Leading when the mouth and heart are in unison: a case study of authentic school leadership in Thailand

Dhirapat Kulophas, Philip Hallinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


In many developing societies, education systems have not traditionally emphasized the development of leadership capacities among school principals. This is the case in Thailand, where principals have been criticized both for corruption and for being a ‘weak link’ in education reform. This study examined “authentic leadership” practices of school principals in Thailand and sought to link these with teachers’ academic optimism and work engagement. Using qualitative data drawn from a larger mixed methods study, this report presents a case study which describes the authentic leadership practices of one principal in the Thai context. Qualitative data were collected from semi-structured interviews with the principal and teachers as well as from information contained in school web sites and reports. The findings show how a principal who models behaviors associated with the dimensions of authentic leadership can shape the attitudes of teachers and create a climate that is conducive to change. The study highlights the importance of values as a critical basis for developing leadership capacities for change. The findings from this contextualized description of authentic school leadership in Thailand contribute to a growing of studies designed to build a more diverse knowledge base in educational leadership.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-156
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Leadership in Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Strategy and Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Leading when the mouth and heart are in unison: a case study of authentic school leadership in Thailand'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this