Purpose – This paper aims to identify what counts as successful school leadership within a Norwegian context. Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses multi‐site case study methods as a methodological approach. In selecting cases the first strategy included schools appointed as “good practice schools” by the Ministry of Education and Research. The second strategy was to obtain a desired variation based on different factors like school size and structure, rural/urban representation and principals' gender. Findings – Leadership in the case schools are almost entirely practiced through collaboration and team efforts, and a learning‐centered approach is the focal point for the schools' philosophy as well as for its practice. Respect of the individual student and colleague in the building of professional communities of practice seems to be a guiding norm of conduct. In addition, school leaders that are successful in fulfilling a moral enterprise based on democratic principles and values, manage to deal with the types of dilemmas that are at the core of working with people in a school. Originality/value – The study shows how successful leadership is an interactive process involving many people and players.
Journal of Educational Administration – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 1, 2005
Keywords: Education; Norway; Leadership; Schools; Teachers
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