Leadership identity construction practices: The case of successful Israeli school principals

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19 Scopus citations


Principals’ ability to lead their school towards its goals depends to a large extent on their leadership identity that influences the clarity of their mission, the way they see themselves as educational leaders and acceptance of their authority by their followers. Based on the concepts of leadership identity and role embeddedness, the present study seeks to better understand leadership identity through leadership-claiming practices employed by school principals and the forces of fit, links and sacrifice they operate to enhance their role embeddedness. The study is based on secondary analysis of data from four successful Israeli school principals. The techniques of interviews, observations and document analysis were employed in the collection of the data. The findings reveal that all the principals studied used a variety of leadership-claiming practices which, alongside their role embeddedness, help explain how their leadership identity is constructed in their everyday practice. Further theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)790-805
Number of pages16
JournalEducational Management Administration and Leadership
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2017


  • identity work
  • leadership-claiming practices
  • role embeddedness
  • successful school principal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Strategy and Management


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