Network principals in Western Australia: An examination of their influence and strategies
Antony Beswick and Simon Clarke
The University of Western Australia
This paper presents the findings from an investigation aimed at understanding the leadership role of Western Australian network principals. Prior literature has indicated that there is a lack of empirical research on network leadership despite the substantive scholarly writing devoted to school networks. The qualitative study reported here revealed the contextual influences on the expectations of the role and that network principals' prime intention was to share network leadership with members. For the purpose of mobilising members, network principals employed a deliberate form of influence. In particular, four groups of strategies consisting of 'priming', 'locating', 'shaping' and 'adapting' were identified that supported this influence-based leadership. Additionally, new conceptual tools have been identified that analyse the way in which school network leadership encourages members to exert their efforts towards network purposes. The findings of this study offer fresh insights into the complexities of network leadership. They also have implications for policy, practice and future research in connection with this evolving role.
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|Authors: Dr Antony Beswick is the Principal of Landsdale Primary School in Western Australia. He also works with school networks in constructing how they improve teaching and learning.|
Simon Clarke is Professor in the Graduate School of Education at The University of Western Australia where he teaches, supervises and researches in the substantive area of educational leadership.
Please cite as: Beswick, A. & Clarke, S. (2018). Network principals in Western Australia: An examination of their influence and strategies. Issues in Educational Research, 28(3), 545-559. http://www.iier.org.au/iier28/beswick.pdf