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Selected Research Project
Project Title Understanding School Management Teams (SMTs): Beyond Sharing Role Responsibilities
Principal Investigator

Dr. Lu Jiafang

Area of Research Project

Educational Leadership, Policy and Administration

Project Period
From 1/2013 To 12/2014
  • To document the demographic and cognitive composition of SMTs at three types of primary schools in Hong Kong and Mainland China, namely, local schools in Hong Kong schools, local schools in Mainland China, and international schools located in Hong Kong or Mainland China;
  • To portray the distribution of management responsibilities and leadership functions among SMT members, and the pattern of role interdependence within SMTs;
  • To examine the effect that compositional and structural features of SMTs have on participative group processes within SMTs;
  • To test socio-psychological factors that inhibit versus facilitate articipate group processes;
  • To determine whether participative group processes within SMTs are associated with school decision comprehensiveness, quality of implementation, and school effectiveness; and
  • To identify the consistently different SMT characteristics and patterns among the three types of primary schools in Hong Kong and ainland China schools.
Methods Used
  • Literature review
  • Content analysis
  • Face-to-face interview
  • Mobile-phone-based event sampling method
  • The shift of focus from on principal leadership alone to school management teams should provide better prediction of school outcomes.
  • This study will add to the international literature by presenting an empirical picture of SMT composition, structure, and processes of SMTs at different types of schools embedded in Chinese societies.
  • It responds to the convergence-divergence debate concerning the universal applicability of school management theories by testing a general framework against three combinations of cultural and institutional contexts, and verifies the extent to which cultural assertions are valid in this region
  • This study will offer a knowledge base with rich contextual essence that can inform refinements to the current structures for team leadership building and development in the region
  • The empirical literature on SMTs in the region has been sparse; this study will lay a useful foundation for future research.
  • Academic articles will be presented at international and regional conferences
  • Academic articles will be generated for publication at international and regional refereed journals.
  • Research Postgraduate theses on school management teams will be completed under the supervision of the investigator.
  • Teaching and training materials will also be generated for postgraduate classes and executive development programs.
Biography of Principal Investigator

LU Jiafang received her doctoral degree in Applied Psychology from Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the Department of Policy and Leadership (EPL) and the Joseph Lau Luen Hung Charitable Trust Asia Pacific Center for Leadership and Change (APCLC), Hong Kong Institute of Education. Her current research focuses on leadership distribution and conflict dynamics in school management teams, change and innovation management, as well as social-psychological factors that affect teachers’ well-being and creativity. She shares her interest with similar enthusiasm for translating knowledge in these areas into teacher and leadership development realm. 

Funding Source

Early Career Scheme