Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether the demographic variables of tenure and functional track have a moderating effect on the strategic leadership of school leaders. Design/methodology/approach: Using a conceptual framework developed by the researcher, a static/cross-sectional questionnaire-based study on a convenience sample of public primary school principals in NSW, Australia, was used to collect data. Analysis included ANOVA and correlations. Findings: Despite few statistically significant differences in the data set, there is evidence to suggest that, based on the small sample size, the demographic variables of tenure and functional track have a moderating effect on the strategic leadership and management of public primary school principals. Research limitations/implications: The study serves as little more than a scoping project. The small sample size limits the generalisability of the findings; however, the results do indicate that there is something to be made of the general thesis of the paper. Practical implications: As education systems across the globe are faced with a crisis in filling school leadership positions with the mass retirement of the baby boomers, the potential implications of tenure and functional track on school leadership is of vital importance to all involved in schools. Originality/value: The paper makes use of tenure and functional track in relation to strategic leadership, a combination rarely seen in the field. The very concept of functional track is original to the field and has the potential to uncover much needed insight into school leadership.
International Journal of Educational Management Vol. 24, Issue 5, p. 448-458