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Fifty years of publication: Pondering the legacies of the Journal of Educational Administration

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to identify the legacies of the Journal of Educational Administration (JEA) since its foundation in 1963 to the present (2011) and to illuminate the main contributions of the Journal to the academic field of educational administration (EA) worldwide. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The method employed in analysing the Journal's articles was "qualitative content analysis" which includes constant comparisons for discovering patterns, emphases and themes in an array of documents. The first stage of analysis included extensive reading, sorting and searching through the Journal's abstracts resulting in the coding of categories, key words and themes. In the second stage, themes and categories were identified and compared until main themes and sub-categories in each abstract emerged. Findings ‐ The paper traces the Journal's legacies in every decade since its foundation, and highlights the dynamic nature of this publication. Likewise, the dominance of the "empirical legacy" as compared to the other five legacies is emphasised, and the rise and fall of different topics and perspectives throughout the years are illuminated. Some thoughts about plausible future directions of the Journal conclude the paper. Originality/value ‐ The historical review provides an opportunity to glean information about the distinctive intellectual identity of the field of EA. Likewise, reviewing existing research and scholarship in the JEA may increase our intellectual and theoretical understanding of the ways by which the scholarly boundaries of EA as a field of study have been shaped and reshaped, after all, JEA has long been an outlet for hundreds of works from the four corners of the earth.
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Keywords: Academic journals; Educational administration; Fields of study; Historical analysis; Journals; Knowledgebase; Leadership

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 27, 2012

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