• An exploratory study on principals' conceptions about their role as school leaders

      Bouckenooghe, Dave; Devos, Geert (2007)
      This inquiry, by means of the case study method, explored how the conceptions of principals about their role of school leader contribute to a better understanding of their behavior and the impact on school climate. The results showed that differences of how principals conceive their role as a leader affect indirectly through their leadership practices (i.e. initiating structure and supportive leadership), the unity in vision, collegial relations, collaboration, innovativeness and satisfaction of teachers. Based on a content analysis of interviews with 46 Belgian school leaders we distinguished three profiles: (1) the ‘people minded profile' with an emphasis on people, educational matters and thus on creating a professional teaching community, (2) the ‘administrative minded profile' with the focus on paperwork and the implementation of formal procedures and rules, and (3) the ‘moderate minded profile' with no explicit preference for people, educational or administrative matters. Drawing on three prototypical cases we described in depth that these types of principals often work under different school climate conditions. We relied on semi-structured interviews to gather data on principals' thoughts about their role as school leaders. Also, survey questionnaires were administered among 700 teachers in 46 schools to assess several features of school climate (i.e. goal orientedness, participation, formal and informal relationships, innovativeness), satisfaction of teachers, and leadership role behavior (i.e. initiating structure and supportive leadership behavior).
    • The well-being of flemish primary school principals

      Devos, Geert; Bouckenooghe, Dave; Engels, Nadine; Hotton, Gwendoline; Aelterman, Antonia (2006)
      Purpose: The goal of this inquiry is to indicate which individual, organisational and external environment factors contribute to a better understanding of the well-being of Flemish primary school principals. Findings: The quantitative and qualitative outcomes suggest that well-being is a complex psychological phenomenon affected by a myriad of factors. The analyses indicate that general self-efficacy and achievement orientedness are significantly correlated with several aspects of positive (i. e. job satisfaction and job enthusiasm) and negative well-being (i.e. cynicism and personal accomplishment). With respect to school culture and structural characteristics, very weak almost negligible effects are noted. In addition, the analysis demonstrates the significant role school boards fulfill in explaining both positive and negative well-being. Finally, the role of central government in generally is found to affect well-being in a negative way. Methodology: Data from a representative sample of primary schools in Flanders (N=46) were gathered through questionnaires (principals and teachers) and semi-structured interviews (principals). Implications: The findings of this paper provide important information for policy makers concerned with the improvement of the well-being of primary school principals. Originality/value of paper: Although prior research investigated the influence of different antecedents on well-being, several limitations in method and conceptual framework yielded information of which the usefulness must be considered tentative (Ross, 1999). In this inquiry an attempt is made to overcome these limitations and contribute to the literature in a double way: (1) This study adopts a concurrent mixed method approach of data collection, (2) Well-being is examined from a positive psychology (job enthusiasm and job satisfaction) and negative psychology approach (burnout), whereas prior research almost exclusively looked at the negative pole of well-being. Key words: primary school principals, well-being, mixed method approach.