The Study of the Paternalistic Leadership Style: A Case Study of a Kindergarten Principal

Yi-Yun Wang, Yu-Wei Lin
page. 95~112 / 2007 Vol.1 No.2


This study aimed to explore the leading behaviors of kindergarten principals from a local perspective by conducting a case study, so as to get a better understanding of the role played by the concepts and conduct of the leader during the process of improving education quality. The study was based on data collected between March 2004 and March 2005. Research methods included participant observation, formal and informal interviews. Besides, parent handbooks, teaching plan designs, and parent-teacher meeting communication documents have also been collected for documentation anal- ysis. The results finds that the leadership concepts and behaviors of a kindergarten principal are present in four aspects, which are “Demonstration of austerity and au- thority”, “Showing Care and Kindness”, “Appreciation of professional ethics and moral” and “Emphasis on personal image”. The essence of the first three aspects cor- responds to the elements in “Paternalistic Leadership”, which are indicated in studies on Chinese organizations done in recent years. As to the last aspect, it echoes the issue of “face-saving” emphasized by the Chinese people.

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