Bridging the research-practice gap: Barriers and facilitators to research use among school principals from England and Israel

Jane Hemsley-Brown, Izhar Oplatka

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Purpose - When managers are faced with making a decision about what to do in a particular situation, do they base that decision on findings from research? This research paper seeks to report on qualitative and quantitative research which examined school principals' perceptions of barriers to the use of research. Design/methodology/approach - To facilitate a comparison the qualitative and quantitative study was conducted simultaneously in two countries, i.e. England and Israel, using individual and group interviews, and the Barriers Scale survey instrument. Findings - The results of tests indicated that factors associated with the research itself (e.g. relevance and access), were significant barriers to research use for principals from both countries (compared with factors associated with the setting, the presentation of research, and the individual). Research limitations/implications - The authors acknowledge some limitations with respect to equivalence across cultures, particularly functional and contextual (e.g. political) equivalence. Practical implications - The paper concludes that multiple strategies would be required to address a number of issues related to the dissemination of research and ways of addressing the gap between the aims of researchers, and the needs and expectations of practitioners. Originality/value - The topic is timely, and a comparative approach is particularly useful in any social area, especially in public school management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)424-446
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Public Sector Management
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2 Aug 2005


  • Generation and dissemination of information
  • Public sector organizations
  • Research results
  • Research work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Public Administration
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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