With the objective of identifying the combinations of principal—deputy principal leadership styles perceived to be most effective in Victoria's State high schools, style was defined in terms of task and relationship orientation. Fieldler's semantic differential scales for measuring orientation and atmosphere were adopted. The expectations of a groups of Education Department inspectors and administrators were utilised in the development of an effectiveness scale. Principal—deputy principal partnerships in which at least one of the two leaders was oriented towards tasks were perceived to be more effective than combinations in which neither was oriented towards tasks. Obversely, combinations in which relationship orientation was absent were seen as more effective than combinations in which relationship orientation was present. In the breakdown of schools by their atmosphere scores, the general finding linking task orientation with perceived effectiveness was replicated in the group of schools having the least‐favourable atmosphere.
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