Are we looking through the same lens? Principal recruitment and selection

Yu Kwong Paula KWAN, Allan David WALKER

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)


This article reports a study designed to identify the factors that both hiring bodies and applicants believe are most important when making decisions about principal selection, appointment and acceptance. Based on a quantitative study involving the four main groups of players in the principal selection process, we confirmed a four-factor structure. In order of importance the four factors were, Generic Managerial Skills, Communication and Presentation Skills, Experience and Credence, and Religious Affiliation and External Connection. The fourth factor is rarely mentioned in the literature. The findings indicate a shift in the role expectation of principals from educational leaders to administrative managers. Findings also challenge the use of interviews as the sole principal selection mechanism. Copyright © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-61
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009



Kwan, P., & Walker, A. (2009). Are we looking through the same lens? Principal recruitment and selection. International Journal of Educational Research, 48(1), 51-61. doi: 10.1016/j.ijer.2009.03.003


  • Principal selection
  • Interviews
  • Principal applicants
  • Hong Kong
  • Principals