International school leadership: Strategies for sustainability
How does a leader of an international school within a challenging and competitive educational setting manage to sustain the good practices that will meet the needs of the school community? The purpose of this historical case study was to explore how the director of an international school in Hong Kong promoted organizational sustainability. This study drew on the professional standards, written by Hoyle et al. in 1993, and the research of Giles and Hargreaves' (2006) to develop a conceptual framework. The framework also considered the external influences on the school. The following areas, therefore, reflect the conceptual framework used for the analysis of the findings: (a) Long-term planning, (b) learning environment, (c) student learning, (d) professional learning community, and (e) school community support. The theoretical proposition (Yin, 2009, p. 130) in this study suggests that the director promoted organizational sustainability if actions and decisions had resulted in growth and development in these five areas. Though managing the five areas has been challenging, the Director has promoted organizational sustainability with the support of a core of stable personnel, using a distributed model of leadership. This model allows for independence, innovation and accountability within the membership. Future research might continue to look at the distributive leadership model and how it can be used effectively at other international schools.