Exploring the emerging leadership model in a non-for-profit high school of Gilgit Baltistan: A grounded theory study research

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy in Education


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


This study aimed at exploring the emerging leadership model of a non-for-profit high school through examining the practices of a female headteacher in her school, situated in Gilgit Baltistan (GB). To help discern this emerging leadership model, the study used grounded theory method within the qualitative research paradigm. The 29 research participants included the female headteacher, teachers (female and male), students (female and male), and parents (mothers and fathers). These participants were selected through a theoretical purposive sampling strategy so that rich data could be generated for discerning the leadership model. I used semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, and document analysis. The findings of the study revealed a leadership model that reflected the female headteacher constantly navigating through her gender identity, vision for the school, the institutional targets, and reminders of social-cultural context while leading the school. To this end, she used different strategies with a focus on improving the quality of teaching and learning in the school. She created a collaborative and conducive learning environment for the students and teachers. Further, the study revealed that leadership practices are shaped by the larger socio-cultural context. The female headteacher was found to be constantly navigating through the complex gendered social fabric of the society to show her leadership mettle. The findings also revealed that a leader would not follow any fixed leadership model but the contextual realities including community beliefs would determine leadership actions and practices. This study has explicated the potentials of women school leaders and has also highlighted the challenges facing them because of the stereotypical image of women as weaker beings. The study recommends that organizations should develop a better understanding of the social context in which women leaders lead the schools. Thus, organizations/schools need to arrange leadership training and support for women in education in similar cultural contexts to create an enabling environment for more inclusive leadership practices.

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