Understanding the journey to leadership: the experiences of principals in the further education sector

Rogers, Kelly (2021). Understanding the journey to leadership: the experiences of principals in the further education sector. University of Birmingham. Ed.D.

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This study explores the lives and careers of twenty college Principals. There is no significant existing literature that focuses on the journey to leadership of college Principals that work in the further education sector. The research focuses on significant influences / experiences in the life and career journey of Principals. The career pathway model identified by Gronn (1999) acted as the guiding framework for the research with the focus being on the formation and accession phases.

In-depth semi-structured biographical interviews were the method used to gather data about the journey to leadership. Interviewees were asked about their life history, including their formative years, career trajectories, drivers, motivations, constraining factors and training.

This study also explores the role that self-belief and socialisation play in the journey to leadership, including the question of identity change.

The findings show that the process of leader formation for participants has been influenced by a number of important contextual factors. In the formative years, family and schooling experiences were significant. During the exploration of the career pathway themes emerged. Values, character and ambition were also found to have been enhanced by professional and social experiences during their later career journeys. These were the identification of influential / significant people, significant experiences, enabling and constraining factors and personal development and training. The research concludes that the development of the Principals’ values, character and leadership ambition was anchored in their formative experiences.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ed.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ed.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/11220


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