Functional heterogeneity and senior management team effectiveness: The mediating role of school leadership

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose – There has been an increasing trend toward the creation of senior management teams (SMTs) which are characterized by a high degree of functional heterogeneity. Although such teams may create better linkages to information, along with the benefits of functional heterogeneity comes the potential for conflicts that stem from the value differences among subcultures in an organization. These conflicts can adversely affect performance. The purpose of this paper is to examine how school leaders’ activities mediate the relationship of SMT functional heterogeneity to SMT effectiveness (in-role performance and innovation). Design/methodology/approach – Data, which were obtained through a survey, was collected from a sample of 92 schools in Israel. Data were collected from two sources (principals and SMT members) to minimize problems associated with same source and common method bias. Data were aggregated at the team level of analysis. Findings – The results of structural equation model indicated that principal’s internal activities enhanced SMT in-role performance whereas principals’ external activities enhanced SMT innovation. The results also showed that principal’s internal activities are full mediators of the relationship between functional heterogeneity and SMT in-role performance. Originality/value – This study has implications for policies involving the design and implementation of leadership tools to effectively manage SMTs. The results of this study can help principals to establish priorities and allocate their time and resources more effectively, both inward and outward the SMT boundary so as to assist functionally heterogeneous SMTs translating the benefits of functional heterogeneity into significant achievements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)492-512
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Educational Administration
Issue number4
StatePublished - 4 Jul 2016


  • Boundary activities
  • Functional heterogeneity
  • Principals
  • Senior management team

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Public Administration


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