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Book part
Publication date: 1 May 2013

John Churchley, Patricia Neufeld and Diane Purvey

The principalship is a social position, and inherent in the position is the ability to understand and influence people, ultimately developing productive and positive…

Abstract

The principalship is a social position, and inherent in the position is the ability to understand and influence people, ultimately developing productive and positive working relationships. Managing a school in this social realm requires two interrelated types of human interaction and management skills: the relational/social skills involved in building positive interpersonal relationships; and political skills, which involve negotiating macropolitical and micropolitical influences as well as proactively making use of these influences to achieve organizational goals. It is argued that these sets of skills can be acquired through leadership development programs that build social, relational, and political acumen. This chapter begins the discussion of the inseparable nature of the social, political, and relational dimensions of educational leadership within the social context of schools. This discussion also addresses the ethical and pedagogical implications for leadership development programs to incorporate the understanding and development of social, relational, and political “leadership acumen.”

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Understanding the Principalship: An International Guide to Principal Preparation
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-679-8

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Article
Publication date: 6 December 2017

Chad R. Lochmiller

The purpose of this paper is to examine the micropolitical strategies principals use to influence school staffing within an urban school district.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the micropolitical strategies principals use to influence school staffing within an urban school district.

Design/methodology/approach

The author used a qualitative case study approach drawing upon 47 semi-structured participant interviews with 25 individual research participants, 80 hours of observations, and 36 district artifacts. The author completed an iterative analysis using ATLAS.ti with a coding scheme informed by the educational leadership, human resource management, and micropolitical literatures.

Findings

The findings illustrate that school principals engaged productively within district staffing procedures to influence the allocation and composition of teaching staff within their schools. The iterative analysis identified three micropolitical strategies employed by school principals, including advocacy, acquiring leverage, and networking. First, principals used advocacy to shape personnel staff’s understanding of school needs. Second, principals acquired leverage over staffing by enlisting the support of their school supervisor. Finally, principals networked with colleagues to identify teachers within the district’s transfer system for possible hire.

Research limitations/implications

The findings have both practical and research significance. Practically, the findings highlight how principals engage in leadership within the context of district staffing processes. With respect to research, the findings address an important gap in the literature as it pertains to principal’s leadership actions in relation to internal district administrative processes.

Originality/value

The findings of this study are unique in that they challenge the conventional view of district staffing procedures, which has typically framed these procedures as barriers to principal leadership. The findings suggest district staffing procedures can be a forum for productive leadership actions.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 56 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Book part
Publication date: 25 October 2014

Rebecca Piekkari and Susanne Tietze

In this chapter, we align two approaches on the multinational enterprise (MNE), that is, research on languages and international business, and micropolitics, in order to…

Abstract

Purpose

In this chapter, we align two approaches on the multinational enterprise (MNE), that is, research on languages and international business, and micropolitics, in order to establish the language-based underpinnings of micropolitical behavior in the MNE.

Design/methodology/approach

This theoretical chapter departs from a social, relational perspective on power relationships in the MNE. Power relationships are constituted in multilingual encounters between different language users.

Findings

Our analysis builds on the assumption that the mandated corporate language in the MNE, which often is English, results in a language hierarchy. This hierarchy creates inequality and tension between the languages in use in the MNE. However, language agents, that is, headquarters, foreign subsidiaries, teams, managers, and employees can – individually or collectively – change, challenge, and disrupt this hierarchical order. Their micropolitical behavior is essential for action as it redraws organizational structure, alters the degree of foreign subsidiary autonomy and control, redefines the privileged and the disadvantaged groups in the MNE, and reinforces subgroup formation and dynamics in multilingual teams.

Research implications

We highlight the important role played by language agents who sit at the interstices of organizational networks in the MNE. The interplay between their actions and motivations and their historical and situational contexts represents an underexplored and undertheorized area of study.

Practical implications

Senior managers in MNEs are frequently very competent or native users of the English language. Appreciating the continued existence of various languages has implications for how different MNE units can effectively connect and operate as an overall entity.

Originality/value

This chapter highlights the languages-based mechanisms that underpin power relationships in the MNE.

Details

Multinational Enterprises, Markets and Institutional Diversity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-421-4

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Abstract

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Making Sense of Problems in Primary Headship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-904-6

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1997

Joseph Blase and Jo Blase

Describes the everyday micropolitical facilitative strategies and personal characteristics of exemplary school principals who have influenced and enhanced teachers’ sense…

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2012

Abstract

Describes the everyday micropolitical facilitative strategies and personal characteristics of exemplary school principals who have influenced and enhanced teachers’ sense of empowerment. The data discussed here were drawn from a qualitative study of teachers in 11 schools affiliated with Glickman’s League of Professional Schools in Georgia. An open‐ended questionnaire designed by the researchers, according to general guidelines for grounded theory inquiry, provided teachers with the opportunity to identify and describe in detail characteristics of principals that enhanced their sense of empowerment. Inductive analyses of the data generated a description of facilitative leadership that includes seven major “facilitative” strategies and one set of facilitative personal characteristics that enhanced teacher empowerment. Focuses on the strategies and characteristics teachers identified as facilitative principal leadership. Discusses findings in terms of the relevant empirical and theoretical literature.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 35 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Book part
Publication date: 19 September 2012

Cameron Anderson and Jessica A. Kennedy

Purpose – In this chapter, we review the research on status hierarchies in groups and teams to assess the relative validity of two major models – the dominance and…

Abstract

Purpose – In this chapter, we review the research on status hierarchies in groups and teams to assess the relative validity of two major models – the dominance and functionalist theories of status hierarchies. We find that these models cannot fully account for empirical evidence in the literature, and thus propose a new model of status hierarchies, Micropolitics.

Methodology/approach – We examine the relative validity of current major theories by reviewing the literature on status hierarchies in groups.

Findings – We find that, although most of the literature supports the functionalist theory of status hierarchies, this theory cannot explain some of the existing empirical evidence. Drawing on both functionalist and dominance perspectives, we propose a new theory of status, the Micropolitics model, to account for this evidence. Specifically, we propose that in the “micro” context of groups and teams, individuals attain status by convincing their group that they possess the skills and abilities needed to take charge – just as political candidates must convince voters they are the right people for the job.

Originality/value of paper – This paper proposes a new theory of status hierarchies in groups that may provide additional explanatory power for status researchers. It suggests that groups strive to attain meritocracy, but may put the wrong people in charge.

Details

Looking Back, Moving Forward: A Review of Group and Team-Based Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-030-7

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Book part
Publication date: 20 October 2007

Jan A. Yow

In the constant crisis of educational administration, teacher leaders may no longer be ignored as qualified individuals to help lead schools. Who better to teach leaders…

Abstract

In the constant crisis of educational administration, teacher leaders may no longer be ignored as qualified individuals to help lead schools. Who better to teach leaders to lead teachers than teachers? In this chapter, I use an Assumptive Worlds framework to analyze the micropolitics of 12 secondary mathematics teacher leaders. The qualitative data comes from a larger study that explored secondary mathematics teacher definitions, perceptions, and enactments of teacher leadership. As viewed through the Assumptive Worlds framework, teacher leaders can help bridge the divide between teachers and administrators so schools work better for kids.

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Teaching Leaders to Lead Teachers
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1461-4

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critical perspectives on international business, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

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Article
Publication date: 25 January 2013

Sue Winton and Katina Pollock

The aim of the paper is to argue that principal preparation programs should help candidates: recognize the political role of the school principal; develop political skills…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the paper is to argue that principal preparation programs should help candidates: recognize the political role of the school principal; develop political skills (including the ability to strategically appropriate policy); and understand that the political approach of the principal influences teaching, learning, relationships, governance, and reform efforts. In addition, the paper reports findings of the analysis of Ontario's Principal Qualification Program guidelines to determine if they require principal preparation programs to develop aspiring school leaders’ political skills.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews theoretical arguments and empirical studies from the fields of school micropolitics, business, educational leadership, and critical policy studies to establish five political skills principals require. The authors then conducted a content analysis of Ontario's Principal Qualification Program guidelines to determine if they require principal preparation programs to develop aspiring leaders’ political skills.

Findings

Ontario's Principal Qualification Program guidelines do not explicitly direct principal preparation programs to help candidates develop political skills. However, the guidelines recognize that principals pursue political goals and work in political environments, and they offer opportunities for appropriating the guidelines in ways that promote the development of principal candidates’ political skills.

Originality/value

The paper is the first to analyze Ontario's Principal Qualification Program guidelines to determine if they require principal preparation programs to develop aspiring leaders’ political skills. It also identifies policy appropriation as a political skill that should be developed in principal preparation programs and provides a model of how principal preparation policies themselves may be appropriated to support a focus on developing aspiring principals’ political skills.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 51 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 4 November 2020

Devora Friedman and Izhak Berkovich

Principals are considered central in initiating and mobilizing changes in schools; however, their political behaviors in the course of school changes are underexplored…

Abstract

Purpose

Principals are considered central in initiating and mobilizing changes in schools; however, their political behaviors in the course of school changes are underexplored. The present research investigated the influence tactics used by school principals to induce teachers to join a process of second-order (deep and wide) change in the school teaching and culture. In specific, the authors were interested to know which influence tactics, principals and staff members considered to be efficient during such a second-order change process.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was based on a case study method focusing on four Israeli Jewish state public religious schools participating in the “Routes” program aimed at strengthening religious values in schools. Data collection included semi-structured interviews with principals, teachers with program coordinators responsibilities and teachers in four schools.

Findings

The results indicate that school principals who are considered successful in leading changes display two key influence prototypes: a hybrid type that combines soft and hard influence tactics and a unitype that relies on soft influence tactics.

Originality/value

The research study contributed to the limited knowledge in educational administration on micropolitics and political behaviors in the course of school changes.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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