School leadership practices of Portuguese principals: matching perceptions of principals and teachers

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This paper presents a study on teachers' and principals' perceptions of school leadership practices in Portuguese schools. Using the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire, perceptions about transformational, transactional and laissez-faire leadership practices and its consequences on leadership outcomes (followers' extra-effort, leaders' effectiveness and followers' satisfaction with leader) were collected from representative samples of Portuguese teachers (N = 21,082) and principals (N = 122). Results point to differences in the perceptions on leadership practices between principals and teachers: teachers tended to rate principals lower than the latter rate themselves in all transformational and transactional dimensions of leadership; most teachers did not perceive a dominant leadership style in their principals, whereas most principals see themselves as predominantly transformational. Also, for teachers, leadership practices have a higher impact on leadership outcomes than for principals. These results and their practical implications are discussed in the last sections of the paper.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)516-544
Number of pages29
JournalInternational Journal of Management in Education
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Followers' and leaders' perceptions
  • Leadership outcomes
  • Leadership practices
  • Multifactor leadership questionnaire
  • School leadership
  • Transactional leadership
  • Transformational leadership


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