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Rektors ledarskap: styrningssammanhang och stil
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2010 (Swedish)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The role of the principal in Sweden has undergone significant changes over the past two decades.  Task and responsibility has been decentralized from the national level to o the local school board affecting principals´ everyday life. At the same time a new inspection system for all schools has been introduced.  These changes puts focus on how principals implement and report political decisions within established guidelines. For many principals it is a balancing act to achieve the national goals within a local context. All the above include for the principal important work with evaluations of quality in different processes in the school, especially those related to teacher performance and children’s grades and results.

In the mid 1990’s a debate about the lack of evaluations and school improvement in Swedish schools started, and as a result the Government decided in 1997 that every school should write a quality assessments and that the school board should write a summery for the whole school district. Many schools had problems in the beginning with the working processes around quality assessments, and many schools view this national law only as a top-down control decision from the Government and were not able to see the school improvement part of the law.

The aim of this study is to describe how principals take responsibility for the quality assessment regulation and to analyze how they act and lead their schools in relation to quality assessments. In this study, results are presented from survey data, done with 131 principals who attended the National Principal Training Program at Umeå University. A theoretical model which discusses four leadership styles is used as a theoretical background. This model has an organizational frame. After making an argument for the importance of each of these styles for understanding principals work with quality assessments, two strands are examined. First, leadership styles are described from a principal perspective and factor analysis is used to investigate if these styles can illustrate principals´ work with quality assessments. Second, important factors explaining different ways in which principals tackle the work with quality assessments is highlighted. These factors are affected by different laws and regulations and even some time local political decisions and policies which here is understood as structure and culture, and personal background, for example the principals´ age, sex, education and experience. 

Based on the empirical results, my theoretical conclusion is that the four leadership styles used are relevant for understanding how principals work with quality assessments.  The study also shows that structure and culture are important factors when it comes to explaining how principals´ work with quality assessments.  Personal background, however, are not shown as important in this study.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Statsvetenskapliga institutionen, Umeå universitet , 2010. , 63 p.
Statsvetenskapliga institutionens skriftserie, ISSN 0349-0831 ; 2010:1
Keyword [en]
Principals, Leadership, quality assessments in school, structure and culture effects, factor analysis, Sweden.
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-33878ISBN: 978-91-7459-004-3OAI: diva2:318513
2010-05-12, Samhällsvetarhuset, S 506, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2010-05-11 Created: 2010-05-07 Last updated: 2010-05-11Bibliographically approved

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