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Stepping into middle leadership: a hermeneutic phenomenological study

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Version 2 2024-02-11, 08:25
Version 1 2024-02-07, 10:14
journal contribution
revised on 2024-02-11, 08:24 and posted on 2024-02-11, 08:25 authored by Norma Ghamrawi, Tarek Shal, Najah A.R. Ghamrawi

Several studies have examined the crucial role played by middle leaders in school improvement, but little is known about the experiences of novice middle leaders during their initial years in their positions, particularly the enabling and constraining factors they encounter. This study explored the narratives of six middle leaders over a three-year period as they stepped into their roles in K-12 settings in Lebanon. Employing a hermeneutic phenomenological methodology, semi-structured interviews were conducted with each middle leader at the end of each academic year for three consecutive years. Data from 18 semi-structured interviews were analyzed using Gadamar’s interpretational analysis system. The findings suggest that successful transition into middle leadership relies on seven core, interrelated constructs with high leverage and impact, encompassing 23 subsidiary concepts. These constructs include role clarity, personal qualities, trust, the ‘sandwiched’ position, versatile leadership, professional development, and culture.

Other Information

Published in: International Journal of Leadership in Education
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Open Access funding provided by the Qatar National Library.



  • English



Publication Year

  • 2023

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Qatar University
  • College of Education - QU
  • Social and Economic Survey Research Institute - QU

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