Leadership identity in a small island developing state: the Jamaican context

Floyd, Alan and Fuller, Carol (2016). Leadership identity in a small island developing state: the Jamaican context. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 46(2) pp. 251–271.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03057925.2014.936365


While the role of leadership in improving schools is attracting more worldwide attention, there is a need for more research investigating leaders’ experiences in different national contexts. Using focus group and semi-structured interview data, this paper explores the background, identities and experiences of a small group of Jamaican School Leaders who were involved in a leadership development programme. By drawing on the concepts of culture, socialisation and identity, the paper examines how the participants’ journeys of becoming and being school leaders are influenced by national level societal and cultural issues, experienced at a local level. The findings suggest that in becoming school leaders, the participants perceived that they had a strong sense of agency in attempting to change the social structures within the institutions they lead and in the surrounding local communities, which in turn, they hope, will have a lasting effect on the nation as a whole.

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