A study of Swedish preschool directors’ perspectives on leadership and organization

Lunneblad, J., Garvis, S.


The study investigates Swedish kindergarten coordinators’ perspectives on management and organisation. It also investigates how kindergarten coordinators reflect on pedagogical management in relation to parents and the impact of kindergarten budgets on their leadership.

The research questions are:

  1. What do kindergarten coordinators think is good leadership?
  2. How do kindergarten coordinators assess pedagogical leadership in relation to parents?
  3. In what ways do kindergarten coordinators think finances affect their leadership?


The results show that kindergarten coordinators must take on different management roles in order to navigate between the supervision of employees, collaborating with parents and taking the kindergarten’s budget into account. The kindergarten coordinators describe their leadership role as including three different roles: supervisor, organiser and senior manager. These roles are sometimes contradictory and create conflicts between employee and parent considerations and neoliberal perspectives. 


Data was collected through interviews with 11 kindergarten coordinators in Swedish cities. Each of the kindergarten coordinators was responsible for around 80-120 employees and 550 children. All the informants in the sample were women with extensive work experience in kindergartens. The interviews were audio recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed in a content analysis. 


Lunneblad, J. & Garvis, S. (2019). “A study of Swedish preschool directors’ perspectives on leadership and organization”. Early Child Development and Care, 189(6):938-945.

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