School Leadership in Multicultural Secondary Schools: Using Cultural Intelligence in Leading Culturally Diverse Learning Organisations USING CULTURAL INTELLIGENCE IN LEADING CULTURALLY DIVERSE LEARNING ORGANISATIONS

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Joseph Malaluan Velarde
Donnie Adams
Muhammad Faizal A. Ghani

Abstract

This mixed methods study determines the level of cultural intelligence of school leaders in national secondary schools in Kuala Lumpur and explains the ways cultural intelligence is used in leading a multicultural organisation. Using sequential explanatory approach, quantitative data was collected using survey questionnaire answered by 476 school leaders and analysed using SPSS v. 23 for mean and standard deviation. This was followed by semi-structured interviews with eight school leaders. Analysed using Atlas.ti, the qualitative data was used to explain the quantitative findings. The integrated data showed that the high level of cultural intelligence of school leaders could be explained by the following themes: interacting with people from different cultures; knowing values, religions, and customs; adjusting cultural knowledge; being conscious of cultural knowledge; and, altering verbal and nonverbal language. With the capability to be culturally intelligent, school leaders in Malaysia could maximise this strength in sustaining a positive learning environment.

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