School Principals in Neoliberal Times: A Case of Luxury Leadership?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Reforms to public education systems in western‐style democracies have sought to make major interventions into the identities and practices of serving and aspiring school principals. Neoliberal transformation strategies continue to construct the school as a corporate business, and the school principal as entrepreneur. This chapter reads the data through “luxury leadership” in order to examine the construction of school principals as change agents in ways that tempt educational professionals to mimic and enact identities and practices that are associated with corporate elites. Luxury leadership is a novel way of thinking about what it means to be and do “leader”, “leading”, and “leadership” in public‐service education. The chapter examines key features: first, as an elite project designed to segregate the leader from the led; second, as an elite practice that requires recognition and consent from “others” as the led; third, as dynamic and contextually located.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Wiley Handbook of Global Educational Reform
EditorsKenneth Saltman, Alexander Means
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons Ltd
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781119082316
ISBN (Print)9781119083078
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sep 2018

Publication series

NameThe Wiley Handbook of Global Educational Reform


  • Education reforms
  • Elite project
  • Luxury leadership
  • Neoliberal transformation
  • Public education system
  • School principals


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