Search results

1 – 1 of 1
To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 21 September 2012

Elizabeth N. Farley‐Ripple, Jeffrey A. Raffel and Jennie Christine Welch

The purpose of this paper is to present qualitative evidence on the processes and forces that shape school administrator career paths.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present qualitative evidence on the processes and forces that shape school administrator career paths.

Design/methodology/approach

An embedded case study approach is used to understand more than 100 administrator career transitions within the Delaware education system. Semi‐structured interview data were collected from 48 principals and assistant principals. Coding and analysis occurred through an iterative process, revealing patterns in processes and forces influencing the careers of school administrators.

Findings

While some career decisions are self‐initiated, most are influenced in part or entirely by other actors in the system, described as recruiting/tapping, requesting, reassigning, passing over, and removing. In self‐initiated decisions to move or stay, a number of “pushes” and “pulls” are identified. Findings also suggest the decision to stay‐equilibrium is driven by relationships with students and by district support.

Research limitations/implications

Data are limited to Delaware and represent the voices of principals and assistant principals only. Patterns evident in the data suggest a need to further investigate administrator career behavior qualitatively, as well as directions for future research.

Practical implications

There is a need to better understand and improve local human resource processes in terms of recruitment and assignment of administrators. Additional research is needed to better identify processes and forces related to career decisions in order to improve leadership recruitment and retention.

Originality/value

This research represents the first large‐scale qualitative study of administrator career behavior and is an important companion to recent quantitative analyses in this area.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 50 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

1 – 1 of 1