Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




capacity building, Change Path Model, “grow your own”, Kotter’s Eight-Stage Process, succession planning, transformational leadership, transformative leadership


Research has shown that school leadership significantly influences institutional success and student achievement. Yet, studies indicate that in many school systems around the world, there is an absence of thoughtful and methodical leadership succession planning. The problem of practice addressed in this Organizational Improvement Plan is the lack of an equitable, systematic, and transparent approach to leadership succession planning in an international school in Country A. Using this school as the basis for this study, systems theory (Senge, Hamilton & Kania, 2015) guides a “whole-system” discussion for developing and implementing an equitable, systematic, and transparent succession planning framework. Through the lens of systems theory (Senge et al., 2015) attention has been given to how teachers within the organization can be afforded the opportunities and structures needed to build their leadership capacities to fulfill a “grow your own” (Rothwell, 2002) philosophy, as well as the institutional standards and practices of the school, which would then transform the organization as a whole. Two change theories, the Change Path Model (Cawsey, Deszca, & Ingols, 2016) and Kotter’s Eight-Stage Process (Kotter, 1996), have been utilized in considering how to propel the school forward from its current position, which is lacking a coherent leadership succession planning framework, to an ideal future state, where through the employment of research, available data, and theory the implementation and application of a comprehensive leadership succession planning framework is institutionalized. The transformational and transformative leadership approaches have been adopted to help in understanding leadership’s role in creating the systems and structures necessary for teachers to develop their leadership capacities, as well as instituting an equitable and transparent appointment structure within the school. This study offers a unique perspective, as it is researched and written by an external change agent, to be offered to the current school administration for enactment. The information presented in this Organizational Improvement Plan, although focusing on a single international school located in Country A, can have implications for all international schools, as it provides a tangible, research-informed, and thorough process by which an international school can develop a leadership succession framework and build a talent pool from within the staff to draw from when required.