Contemporary challenges and changes: principals' leadership practices in Malaysia

Michelle Jones, Donnie Adams, Mabel Tan Hwee Joo, Vasu Muniandy, Corinne Jaqueline Perera, Alma Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (SciVal)


This article outlines the findings from a contemporary study of principals' leadership practices in Malaysia as part of the 7 System Leadership Study. Recent policy developments within Malaysia have increased principals' accountability and have underlined the importance of the role of the principals in transforming school performance and student learning outcomes. This article draws upon emerging empirical evidence about principals' leadership practices and highlights some of the challenges associated with the new accountability expectations and demands placed upon principals in Malaysia. It provides a contemporary insight into the way in which principals in Malaysia view their leadership practice. The article proposes that despite the pressure on them to secure better school and student outcomes, principals in Malaysia increasingly view their leadership practices as transformational and distributed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-365
Number of pages13
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2015


  • distributed leadership
  • leadership practices
  • principal leadership preparation
  • transformational leadership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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