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school principals in Hong Kong strategic thinking and acting.

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  • Modern leaders must possess a strategic mindset, which is developed through the application of advanced cognitive capabilities. Dweck (2006), Kegan and Leahy (2009), and Pisapia (2009) have argued persuasively how well-developed methods of processing information, training, and experience leads to mindsets that hinder attempts to achieve adaptive change. They conclude that mindset – our learned assumptions and methods - drive every aspect of our lives, from work to play to relationships. If they are correct, then the ability of school leaders to deal with change lies in how school leaders think and how they help their members prepare for continuous professional development and school improvement.
  • Descriptions of the Thinking Skills found in the Strategic Thinking QuestionnaireSource: Pisapia, Reyes-Guerra & Coukos-Semmel (2005). [See original for full description of constructs]
  • Descriptions of the leader influence actions found in the Strategic Leadership Questionnaire See: Pisapia (2009) for full description of constructs]Managing actionsHolds us accountable for resultsEvaluates individual performanceSets time lines for our workProvides structure for my workSpecifies team goalsSpecifies individual goalsTransforming ActionsHelps us develop a shared visionPromotes conversations with us about the future and our ability to meet it,Works to create a shared vision,Promotes our commitment to our organization's long-term goals,Helps us to enhance our professional learning as a group,Aides us in shaping ideas,Helps us to enhance our professional learning as individuals,Helps us to visualize future possibilitiesBonding ActionsIs honest with usDoes the right thingCan be trusted to do the right thingHelps us try to keep promisesRespects our PrivacyMakes decisions by following policyEnsures procedures are followedStands firm on decision based on principleBridging ActionsDevelops alliances with people from outside of the organizationMaintains alliances with people of power and influenceStrengthens his/her position by gaining the allegiance of others inside the organizationUses influence to advance his/her agendaHas access to people who have influence over getting things done.Associates him/herself with individuals who have influence.Allocates resources to influence his/her purposesBartering ActionsWilling to barter to make dealsGives something in exchange for helpGives rewards when s/he is helpedPromises rewards to get what s/he wantsCompromises to craft agreements
  • 619 Schools650 school leaders
  • It is consistent across the different positions of school leaders, whether principals, vice-principals or senior masters that they practiced systems thinking skills the most frequent and often, reflecting the next and reframing the leastsystems thinking is the most commonly practiced, than the other two subscales, reflecting and reframing. It matches Peter Senge’s (1990) proposition in the fifth discipline, that systems thinking is a crucial determinant of success in leadership and organizational learning.
  • . As to the practice of strategic execution skills, most school leaders in Hong Kong practice bonding and transforming the most often, managing the next, and bridging and bartering the least. (a) the four leader influence action subscales of strategic execution were positively associated; (b) there were high and significant correlations between transforming and managing (.488) and between transforming and bonding (.545). While the correlation between managing and bonding (.362) was moderate, the other correlations were only mild.Similar to the findings across school leaders at different positions, school leaders from different types of schools have the same pattern of practices of strategic execution skills in daily management and administration across. School leaders from different types of schools practiced bonding the most often, transforming and managing the next, and bridging and bartering the least.
  • Regressions of the five subscales of the strategic execution on the three subscales of strategic thinking were done separatelyFindings show that the practice of three cognitive processes of strategic thinking may have different effects on school leaders’ practice of strategic execution. The practice of systems thinking skills by school leaders have positive and significant effects on their practice of bonding, transforming, and managing, but have no significant effects on bridging and bartering. The practice of reflection in strategic leadership may have positive and significant effects on transforming, bridging, bonding and managing, but have no significant effect on bartering. The practice of reframing in strategic leadership may have different significant effects on strategic actions, that is, positive and significant effects on bonding and transforming, while negative and significant effects on bridging, bartering and managing. The diverged effects on reframing skills on different strategic behaviours need further investigation and exploration by other means involved qualitative research methodology, for example, in-depth interviews and field observations, in order to understand the dynamics behind.
  • Icsei2012

    1. 1. Strategic Leadership for School Change Nicholas Pang, Professor Chinese University of Hong Kong nskpang@cuhk.edu.hk • John Pisapia, Professor Leadership Studies Florida Atlantic University jpisapia@fau.edu Paper presented at The ICSEI Congress 2012 January 5-8 Malmo, SwedenThe authors would like to express their gratitude to the Research Grant Council of Hong Kong forthe support of this research (RGC Ref. No.: 452710) 1
    2. 2. Problem and PurposeComplexity and continuous change is one of the most important challenges inpreparing school leaders. Hong Kong is not exceptional in this regard. Waveafter wave of reform initiatives have led to complexity and sometimesambiguity and chaos which required that Hong Kong school leaders think andact differently than before. These conditions while challenging also createopportunities for leaders with skills to take advantage of them – how theythink and act and how they help their members prepare themselves forschool change (Pang, 2006b).The purpose of this study was to assess school leaders’ use of strategicthinking and leader influence actions and to examine the relationshipamong these variables. The study was framed by three questions:1. What is the level of school leader’s use of strategic thinking skills?2. What is the level of school leader’s use of strategic influence actions?3. Was there a link between school leaders thinking skills and actions? PPang & Pisapia (2012) 2
    3. 3. Research StreamsStrategic Thinking1. Thinking Skills of Leaders –Argyris and Schön,1978; Baron ,1994; Bolman and Deal ,1994; Cohen, et al. ,2000) Daghir & Zaydi, 2005); Dewey , 1933 Halpren,1996; Morgan,2006; Pisapia, Reyes-Guerra & Coukos-Semmel ,2005; Schön, 1983); Senge ,1990).2. Strategic Thinking as a way of thinking about strategic issues.- (Ginsberg, 1994; Goia & Chittipeddi, 1991; Hansen, 1991; Hax & Majluf, 1991; Porter, 1980; Mintzberg (1994; Raimond, 1996; Tregoe & Zimmerman, 1980 )3. Strategic thinking as a way of overcoming the limitations of planning models (Bonn, 2001, 2005; Graetz, 2002; Heracleous, 1998; Laurence ,1999;Liedtka ,1998; OShannassy, 2003; Mintzberg, 1994).Leader Influence Actions Leadership requires horizontal leadership approaches = distributed leadership theory (Cox, Pearce, & Perry, 2003; Gronn, 2002; Pearce & Conger, 2003); Leadership requires vertical leadership approaches suggested by hierarchy = command and control behaviors. Leadership occurs in complex environments = complexity science (Goldstein, Hazy, & Lichtenstein, 2010; Lichtenshein et al., 2001; Uhl-Bien, Marion, & McKelvey, (2007); and Leadership is about the relationship of leaders and followers = relational theories (Drath, 2001, McName & Gergen, 1999; Uhl-Bien, 2006). (Den Hartog et al., 1999; Dorfman, 1996; House et al., 1997) PPang & Pisapia (2012) 3
    4. 4. Strategic Pisapia’s Strategic Thinking Frame (2009)Thinking Skills Systems thinking refers to the leader’s ability to see systems holistically by understanding the properties, forces, Systems patterns and interrelationships that shape the behavior of the Thinking system, which hence provides options for action. Reflecting refers to the leader’s ability to weave logical and rational thinking, through the use of perceptions, experience Reflecting and information, to make judgments on what has happened, and creation of intuitive principles that guide future actions. Reframing refers to the leader’s ability to switch attention Reframing across multiple perspectives, frames, mental models, and paradigms to generate new insights and options for actions. Pisapia et. al. (2011) 4
    5. 5. SL Influence Pisapia’s Strategic Leader Actions Frame (2009) Actions Actions taken to maintain consistency in order that current Managing organizational goals are accomplished efficiently and effectively. Actions taken to influence direction, actions, and opinions in order to change organizational conditions and culture so thatTransforming learning and change occur as a normal routine of the organization. Actions taken to ensure that trust is an attribute of the system and not just something developed among individuals in Bonding order that followers exhibit emotional commitment to the organizations aspirations and values. Actions are taken to develop alliances with people of power Bridging and influence from outside and inside the organization in order to gain insights, support, and resources. Actions taken to give something in exchange in order Bartering to strengthen the effectiveness of relationships and alliance building efforts. PPang & Pisapia (2012) 5
    6. 6. MethodDesign Data CollectionQuantitative non-experimental Instruments: - self report versionCriterion variables - Managing, (SAQ)© that measures the five leaderTransforming, Bonding, Bridging, Bartering. actions of Bridging, Bartering, Bonding, Managing - Transforming using 35 questionsPredictor variables – systems thinking, based on a 5-point Likert scale.reflection, reframing. STQ© measures three thinking skills:Hypotheses systems thinking, reflecting, and reframing. 1 = Thinking skills would not be Reliability: All reliability alphas > .68. associated with position held 2. = Leader actions would not be Validity: instrumentation factor models exceeded 52% of the variance. associated with position held Psychometrically validated in the USA 3. –Thinking skills used and actions (Reyes-Guerra 2009; Pisapia 2009), and taken would not be associated in China (Pang & Pisapia, 2010; Pang & Pisapia, 2012).Sample - Omission rate and and inconsistency258 Elementary – 325 Secondary – 36 indexSpecial Schools. Data Analysis234 Principals, 280 VP, 112 Special RegressionMasters PPang & Pisapia (2012) 6
    7. 7. Study Participants Schools School Leaders 7% 36 42% 258 325 51%Secondary Primary Special Prin VP SM 7 PPang & Pisapia (2012)
    8. 8. Q#1 Ho1 The use of Strategic Thinking Skills by School Leaders in Hong Kong is not significantly related to Position held 5 4.5 4 Systems Thinking Reflecting 3.5 Reframing 3 2.5 Prin VP SM Systems Thinking 4.15 4.09 4 Reflecting 3.68 3.59 3.43 Reframing 3.63 3.51 3.41 PPang & Pisapia (2012) 8
    9. 9. Q#2 Ho2 The use of Strategic Leadership Influence Actions is notsignificantly related to Position Held. 5.00 4.50 4.00 3.50 3.00 2.50 Prin VP SM Managing 3.97 3.90 3.86 Transforming 4.31 4.04 3.88 Bonding 4.53 4.44 4.37 Bridging 2.90 2.86 2.97 Bartering 2.88 2.93 2.94 N 234 280 112 PPang & Pisapia (2012) 9
    10. 10. STQ Findings Thus FarReyes-Guerra & Yasin, 2006 - Pang & Pisapia, 2006; - N=900 There is a cumulative impact - The strength of the relationship between strategicthinking and leader success increases as leaders use the three dimensions in tandem. Validated in English, (Pisapia 2011), Chinese (Pang & Pisapia, 2007; 2011); Hindi(Raghavan, Shukla, & Shaid, 2010) Correlated with self-directed learning readiness (Zsiga, 2008), transformationalleadership (Brennan, 2010), Grade point average (Pisapia & Glick, 2010), leader effectiveness(Pang & Pisapia in press; Zsiga, 2008; Pisapia, Reyes-Guerra & Yasin, 2006). Skill use improves with age, experience, and education– the younger you are the lessyou use these skills. (Penney, 2010; Pisapia, et. al. 2009). Since the age bias is present, there areimplications for teaching at early entry career levels. Strategic thinking skills can be developed through training. Systems Thinking is most used thinking skills of leaders (Pang & Pisapia 2012) 10 The Strategic Leader Network
    11. 11. Results of Strategic Leader Action Studies thus far A multifaceted use of strategic leadership actions is strongly associated with self reported effectiveness (Yasin , 2006; UĞurluoĞlu 2009); effectiveness reported by others; (Reyes-Guerra, 2009); and objective measures of effectiveness - Use explains 70% of variance (Fazzino 2012) Transforming, Political and Ethical actions were associated with more cohesive culture in schools. (Urdegar, 2007; Reyes-Guerra, 2009) Leader actions were influenced by context (Yasin , 2006, Reyes-Guerra, 2009; Pisapia & Lin, 2010; Pisapia & Pang 2011; Pisapia & Pang, 2012) As the leader felt the complexity of the context increasing they used more Political and Transforming actions (UĞurluoĞlu & Çelik, 2009) SLQ appears free of gender bias; but influenced by education level, disciplines studied and tenure in position (Reyes-Guerra, 2009) – organization type and leader level (Pisapia & Lin 2010). Mandated policies and programs were not effectively implemented when leaders did not use management authority in tandem with the other 4 actions. (Reyes-Guerra, 2009) Free choice policies and programs were effectively implemented with Transforming, Bonding, Bartering, and Bridging actions. (Reyes-Guerra, 2009) PPang & Pisapia (2012) 11
    12. 12. Q#3 Ho3 The use of strategic thinking skills is not significantly related to use of strategic influence actions (Regression Analysis) Managing Transforming Bonding Bridging BarteringSystems .289*** .407*** .410*** 0.033 0Reflection .114*** .251*** 0.046 .218*** .118**Reframing -.091* .104* -.301*** -.247*** .197***R 0.36 0.598 0.302 0.328 0.544R2 0.125 0.357 0.087 0.103 0.292Note: *significant at 0.05; **significant at 0.01; ***significant at 0.001 N = 635 PPang & Pisapia (2012) 12
    13. 13. ConclusionsIt is too early to draw firm conclusions and recommendations until the data is further analyzed to determine the influence of other organizational and personal context variables such as gender, age, length of service. These data demonstrate that:  Position held was the most influential predictor of the use of the three strategic thinking skills and the five strategic actions.  The link between the use of strategic thinking skills and leaders actions is evident in our data. The fact is that Hong Kong school leaders, who demonstrated higher use of systems thinking and reflecting skills, also reported greater use of managing, transforming, bridging and bonding in strategic execution. PPang & Pisapia (2012) 13
    14. 14. Selected Books and Articles• Strategic Leadership Pisapia, J. (2009). The strategic leader: New tactics for a globalizing world. Charlotte: Information Age Publishers. [2020- Washington Post List – 5 best leadership books]• Pisapia, J. (2006). A New direction for leadership. (Education Policy Studies Series No. 61). Hong Kong: The Faculty of Education and the Hong Kong Institute of Educational Research. (Monograph) – cited in Scopus• Pisapia, J. (2011). Finding the future and making it happen. In S. Verma (Ed). Towards the next orbit. New Delhi: Sage Publishers.• Pisapia, J. (2006). Mastering change in a globalized world. In P. Singh, J. Bhatnagar, & A. Bhandarker (Eds). Future of work: Mastering change. Chapter 19, pp. 303-327. New Delhi: Excel Books. IBSN: 81-7446-302-2.• Strategic Leader Actions Fazzino, T. (2012). Leader Influence Actions , Climate, and School performance. Unpublished dissertation. Florida Atlantic University. Boca Raton, FL.• Pisapia, J. & Lin, Y. (2011). Leader values and actions: An Exploratory study of school principals in mainland China. Frontiers of Education in China.• Ugurluglu, U., Celik, Y., & Pisapia, J. (2010). The use of strategic leader actions by hospital managers in Turkey. American Journal of Business Research. 3(1), 33-52.• Reyes-Guerra, D. (2009). The relationship of strategic leader actions and normative structures. Unpublished dissertation. Florida Atlantic University. [Nominated, AERA & College of Education Dissertations of the Year• Ugurluglu, U. (2009). Assessment of Strategic Leadership Characteristics of Hospital Managers. Unpublished dissertation. Hacettepe University, Turkey.• Pisapia, J. & Reyes-Guerra (2008). The Strategic Leader Questionnaire v1 (SLQ). Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Fl. Current © 2009 v3.• Urdegar, S. (2008) Beyond Fidelity: Relating Educational Practices And Their Determinants To Student Learning Gains, Unpublished dissertation. Florida Atlantic University. [Winner College of Education and AERA dissertation of the year competitions• Yasin, M. (2006). The use of strategic leadership actions by Deans in Malaysian and American public universities. Unpublished dissertation. Florida Atlantic University. PPang & Pisapia (2012) 14
    15. 15. Selected Books and Articles• Strategic Thinking Pang, N.S.K. & Pisapia, J. (In Press). The Strategic Thinking skills of Hong Kong School Leaders: Usage and Effectiveness. Educational Management Administration and Leadership. [19% acceptance rate]• Brennan, P. (2010). Pursuing success without scandal: Exploring the relationship between transformational and Authentic Leadership. Unpublished dissertation, Minneapolis, MN: Cappella University• Pisapia, J. & Glick-Cuenot, S. (2010). Strategic Thinking Skills and Undergraduate Student Academic Success: A Preliminary Report. Presented at the American Institute of Higher Education - 4th International Conference March 18, 2010, Williamsburg Virginia, USA• Penney, G. (2010). The use of strategic thinking skills and technology tools by Fire Chiefs. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Florida Atlantic University.•• Raghavan, S., Shukla, A. & Shaid, S. (2010). Strategic thinking and its impact on performance: An upper echelons perspective. Presented at the Society of Strategic Management Finland• Pisapia, J., Pang, N.S.K., Hee, T. H. Lin, Y. & Morris, J.D. (2009). A comparison of the use of strategic thinking skills of aspiring school leaders in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Shanghai, and the United States: An exploratory study. International Journal of Educational Studies. 2(2), 48-58.• Zsiga, P. (2008). Leader effectiveness from self-directed learning and strategic thinking International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management 2008 - Vol. 8, No.4 pp. 306 - 317 Pisapia, J., Reyes-Guerra, D. & Yasin, M. (2006) Strategic Thinking and Leader Success Presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Conference on Advances in Management, Lisbon Portugal, July 19-22, 2006. Pisapia, J., Reyes-Guerra, D., & Coukos-Semmel, E. (2005). Developing a Strategic Mindset: Constructing the Measures. Leadership Review, Spring 2005, Vol. 5, pp. 41-68 - cited in Scopus• Pisapia, J., Coukos-Semmel, E., & Reyes-Guerra, D. (2004). Assessing the cognitive processes of leaders: Do effective leaders think differently than less effective leaders? In A. Lazaridou (Ed.), Contemporary issues on educational administration and policy (Chapter 9, pp 147-170). Athens, Greece: Athens Institute for Education and Research. ISBN: 960-88331-2-4. 15
    16. 16. More Information?John Pisapia, jpisapia@fau.edu is a Professor Nicholas Sun-keung Pang nskpang@cuhk.edu.hkof Leadership Studies at Florida Atlantic is the Chairman and Professor of EducationalUniversity in Boca Raton, Florida, currently Administration and Policy at the Chineseserves as a Fulbright Scholar to China, theAdam Smith Visiting Scholar at the University University of Hong Kong.of Glasgow, and founder of the Strategic He specializes in educational administration,Leader Network. management and leadership, as well as school effectiveness and improvement. He also serves asDr. Pisapia brings over 23 years of Co-Director of the Hong Kong Centre for themanagement experience management Development of Educational Leadership (HKCDEL),experience as a principal, state commissioner Leader of the School Development and Evaluationof education, University Department Chair,and Research Director to his academic podium Team (SDET), Director of the Preparation forand consultancies. Principalship (PFP) Course and Director of Master of Arts Programme in School Improvement andHis book, The Strategic Leader promising a Leadership (MASIL).new direction for leading in a globalized world Prof. Pang was elected the Chairman of Hongwas published in 2009 was named as a top 5 Kong Educational Research Association for thebusiness books in 2010 by the Washington year 1999-2001. Prof. Pang has been publishingPost. widely, locally and internationally, with over 160• articles in various media. • PPang & Pisapia (2012) 16