Leader authenticity in intercultural school contexts

Allan David WALKER, Shuangye CHEN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


This article proposes that effective leadership in intercultural schools requires authentic understanding and related action; and that this can only be sought through a dedication to ongoing leadership learning. After briefly introducing the metaphor of authentic leadership, outlining the influence of culture on school leadership and the context of intercultural schools the paper suggests a number of learning avenues through which leaders can consciously reframe and better understand problems and solutions around these intercultural school contexts. These interrelated avenues include learning beyond standardised leadership prescriptions, simultaneously trusting and mistrusting experience, learning through student learning, learning through variation, learning through looking beyond culture and learning through curiosity. The major theme running through related discussion is that authentic intercultural leadership is particularly attuned to the values, beliefs and behavioural uniqueness of the students, teachers and others which comprise the community. In other words, it aims to acquire intercultural understanding on an ongoing basis and use this to inform leadership beliefs and practice. Therefore, authentic leadership and learning can be viewed as inseparably twinned. Copyright © 2007 BELMAS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-204
JournalEducational Management Administration and Leadership
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007


Walker, A., & Chen, S. (2007). Leader authenticity in intercultural school contexts. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 35(2), 185-204. doi: 10.1177/1741143207075388


  • Authentic leadership
  • Educational leadership
  • Leadership
  • Leadership development
  • Professional development
  • Values
  • Intercultural


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