University of Zadar (CROATIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2021 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Page: 7420
ISBN: 978-84-09-27666-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2021.1488
Conference name: 15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-9 March, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Entrepreneurship, education for entrepreneurship and the development of entrepreneurial competencies are contemporary theoretical and empirical concepts that are increasingly conceptualized in educational discourse. Being enterprise as a personality trait and the development of entrepreneurial competence becomes a desirable feature and expectation in the competence profile of all holders of educational activities, including school principal. Today, schools are in an extremely dynamic context with constant expectations for raising their quality by implementing successful leadership, innovative content and approaches. On the one hand, quality management of an educational institution with the aim of strengthening school performance becomes imperative, and on the other hand, the role of the principal in accordance with the stated expectations becomes multiple. Accordingly, different and multiple principals’ roles can be analyzed through entrepreneurial leadership because it is defined as a “form of leadership that encompasses many of the attributes of various leadership styles, specifically, flexibility, empowerment, and autonomy” (Feit, 2016). Based on the analysis of different styles of management of an educational institution, we can already we can notice evidence-based insights explaining the relevance of entrepreneurial leadership in the context of achieving changes and shifts towards the quality of education institutions itself and educational process within. In order to acquire better insight into school management practice, we consider it important to examine how principals interpret and describe their entrepreneurial leadership style because it is expected that there will be differences in the way in which the stated style is practiced and described through descriptors management and administration of an educational institution.

In this paper, based on qualitative research conducted by the focus group method with principals of educational institutions in Croatia, the aim is to analyze the multiple roles of principals and explain what is entrepreneurship school culture and entrepreneurial management of an educational institution in the perspective of the principals’ role in leadership. The empirical results show that principals have become aware of their multiple roles that can be associated with pedagogical leadership, distributed leadership, and other forms of leadership. In the statements of principals, one can clearly identify entrepreneurial leadership to which an increasing number of principals attach importance precisely because of the growing decentralization, various projects through which schools improve their teaching and other educational practices. Entrepreneurial leadership is not in conflict with pedagogical leadership, but these two leadership styles are inextricably intertwined. The results show that the successful management of an educational institution is best described by descriptors that correspond to the entrepreneurial leadership style, while at the level of qualities and competencies of the school principals who practice this leadership style basic properties of entrepreneurial competence stand out as most important for successful leadership.
Entrepreneurial leadership style, school principals, focus group, entrepreneurship competences.