Identifying linchpin Components For School Principals: A Qualitative Study

Document Type : Qualitative Research Paper


1 Ph.D. student in Educational Management, Faculty of Management, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Department of Educational Administration, Faculty of Management, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran.

3 Professor of Educational Administration Department, Faculty of Management; Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran

4 Associate Professor, Department of Educational Administration, Faculty of Management, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran



The current research aimed to identify the linchpin components for school principals. In the current study, the researcher used the qualitative method of cornerstone content analysis based on the research objective and problem. The research field was formed by all schools’ principals in Tehran. The purposive sampling method was used to select research participants. To collect data, non-reactive measures (various documents such as articles, books, research results of others, reports, etc.) and semi-structured interviews with key informants were used. At the beginning of the interview, general explanations about the research and its objectives were presented to the interviewee and then the interview was started. The purpose of the researcher conducting these interviews was to identify the development’s linchpin components and their symptoms. The duration of each interview was between 30 and 45 minutes; the ideas raised during the interview process were noted down. Qualitative data were analyzed by using the three-step inductive thematic analysis method of Clarke and Braun (2006). In the inductive thematic analysis where there are logically no pre-defined themes, patterns are revealed during the analysis by placing open codes or similar sub-themes within a main theme. Also, to check the validity of the obtained findings, qualitative validation criteria of "validity" and "reliability" as well as "external audit" were used. The findings showed the 13 components to develop the linchpin components of school principals: network communication; strategic planning; collaborative/interactive/ leadership and management based on collective wisdom; expertise and deep knowledge; critical thinking and problem-solving; creativity and innovation; developmental thinking (self and others); (boundary) breaking structure; ethics/professional ethics; insight and inspiration; acceptance of differences and the uniqueness of humans; generosity and the art of work and emotional connection