Mapping the terrain of educational leadership and management in East Asia

Philip HALLINGER, Darren Anthony BRYANT

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to gain perspective on the extent to which the vision for knowledge production in East Asia set forth by Bajunid, Cheng, Hallinger, Walker, Dimmock and others almost 20 years ago has been fulfilled. We undertook an effort to map the terrain of knowledge production in educational leadership and management in East Asia since the year 2000. Our method of mapping this terrain involves the analysis of trends in publication of articles about and/or from East Asia in eight core educational leadership and management journals. Design/Method/Approach: Our methodology employed a descriptive, quantitative form of literature review. We identified a clearly delimited body of literature, comprised of all articles published about or from East Asia between 2000-2011 in 8 core educational leadership and management journals. Then we employed a systematic search for information within that literature and analyzed trends across the studies. This allowed us to map the terrain of recent research on educational leadership and management within East Asia. Findings: The volume of knowledge production from East Asia between 2000 and 2011 consisted of less than 6% of total output in the relevant journals. Although there was a discernible increase in the annual rate of publication over the course of the 12 year period, we treat the increase as relatively unimportant given the small volume. A substantial majority of the publications not only came from a few societies, but from a small number of universities. Citation analyses were highly consistent with all of the above trends, and reinforced a picture of limited impact. Research Limitations: Our study focused on a clearly delimited region, East Asia. Although we believe that the study may have implications for other regions of the developing world, we do not speculate on the extent of relevance. We intentionally limited our definition of the corpus of knowledge to a specific set of international refereed journals that are published in English. This ignores the potential contributions of conference papers, books, book chapters, research handbooks, domestic journals, and even other international journals in which educational leadership scholars publish. Practical Limitations: A practical limitation concerns our decision to focus on patterns of knowledge production rather than the content of research findings. The analyses presented in this paper neither examined topics studied nor specific research findings. Therefore, we did not attempt to characterize what has been learned from these studies conducted over the past decade. That means that the paper has limited direct relevance for the improvement of practice. Originality/Value: To our knowledge, there have been no efforts undertaken to understand the nature of knowledge production in educational leadership and management in East Asia. When approaching this review in 2012, we were not under the illusion that the regional knowledge base would be either overly dense in terms of the concentration of studies within particular areas or broad in scope. However, future scholarship may be aided by this systematic assessment of the current knowledge base on educational leadership in the region.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013


Hallinger, P., & Bryant, D. (2013, March). Mapping the terrain of educational leadership and management in East Asia. Paper presented at the Asia Leadership Roundtable 2013, Shanghai, China.

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