Strategic Plans and Principals’ Needs for Control

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This study investigates the extent to which the managerial behavior of school principals is related to their beliefs about control. Contrary to previously reported findings, this study argues for a negative relation between extreme internal locus of control and the perspectives used by individuals for strategic and long-term plans. Findings based on questionnaires and interviews that studied 45 American school principals’ locus of control and schools’ strategic perspectives reinforce this conclusion: principals characterized by an extreme belief of internal control use relatively short perspectives for schools’ strategic and long-term plans (equal or less than 2 years), while longer perspectives (4 to 5 years) are found in schools with principals characterized by an internal but less extreme belief of control. The need to train school principals to confront uncertainty and produce strategic plans is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-345
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of School Leadership
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2000


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