Preparing Principals: What Can We Learn from MBA and MPA Programmes?

Philip Hallinger, Jiafang Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


The past two decades have witnessed increasing global acceptance of the important role that capable leadership plays in education reform and school improvement. Consequently, policymakers internationally have actively sought means of strengthening capacity for school-level leadership, with a particular focus on the design of more effective programmes of administrator preparation and development. In this article we examine trends in the design of graduate education programmes offered in the related domains of business management and publication administration. We analyse data extracted from on-line descriptions of three types of master's degree programmes: master of business administration (MBA); master of public administration (MPA); and MBA programmes with a concentration in education (MBA-Ed). The study identifies patterns in the programme structure, curriculum content and learning methods employed in these graduate management programmes. The analysis yields features that could add potential value to university-based master of education degree programmes aimed at principal preparation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-452
Number of pages18
JournalEducational Management Administration and Leadership
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • administrator preparation
  • leadership development
  • management education
  • school principals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Strategy and Management


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