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Successful Swedish headmasters in tension fields and alliances

  • Duncan Waite
Publiceringsår: 2005
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 53-72
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: International Journal of Leadership in Education
Volym: 8
Nummer: 1 (January-March 2005)
Dokumenttyp: Artikel
Förlag: Routledge


What makes a headmaster successful? And what does a successful headmaster do? This article
presents some results from a research project – Successful school leadership in different
school cultures – that aims to provide answers to these questions. The results derive from
interviews, questionnaires, observations and pupils’ essays, and comprise the criteria by which
different parties involved in schools assess the success of headmasters. As with other research
in this field, this article establishes that headmasters find themselves in tension fields that are
constituted by the varied interests of the different parties involved in schools. These relationships
are analysed with regard to three tension fields that affect Swedish schools today:
between employer and employees; between pupils and adults; and between change and continuity.
However, the work lives of headmasters isn’t characterised by tensions only, but by alliances
as well. Hence, headmasters’ alliances with various other parties within the school are
also analysed. These alliances are both a way of dealing with the tensions that headmasters
meet on a daily basis, and a way of creating both success and a leadership based on the school
culture. However, the general development trend that we find in Swedish schools, which lift
the headmaster out of the school to become the last among superiors rather than the first
among equals, constricts the latitude for more culture-specific school leadership.



  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
  • Educational Sciences
  • skolforskning
  • successful headmasters
  • sociologi
  • skolledarskap
  • skolkultur
  • skolkulturer
  • tension fields
  • school culture
  • alliance
  • school leadership
  • sociology
  • educational sciences
  • utbildningsvetenskap


  • Svenska kommunförbundets FoU-råd
  • Framgångsrikt skolledarskap i olika skolkulturer
  • ISSN: 1360-3124

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