLAM research. It confirms the combination of bibliometric and content analyses as a useful approach for large-scale review studies. Finally, this review suggests future research directions.



Tian, M. and Huber, S.G. (2020), "Mapping educational leadership, administration and management research 2007–2016: Thematic strands and the changing landscape", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 58 No. 2, pp. 129-150.



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