Ideological leadership in public schools

Ori Eyal*, Talya R. Schwartz, Izhak Berkovich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study aims to explore the conception and construct of ideological leadership (IL) as it relates to public organizations, such as public schools, and to validate a tool for its measurement in this setting. Design/methodology/approach: Data was collected from 633 teachers working at 69 randomly-sampled Israeli public schools. In each school, an average of nine (SD = 2) randomly-sampled teachers completed questionnaires that measure IL, transformational leadership, organizational commitment, leader-member exchange and motivational factors. The data underwent validity and hypotheses tests. Findings: The hypothesized presence of the personalized and socialized IL orientations among public-school principals has been confirmed. Only personalized IL predicted teachers' outcomes above and beyond transformational leadership, affecting measures of organizational commitment, leader-member exchange and controlled motivation. Originality/value: New evidence supports the validity of this proposed measurement tool. New evidence also suggests that although ideology has been known to be a factor of charismatic leadership, IL in close public-school settings accentuates practices of control, rather than proselytizing coherent worldviews to teachers. This, in turn, may have a deleterious influence on work outcomes and outweigh the possible benefits of IL. Accordingly, it is suggested that school leaders should critically consider the desirability of embracing ideological zeal as part of their leadership tools.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)303-320
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Educational Administration
Issue number3
StatePublished - 15 May 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • Close/Distant leaders
  • Educational administration
  • Ideological leadership
  • Public schools
  • Transformational leadership
  • Work outcome variables


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