Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10497/22444
Title: 
Authors: 
Keywords: 
Leading from the middle
Boundary spanner
Vice-principal
Deputy principal
Assistant principal
Issue Date: 
2020
Citation: 
Ho, J., Kang, T., & Imran Shaari. (2020), Leading from the middle: Vice-principals in Singapore as boundary spanners. Journal of Educational Administration. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEA-05-2020-0123
Dataset: 
https://doi.org/10.25340/R4/HEOSWX]
Abstract: 
Purpose
The purpose of this paper is to examine leading from the middle, which is consistent with calls to distribute leadership, while expanding the direction of influence, from the normal top-down to include a bottom-up or lateral direction. The paper proposes that the position of the vice-principal enables the role incumbent to lead from the middle as a boundary spanner. The research question was what leadership from the middle looks like for vice-principals.

Design/methodology/approach
The study consisted of interviews of 28 vice-principals and 10 principals. A mixed case and theme-oriented strategy was adapted, with member checking with each vice-principal.

Findings
The findings indicate that in leading from the middle, vice-principals play boundary spanning roles of connecting, translating and brokering: (1) connecting between organisational levels, (2) translating between vision/direction and actualisation, (3) connecting between middle managers and (4) brokering and translating between the ministry and the school.

Originality/value
Leading from the middle is a nascent concept which is worth exploring, given the complexity of educational systems with multiple ecological levels, and the need for leadership to create coherence between the levels.
Description: 
This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in Journal of Educational Administration. The published version is available online at https://doi.org/10.1108/JEA-05-2020-0123
URI: 
ISSN: 
0957-8234
Other Identifiers: 
10.1108/JEA-05-2020-0123
Project number: 
OER 30/17 HPY
Website: 
Grant ID: 
NIE Education Research Funding Programme
Funding Agency: 
Ministry of Education (MOE), Singapore
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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