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Principal selection panels: strategies, preferences and perceptions

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this article is to report a study of the strategies members of principal selection panels use to select the best candidate for a principal position. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The study draws on both qualitative and quantitative data. The quantitative analysis drawn on data collected from school supervisors and school principals confirmed a four-factor structure and qualitative interview data was used to supplement findings. Findings ‐ In order of importance the strategies employed by selection panels were: panel professionalism, the interview, making the cut and pre-interview. Practical implications ‐ Findings indicate that the selection component of principal recruitment remains at best an uncertain science. Tensions endure between beliefs and perceptions of panel members from different backgrounds. These include beliefs about competence and level of involvement in important activities such as short-listing. Relational ties, religious affiliation and values congruence are important to members of selection panels, but we are unsure of the influence these have on the quality of successful applications. It seems that at a minimum they may reduce the pool of "real" applicants. Originality/value ‐ The study provides useful information on the strategies members of principal selection panels use to select the best candidate for a principal position.
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Keywords: Development; Hong Kong; Principals; Recruitment; Selection; Selection panels

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 16, 2012

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