Leadership in Educational Change

Michael Connolly, Una Connolly, Chris James

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (SciVal)


With the imperative placed on schools in recent years to improve, the leadership of educational change has increased in significance. The research reported here explored and analysed the change processes in 32 schools in South Wales that have made significant changes to improve pupil achievement. Various triggers initiated the improvement journey and the schools faced numerous challenges. Although the improvement journey was variously configured, there appeared to be sequential stages: pre-acceleration, acceleration and post-acceleration. The organizational leadership needs in those different stages were diverse and in schools where change had been successfully engineered, leadership was enacted differently with diverse themes emerging in the various phases. The findings have important implications for the leadership of change in a range of institutions such as those in the public and voluntary sectors which have multiple and often conflicting objectives, a multiplicity of stakeholders and are staffed by professionals. The paper illustrates the changing nature of leadership in the journey of organizational change which may help to explain the absence in the literature of the characteristics or the key actions that are the essence of good leadership. The paper concludes by modelling the dimensions of improvement that the leader must influence at an institutional and individual level to bring about educational change. These dimensions are effectiveness, reflective capability and adaptive capability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-70
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


Dive into the research topics of 'Leadership in Educational Change'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this