Can leadership transform educational policy? Leadership style, new localism and local involvement in education

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the realm of new localism and collaboration, local educational policymakers are called upon for responsible community leadership. Given the conceptual continuum between new localism and transformational leadership, this study examines the relationship between the leadership style of local educational policymakers and the involvement of local authorities in education. Data were obtained from 107 questionnaires submitted by mayors and directors of education affiliated with 100 local authorities in Israel. As predicted, there was a positive relationship between transformational leadership and the local authorities’ involvement in education, measured using four factors, but only for sound local authorities. We used five criteria to determine the soundness of the local authorities. In contrast, among less sound local authorities, there was an inverse relationship between transformational leadership and involvement in education. In general, in such communities, leaders seemed to prefer to leave educational issues to the central government. Thus, we present evidence for the boundaries of educational transformational leadership in the educational governance arena. Education-related policies are on the agenda of leaders even in weaker local authorities, but only to the extent that these policies can serve as an instrument to meet specific needs of the local community. All in all, there is no “one size fits all” for all aspects of new localism—i.e., central regulation towards local government, local policy, local leadership, and civic participation. Accordingly, policymakers, local leaders and residents must fit themselves to the blurred boundaries of new localism and collaborate towards better education. Implications of the findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9564
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number22
StatePublished - 2 Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Educational community leadership
  • Educational governance
  • Educational policy making
  • Involvement in education
  • Israel
  • Local governance
  • Local government
  • New localism
  • Transformational leadership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Can leadership transform educational policy? Leadership style, new localism and local involvement in education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this