Decision-Making Styles of Russian School Principals

  • Anatoly Kasprzhak HSE University
  • Nadezhda Bysik HSE University
Keywords: personal characteristics, school principals, professional competencies, school leadership, decision-making styles


In this article, we discuss the results of a pilot project implemented in 2013–2014 within the frame of the Asia Leadership Project international comparative study, which continues research of school leadership in Europe and America started in 2006–2008. Apart from Russia, the pilot project also involved Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. Having analyzed statistical reports on the Russian Federation as a whole, as well as on Moscow and Krasnoyarsk Krai in particular, we created a picture of an average school principal and identified their specific features across the regions (age, gender, years of experience, competencies, etc). Upon investigation of decision-making styles (A. Rowe’s Decision Style Inventory) used by school principals in Moscow and Krasnoyarsk and by award winners in the School Principal professional competition, we found out that contextual factors, personal and professional attitudes of a school principal have considerable effects on the school leadership style. The paper also gives an insight into the changes in school leadership styles in the recent decades, managerial methods used by Russian school principals, similarities and differences between school leadership practices in Russia and Canada. As it turned out, the directive decision-making style prevails in practices of both Moscow and Krasnoyarsk Krai school principals. The same style, which discourages efficient interaction between school administrators and teachers, is largely  adopted by Canadian school principals even after education reforms implemented in the country. Meaningfully different results were demonstrated by the sample consisting of school principals who had won in the professional competition: about 60 % among them use the conceptual school leadership style on a regular basis. Finally, we describe the conception and design of a large-scale study of the issues in question which is scheduled for future.


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How to Cite
Kasprzhak, Anatoly, and Nadezhda Bysik. 2014. “Decision-Making Styles of Russian School Principals”. Voprosy Obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no. 4 (November), 96-118.