Effective Principalship Practice in the United Arab Emirates

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
The purpose of this study was to examine “effective Principalship practice in the UAE”. There are several factors that influence managerial approaches positively. This study focused on the relationship between Principals and their team members. The aim was to detect aspects that assist successful Principalship and to assess whether or not cultural backgrounds of the Principals have an impact on which elements are relevant for effective leadership. A mixed methodological approach was chosen. Study of literature reviews and statistical data, a questionnaire, semi-structured interviews and observation of body language were employed, subsequently analysed and triangulated in order to provide reliable and valid data. The analysis of results indicated that both Principals were perceived as effective managers by their staffs. However, the managerial approaches of the two leaders revealed significant differences. These variations could be directly associated with societal norms of the two individuals. On that basis the study derived seven core Principalship characteristics that should be taken into consideration when hiring Principals for either public local or private international schools in the UAE. In addition, the paper explained its limitations and outlined further research suggestions.
Specialization International Management and Policy (IMP)
effective principalship, relationship of principal and staff, cross-cultural implications on principalship, distributed leadership, instructional leadership, authentic leadership, paternalistic leadership, GLOBE project, Anglo-Saxon leadership practice, Arab leadership practice