Principals’ Change Leadership Competencies: A Study in Malaysian High Performing Secondary School

Tai Mei Kin, Omar Abdull Kareem


The purpose of the study was to examine teachers’ perception regarding Principals’ Change Leadership Competencies (PCLC) in managing change. A total of 936 teachers from 47 High Performing Secondary School (HPSS) in Malaysia completed the survey. The findings revealed that i) principals in HPSS possess adequate PCLC; ii) although PCLC was reported higher in rural rather than urban area, it was not reliably related to location of school; iii) principals in Fully Residential Secondary School achieved the highest PCLC, followed by principals in Daily Secondary School and Religious Secondary School;  iv) PCLC was reliably related to the type of HPSS; v) principals achieved the highest mean score of PCLC in Goal Framing domain but the lowest score in Defusing Resistance and Conflict domain regardless of school location and type of HPSS; vi) principals of HPSS were not competent in the domain of Defusing Resistance and Conflict; vii) principals of Religious Secondary School were not competent both in Defusing Resistance and Conflict and Capacity Building domain; viii) in terms of four domains,  except Defusing Resistance and Conflict,  PCLC was not reliably related to location of school; and ix) in terms of four domains, PCLC was reliably related to the type of HPSS. The study offers relevant parties a lens through which they could better understand, prepare for, and enhance principals’ capacity for change. Specifically, it provides direction for practitioners as useful feedback in planning, designing, implementing and evaluating future change management training programs for principals to best lead change in schools.

Keywords: Principals’ Change Leadership Competencies, High Performing Secondary Schools, Goal Framing, Capacity Building, Defusing Resistance and Conflict, Institutionalizing

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