On evaluation of base-groups in headmasters academic leadership program

Forskningsoutput: KonferensbidragSammanfattning (abstract)



The effects of leadership training are disputed in research. Evaluations of participants’ training experiences are commonplace. Studies are seldom made which investigate and problematize the impressions that can be left in their complex practice by training, and which can have an effect on their practical duties and on the leaders’ capacity to deal with leadership in their everyday complexity. 

Empirical material

The 3-year Headmaster Training Course in Sweden which offers 30 Swedish university credits, equivalent to 30 ECTS, comprises approximately 500 headmasters and pre-school leaders. The leaders of the base groups are university staff. During the course the groups meet 6 times, each time containing a different theme. Curiosity dictated that we should ascertain what work and discussions took place within the base groups, how this is experienced, and how it contributes to the participants’ professional development. 


In order to study what happens in the base-group meetings, two of the university base-group staff kept a diary noting down the contents and discussions from each specific session. Recorded interviews were made with 21 participants from 4 base groups. Part of the result of this part of the study has been tested on other base-group leaders from the university (7 people). In order to handle the empirical material we turn to narrative organizational research. The method involves a systematic interpretation of other people’s sense-making of the worlds they experience, here basic group meetings. The interpretation is based on how people create meaning in the experiences of what happens in the groups using perspectives from their everyday complexity as leaders.


Preliminary results show an ongoing frustration related to their perception of having too limited resources to allow them to do a good job as headmasters. Within the base groups they are given the opportunity, together with others in similar situations, to exchange experiences and feelings regarding the complex, tangible, everyday work duties they carry out. The frustration felt by the leaders about the complexity of their workday was dealt with by the participants by taking advantage of common discussions held outside of the organizational hierarchy. Within the base groups they can talk and negotiate with colleagues about their complex workday as leaders in schools and pre-schools. According to the participants, they were able to solve common puzzles, even a health puzzle. The base-group meetings were also perceived as energizing them in their practical role as leaders.

The study will be of significance for the continued structuring of base groups as a support for the education and development of headmasters and pre-school leaders. A questionnaire will now be sent to a random number of participants who have completed the headmaster training course.

StatusPublicerad - 2014
EvenemangNERA 42nd, Education for Sustainable Development, Lillehammer, 4-7 mars -
Varaktighet: 1980-jan.-01 → …


KonferensNERA 42nd, Education for Sustainable Development, Lillehammer, 4-7 mars
Period80-01-01 → …

Nationell ämneskategori

  • Arbetslivsstudier (50903)


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