Internal vs external promotion: advancement of teachers to administrators

David Garland Buckman, Arvin D. Johnson, Donna L. Alexander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine selection practices of school districts by capturing the promotion of teachers to assistant principal positions to determine if: there is a relationship between employability and assistant principal promotion (within-school, within-district, and external); and if the state-specific educational leadership policy directly impacts the employability of assistant principal candidates. Design/methodology/approach: Principals in the state of Georgia were the unit of analysis, and data collected included personal characteristics of each participant when entering their first assistant principal position, school characteristics of the place of promotion, and type of promotion (internally within-school, internally within-district, and externally). Both descriptive statistics and multiple regression analysis were utilized to examine the impact of type of promotion as well as the state-specific educational leadership policy on participant employability at the time of promotion. Findings: This study found a significant positive relationship between internal promotion (within-school) and employability as well as a negative association between participant employability and Georgia state-specific policy. Additional findings indicate a positive relationship between combination schools (i.e. grades K-8; 6-12) and participant employability. Originality/value: This study advances the HRM literature concerning employee selection by expanding the scope of hiring practices outside of the private sector and provides focus on the public sector, specifically, the public school environment. In addition, the focal position (public school administrators in the state of Georgia) has yet to be utilized in employee selection research in the areas of internal and external promotion. Previous researchers have studied the probability of internal and external promotion based on demographic factors such as race and gender, however, this specific study uses distinctive predictor variables backed by literature to evaluate applicant employability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-49
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Educational Administration
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 7 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Assistant principal selection
  • Employability
  • External promotion
  • Hiring process
  • Internal promotion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Public Administration


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