Original Research

CEU.gif Challenging the ‘Four Corner Press’ as framework for invitational leadership in South African schools

Rita Niemann, Zendré Swanepoel, Nalize Marais
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 36, No 1 | a799 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v36i1.799 | © 2010 Rita Niemann, Zendré Swanepoel, Nalize Marais | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 December 2008 | Published: 07 June 2010

About the author(s)

Rita Niemann, University of the Free State, South Africa
Zendré Swanepoel, University of the Free State, South Africa
Nalize Marais, University of the Free State, South Africa


Orientation: Invitational leadership (IL) is consistent with current leadership trends and, because South African schools are in need of sound leadership, it is necessary to have a framework that can guide principals to act in accordance with the expectations of their educators.

Research purpose: This study challenges the internationally accepted ‘Four Corner Press’ of Purkey and Novak (1984) as a framework for IL in the South African school context.

Motivation for the study: IL appears to be a comprehensive model for successful school leadership. This necessitated an investigation to determine whether the ‘Four Corner Press’ reflects the expectations of teachers and, if so, whether it could serve as a valuable leadership tool.

Research design, approach and method: A questionnaire containing 31 Likert-scale items, underpinned by the principles of IL, was disseminated to 600 educators conveniently drawn from the population of 88 828 teachers in Free State and Eastern Cape schools.

Main findings: The data obtained from the survey enabled the researchers to perform a factor analysis, which revealed that South African educators’ expectations of leadership aligned with the ‘Four Corner Press’.

Managerial implications: The ‘Four Corner Press’ can be used as a plausible framework for IL in South African schools, which has implications for the development and training of principals.

Contribution/value-add: The ‘Four Corner Press’ can be regarded as a reliable prototype of IL expectations within the South African context, which contributes to extending the body of knowledge of education leadership in South Africa.


educators; factor analysis; leadership expectations; personally inviting; professionally inviting


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