A Bibliometric Review of Research on Educational Administration: Science Mapping the Literature, 1960 to 2018

Philip Hallinger, Jasna Kovačević

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

235 Citations (Scopus)


This systematic review used “science mapping” as a means of understanding the evolution of research in educational administration (EA). The review sought to document the size, growth trajectory, and geographic distribution of EA research, identify high impact scholars and documents, and illuminate the “intellectual structure” of the field. Although science mapping has been applied widely in science, medicine, and social sciences, it is still new in the field of education. The authors identified 22,361 peer-reviewed articles published in 22 Scopus-indexed EA journals between 1960 and 2018. The authors used VOSviewer, Excel, and Tableau software to analyze the data set. The review found that the EA knowledge base has grown dramatically since 1960 with an accelerating rate growth and increasing gender and geographic diversity during the past two decades. Using co-citation analysis, the review identified canonical documents, defined as highly influential documents whose impact has been sustained for a period of several decades. The review also identified four key Schools of Thought that have emerged over time focusing on Leadership for Learning, Leadership and Cultural Change, School Effectiveness and School Improvement, and Leading Teachers. More broadly, our findings highlighted a paradigm shift from “school administration” to “school leadership” over the course of the six decades. Another significant finding identified “leadership for student learning and development” as the “cognitive anchor” of the intellectual structure of the EA knowledge base. The authors conclude that science mapping offers a new and useful means of unpacking the historical development of fields of study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-369
Number of pages35
JournalReview of Educational Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • bibliometric review
  • educational administration
  • educational leadership
  • knowledge production
  • review of research
  • science mapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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