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Journal cover: Journal of Educational Administration

Journal of Educational Administration

ISSN: 0957-8234

Online from: 1963

Subject Area: Education

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From leadership behavior to cognitions: a constructivist theory of US principals

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Title:From leadership behavior to cognitions: a constructivist theory of US principals
Author(s):Frederick Wirt, (Department of Political Science, University of Illinois-Urbana), Samuel E. Krug, (MetriTech, Inc., Champaign, Illinois)
Citation:Frederick Wirt, Samuel E. Krug, (1998) "From leadership behavior to cognitions: a constructivist theory of US principals", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 36 Iss: 3, pp.229 - 248
Keywords:Cognition, Leadership, Regression analysis, Schools, USA
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/09578239810214696 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:MCB UP Ltd
Abstract:Seeks to shift the focus of the study of leadership from behavior to cognitions. Uses a set of leaders, 1,200 principals in six American states, and employs an earlier validated set of five leadership cognitions drawn from psychologists in educational administration. The consistency of these scales is determined by alpha scores and correlations to establish there was no influence on them from contextual factors like state, political culture, and school size. Then, regression analysis demonstrates these leadership cognitions do exist independently of many social and personal qualities around principals. Thus, they are independent of the local politics of schools, characteristics of the school population, and personal qualities. However, leadership cognitions are strongly predicted by a professional network (i.e. supportive superintendents and faculty, as well as hard work) and with the size of schools.

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