South African Journal of Education

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Professional and organisational socialisation during leadership succession of a school principal: a narrative inquiry using visual ethnography

T Steyn


Leadership studies on principal succession show that new principals are required to address numerous challenges when adapting to a new school context. This paper, on a study that used a qualitative research design, reports on the professional and organisational socialisation of a new principal in a South African primary school during the first three years of the principal’s appointment. Data were collected through a number of interviews and photographs and were presented in the form of a reflexive story. The principal’s story illuminated the socialisation process and illustrated how he made sense of his role as a new principal of the school and the way in which he addressed the challenges in the school. The findings emphasised that socialisation in principal succession can be complex and varied, depending on factors such as the principal’s personal characteristics and the school context.

Keywords: narrative inquiry; principal succession; professional and organisational socialisation
AJOL African Journals Online