Achieving School Success through Effective Leadership and High Performing Work Practices

Dr Lan Snell, Macquarie University
Associate Professor Herman Tse, Monash Business School, Monash University
Dr Phyra Sok, Monash Business School, Monash University


The public-school system is part of a rapidly changing education environment, facing intense global changes, increasing cultural diversity and raising social expectations in terms of cost and quality to enhance school effectiveness for sustainable educational reform and long-term development. Recent studies suggest that schools with effective leadership and high performing work practices are more likely to achieve better education outcomes and stakeholder satisfaction. These studies have also highlighted the importance of understanding how to develop effective leadership and high performing work practices.  However, knowledge and experience regarding the practical significance of effective leadership and high performing work practices remains limited in the public-school system. 

The purpose of this research was to identify the possibilities of developing and implementing effective leadership and high performing work practices that can promote “bottom-up” educational processes among principals, teachers and parents to co-create value for school effectiveness. Our specific aims included:

  1. Examine the relative impact and the differential effect of effective leadership (i.e., transformational leadership, instructional leadership and servant leadership) on the development and implementation of high performing work practices.
  2. Understand the positive impact of high performing work practices on school-wide outcomes (i.e., staff, students and community)
  3. Identify how perceived support (i.e., funding and resources) can influence effective leadership of school principals and teachers to develop and implement high performing work practices in public schools in the State of New South Wales.  


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