Principal Succession

Establishing Leadership in Schools

By Ann Weaver Hart

Subjects: Education
Series: SUNY series, Educational Leadership
Paperback : 9780791412923, 349 pages, December 1992
Hardcover : 9780791412916, 349 pages, January 1993

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Table of contents


I. Foundations of Leader Succession in Theory and Research

1. Changing Principals

Principal Succession
Principal Socialization
Principal Professional Socialization Research
Summarizing Organizational Socialization for Succession Research


2. Leader Succession Research


Succession Effects
Succession as a Boundary Delineating Leadership Effect
Succession Context in Organizations
Stages of Managerial Succession
Leadership and Leader Succession
Combining and Expanding Views of Succession


3. The Conceptual Roots of Organizational Socialization


Interaction: The Fundamental Unit of Analysis
Multiple Process Theories of Interaction


II. Principals in Succession: A Potpourri of Experiences

4. A Faculty's Perspective of a Succession


The Setting
How the Faculty Experienced the Succession
The Teachers' View of Organizational Socialization
Contributions from Organizational Socialization


5. An Outsider Successor's Personal View


The Succession Setting
The New Principal
The Social Dynamic of a Succession
The Insider's View of Organizational Socialization


6. The Professional and Organizational Socialization of Principals: Analysis of Additional Research


Studies of Newly Appointed Principals
The Organizational Socialization of New Principals


III. Leader Succession and Socialization: The Future in Research and Practice

7. Implications for Research on Leader Succession in Schools


Issues in the Organizational Socialization of Principals
Implications for Research Methodologies
Research Propositions


8. Improving Leader Succession in Schools


Socialization Stages
Groups Empower Principals through Social Validation
School Leaders Should Demonstrate Valued Knowledge and Skills
The Socialization of Principals Can Be Deliberately Influenced by Superiors
Current Practice Promotes a Custodial Response
Socialization Occurs With or Without Planning
People Expect Change During Succession
The Need for Stability and the Need for Creativity Will Conflict
School Leaders Can Affect the Processing of Information that Shapes Interpretations and Actions During Succession
Socially Incongruent Leaders Can Succeed and Contribute




This book examines major issues in theory and research related to leader succession. It looks at the persistent problems confronted by people assigned to lead established social and professional groups like those found in schools. The author demonstrates how interaction between new leaders and established school organizations shape succession events (with illustrations drawn from educational administration) and provides a framework for understanding succession as a dynamic and interactive process.

Ann Weaver Hart is Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Administration at the University of Utah.


"This book has the potential of being one of the year's most significant works in educational administration.

"Hart has made a significant contribution to the knowledge base of educational administration. She has developed a coherent description of a complex and dynamic phenomenon that provides substantive insights for the researcher-analyst. Additionally she has built a convincing case for new research directions and methodologies that will open new lines of inquiry." — Walter G. Hack, Ohio State University

"This book presents some of the most timely and current information available concerning a topic of considerable interest to both the scholarly and practitioner community. This is a first-rate work. The treatment of current research and excellent examples make this a 'can't put down' kind of book.

"Finding out more about whom the next generation of leaders will come from in a field that is so often described as bankrupt of any true leadership may indeed be one of the more critical issues facing the field of education in general — and educational administration in particular." — John C. Daresh, University of Northern Colorado