This research project is an exploratory multiple sample study of three European international schools and utilizes semi-structured interviews to gather data to better understand the phenomenon of leadership succession events at the director level of the organization. The succession of leadership is a significant event in the life of an international school and is viewed as a novel event with disruptive strength. As such, Event System Theory is used as the theoretical framework to view and analyze the event of leadership succession. The purpose of this study is to determine recurring themes influencing the process of leadership succession in international schools. The following research questions assist to focus the study: Q1. Within the boundaries of the three sample schools, what are the director and Board Chair person’s perceptions and understandings of planning and management for director leadership succession events? Q2. In what ways have past school leadership succession events been a disruptive influence in the life of the three sample schools, and what is the nature of the disruption? Q3. In what ways are sample schools actively engaged in strategic succession planning, and what elements of that strategy, if any, have been effective? From an analysis of data eight salient themes emerge: Certain change, Transition, Disruption, Strategic Succession Planning and Management, Internal Leadership Development, Necessary Conversations, Policymaking, and Deputy Director Appointment. Recommendations for practice are distilled from the analysis of data, which can help to moderate the disruptive effects of leadership succession for the benefit of the entire school community.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. June 2018. Major: Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development. Advisors: Louis Quast, Deanne Magnusson. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 199 pages.
An Analysis of Leadership Succession in International Schools: Novelty, Disruption, and a Path to Resolution.
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