University of Leicester
U601293.pdf (9.28 MB)

Leadership in transition : primary school principals' perceptions of leadership in a context of school-based management in Israel

Download (9.28 MB)
posted on 2014-12-15, 10:43 authored by Beverley Topaz
This thesis seeks to increase understanding as to how primary school principals in Israel perceive the impact of school-based management on their leadership practices. The argument underpinning the thesis is that school principals represent the interface between policy makers and policy implementation and as such are the key players in educational reform. This is an interpretive qualitative study, using the collective case study approach. Fifteen in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with twelve primary school principals, leading schools which had undergone a transition to school-based management in a large urban location in Israel. Data were analysed using both a categorical and a contextual approach in order to reach an understanding of the individual principals' perceptions as well as viewing them as a group. The findings reveal that principals are in a transitional stage in educational leadership and are facing new challenges. These are presented through six core themes: autonomy trust the corrupting nature of power unclear lines of responsibility work overload and stress and leadership beyond school boundaries. A conceptual framework is developed which underscores principals' differential responses to these challenges. This study validates findings of previous studies and offers two new insights into principals' perceptions of their leadership roles. The first is a perception of an erosion of trust across all levels of the education system. The second is a dilemma between autonomy, power and corruption. The typology developed in this thesis to represent principals' differential responses to school-based management provides a broad conceptual framework to underpin further research into principals' perceptions of their leadership roles.


Date of award


Author affiliation


Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



Usage metrics

    University of Leicester Theses


    No categories selected



    Ref. manager