Influence tactics and “second-order” change in schools: case study research of principals' political behaviors and strategies

Devora Friedman, Izhak Berkovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Principals are considered central in initiating and mobilizing changes in schools; however, their political behaviors in the course of school changes are underexplored. The present research investigated the influence tactics used by school principals to induce teachers to join a process of second-order (deep and wide) change in the school teaching and culture. In specific, the authors were interested to know which influence tactics, principals and staff members considered to be efficient during such a second-order change process. Design/methodology/approach: The study was based on a case study method focusing on four Israeli Jewish state public religious schools participating in the “Routes” program aimed at strengthening religious values in schools. Data collection included semi-structured interviews with principals, teachers with program coordinators responsibilities and teachers in four schools. Findings: The results indicate that school principals who are considered successful in leading changes display two key influence prototypes: a hybrid type that combines soft and hard influence tactics and a unitype that relies on soft influence tactics. Originality/value: The research study contributed to the limited knowledge in educational administration on micropolitics and political behaviors in the course of school changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-339
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - 4 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

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© 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • Influence tactics
  • Micropolitics
  • Power
  • Principals
  • Second-order change


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