A social cognitive investigation of Australian independent school Boards as teams
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to investigate independent school Boards as teams using a social cognitive perspective. Specifically, the study investigated Board processes and the nature of relationships between Board member self-efficacy, Board collective efficacy and performance of independent school Boards in New South Wales, Australia. Design/methodology/approach - A multiple case study design that used qualitative research methods was employed. An expert steering group provided advice on the categorization of governance structures. A stratified purposeful sample of eight independent school Boards within the Sydney metropolitan area, New South Wales Australia participated. Data were collected from individual, semi-structured, face-to-face interviews with the Head of school, Board Chair and two Board members from each school. The interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were analyzed using qualitative data analysis procedures suggested in the literature. Findings - The findings provide evidence that for independent school Board members in this study, self-efficacy and collective efficacy beliefs were related to perceptions of Board performance. Board member self-efficacy and Board collective efficacy appeared to be linked. Self-efficacy beliefs were primarily based on mastery experiences. Collective efficacy (at the individual level) primarily was based on members' perceptions of Board past performance. Originality/value - This paper provides insight into individual Board member beliefs likely to shape processes associated with independent school Board performance in New South Wales, Australia. The study is one of only a few that have adopted an empirical and descriptive approach, rather than only providing normative direction and imperatives.