Implications of employee perceptions

Williams & Morey (2015), examined the perceptions of teachers in Adventist Schools Australia towards applying for school leadership.  A few findings that are suggested is that age is a factor that influences a teachers decision to apply for a leadership position.  A part of this is the sense of lack of experience.  Another major perception that is limiting interest in applying for the role is the impact to work-life balance and pressure of the role of principal.   What is interesting in this piece of research is the exploration of religious elements in impacting the decision to become a school principal.   The concern identified, was the belief that principals in Catholic or Religious ethos schools is that the principal has to fulfil a spiritual leadership role in the community.

In regards to my research, it the discussion items that pique my interest.

1. It was found that males more aggressively seek school leadership positions with twice as many males (31.9%) as females (14.9%) actively or intending to apply for leadership positions.

2. Wider research (Browne-Ferrigno, 2003; Walker & Kwan, 2009) show that middle aged individuals were most likely to apply for leadership, yet Williams & Morey (2015), found that it was younger <30 years were the highest grouping indicating intention to apply.  A consideration may be to look at findings from Lacey (2003) where in Australia, early career teachers indicated a desire for leadership, after 5 years in the classroom, this was reduced by 50%.   This finding by Lacey (2003) reinforces the statements from Watterston (2015), where she identifies the importance of earlier identification of leaders in Australia.

3. Out of the respondents from this study 13.2% had previously applied for leadership, but now had no intention to re-apply or were uncertain about re-applying.   Could this be due to experiences during the interview process?   Is it that aspirants are unaware of what is really expected of this role and participate in the recruitment process unprepared?  Would a talent management process promote greater resilience through the recruitment process?

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