Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe a symbolic-interpretative research on the leadership culture and its subcultures in one unified comprehensive school in Finland. Design/methodology/approach – The research is a phenomenological, qualitative case study. Its methodology is based on triangulation. Findings – The leadership culture of the unified comprehensive school studied in the present research seemed to be based on equality, communality, appreciation, flow of information and humor. Besides examining the general leadership culture of the school, an attempt was made to study the possible subcultures of the school by examining the six subject groups into which the teachers were divided in the school on the basis of the teachers’ education and tasks. These subject groups formed the subgroups of the research. If a subgroup's interpretation of the leadership culture of the school differed significantly from those of the other subgroups, the subgroup was considered to have a subculture of its own. Only one such subculture was found, that of the mathematic teachers. It, too, although being clearly a subculture of its own, included several common features with the main leadership culture of the unified comprehensive school. Originality/value – The study is the first one in Finnish schools where leadership culture is conceived as a constantly reforming outcome of the meaning and interpretation processes which form themselves through the social structures of the school in connection to the leadership actions at the school.
International Journal of Educational Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 3, 2014
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