Leadership in changing school environments

Project outline

Concepts of new school governance aimed at changing the competences of school leaders with regard to autonomy and accountability; these concepts did indeed considerably change the responsibilities of school leaders. In particular, they now exercise greater independence in the management of their schools and implement and improve instruments of quality-oriented internal control. According to specific legal and administrative conditions, they have to acquire new skills that address personnel management, curriculum development, and administrative tasks. Due to this changing role from administrators to managers, current research on school leadership focuses on understanding which fields of management activity particularly affect school principals (Brauckmann 2014, Brauckmann & Herrmann 2013).

It is quite apparent that the interrelation between diverse contexts and managing activities has not, up to now, been a central issue of leadership research (Brauckmann & Schwarz 2014). Even more, researchers have criticized formal professionalization to produce uniformly designed school leaders who are not able to respond adequately in their own specific management context. Information on contextual conditions is usually acquired by analyzing qualitative school portraits or survey data where characteristics of schools are measured on the organizational level (e.g., type and size of school, personnel, and material resources). So far, little is known about the contextual conditions regarding the greater environment surrounding schools (e.g., areas close to schools or competition between schools) and their impact on school management. In this project we aim at analyzing and evaluating the impact of such enhanced contextual conditions on school leadership.

Additional information

2013 until 2016

School leadership, school management, professionalization, school enviroment

Alexandra Schwarz

Stefan Brauckmann

  • Brauckmann, S., Schwarz, A. (accepted): No time to manage? The trade-off between relevant tasks and actual priorities of school leaders in Germany. To appear in: International Journal of Educational Management, 2015.
  • Brauckmann, S. & Schwarz, A. (2015): Ganztagsschule und Schulleitung - Zur Rolle des Schulleiters bei der Einfüuhrung und Entwicklung des Ganztagsschulbetriebs. Lernende Schule, Nr. 69, S. 42-46. [Link]
  • Brauckmann, S., Schwarz, A. (2014): Autonomous leadership and a centralised school system - an odd couple? Empirical insights from Cyprus. In: International Journal of Educational Management, 28(7), 823-841. [Emerald Link]
  • Brauckmann, S. (2014). Der lange Weg vom Verwalten zum Gestalten. Schulleitungshandeln zwischen erweiterten Rechten und Pflichten – Vorgehen und Ergebnisse der SHaRP-Studie. In: DIPF informiert, Heft Nr. 21 (September 2014), S. 11-13. [download]
  • Brauckmann, S. & Herrmann, C. (2013). Belastungserleben von Schulleiterinnen und Schulleitern im Rahmen erweiterter schulischer Eigenständigkeit - erste empirische Befunde aus der SHaRP-Studie. In: van Ackeren, I./ Heinrich, M./ Thiel, F. (Hrsg.): Evidenzbasierte Steuerung im Bildungssystem. Befunde aus dem BMBF-SteBis-Verbund. Die Deutsche Schule (12. Beiheft), S. 172-197.

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