Principal Resilience
and Its Influential
Occupational Drivers
in Hong Kong:
Developing and Validating
the Principal Resilience

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Principal Investigator
Dr. Chen Junjun
Research Co-ordinator
and Researh Fellow of APCLC
Associate Professor
Department of Education Policy
and Leadership
The Education University of Hong Kong
Professor Allan Walker
Research Chair Professor and Co-Director of APCLC
The Education University of Hong Kong
Professor Gu Qing
APCLC Senior Research Fellow
The Education University of Hong Kong
Professor of Leadership in Education
& Director of UCL Centre for Educational Leadership
Dr C. S. Chiu
Experienced Scholar-Practitioner
and Education Researcher in School Improvement
Funding Source
General Research Fund 2022-2023
Project Duration


The work of school principals has always been complex and challenging and has certainly become even more so during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. This phenomenon has inevitably threatened principal well-being and effectiveness. Principal resilience has therefore become a pressing line of research as principals often struggle to cope not only with professional challenges and uncertainties around building a successful school but also with their own and their school wellbeing.

The main aim of this study is to investigate principal resilience and how salient job drivers influence this resilience in Hong Kong. Specifically, this study aims to: (1) develop and validate a Principal Resilience Inventory; (2) investigate the states of principal resilience; and (3) identify what job resources and demands affect principal resilience. This study will provide empirical insights to advance knowledge of principal resilience by establishing an authentic conceptual linkage between salient job resources and demands with principal resilience. This result will enable principals to better utilise their resilience to negotiate with available occupational resources and to navigate everyday challenges and adversities to optimise individual and school wellness and success. The findings of this study can be also used to craft effective policies and practices for principal preparation, selection, and standardisation to enhance principal resilience in Hong Kong and beyond.


This study will establish a conceptual framework for investigating salient occupational resources and demands on principal resilience, which will advance the knowledge construction of principal resilience. Also,it will develop and validate a culturally-relevant, multi-dimensional Principal Resilience Inventory (PRI) through a psychometrically robust procedure.