Principal time management skills: Explaining patterns in principals’ time use, job stress, and perceived effectiveness

Jason A. Grissom, Susanna Loeb, Hajime Mitani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


Purpose – Time demands faced by school principals make principals’ work increasingly difficult. Research outside education suggests that effective time management skills may help principals meet job demands, reduce job stress, and improve their performance. The purpose of this paper is to investigate these hypotheses. Design/methodology/approach – The authors administered a time management inventory to nearly 300 principals in Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the fourth-largest school district in the USA. The authors analyzed scores on the inventory descriptively and used them to predict time-use data collected via in-person observations, a survey-based measure of job stress, and measures of perceived job effectiveness obtained from assistant principals and teachers in the school. Findings – Principals with better time management skills allocate more time in classrooms and to managing instruction in their schools but spend less time on interpersonal relationship-building. Perhaps as a result of this tradeoff, the authors find that associations between principal time management skills and subjective assessments of principal performance are mixed. The authors find strong evidence, however, that time management skills are associated with lower principal job stress. Practical implications – Findings suggest that building principals’ time management capacities may be a worthwhile strategy for increasing time on high-priority tasks and reducing stress. Originality/value – This study is the first to empirically examine time management among school principals and link time management to key principal outcomes using large-scale data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)773-793
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Educational Administration
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 7 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Public Administration


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