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  • Mäki, Maria (2021)
    Goals. The aim of this study was to examine Finnish school principals’ job-related emotions during the COVID-10 pandemic in the Spring 2020. The goal of the study was to examine what sort of emotion profiles it is possible to identify among school principals, and how these groups differ in job performance, ability to work, and gender. The theory of achievement emotions, in which emotions are described by valence, activation, and object focus, was used to examine principals’ emotions. It is important to examine the connection between emotions and job performance and ability to work, because emotions have a significant impact on individual’s behaviour and wellbeing. The study’s character was mainly explorative. Methods. The data (n = 552) was collected from Finnish school principals during the Spring and early Summer 2020 as part of the second Principal Barometer. Of the respondents, 59 % were women. Participants filled in a questionnaire measuring emotions, job performance, and ability to work. The emotion profile groups among school principals were examined by Two Step Cluser analysis. Group differences between the emotion profiles in job performance and ability to work were examined by analysis of variance, and gender differences were examined by cross-tabulation and X2 independence test. Results and conclusions. Four different emotion profiles were identified among school principals. The first profile described principals who experienced only little both positive and negative emotions. The group was named as mild emotions profile. The second profile described principals who mostly experienced positive emotions, and was named as positive emotions profile. The third group experienced both positive and negative emotions higher than average, and was named as strong emotions profile. The fourth profile described principals who mostly experienced negative emotions, and was named as negative emotions profile. The groups varied partly in job performance and ability to work. Principals belonging to the positive emotions profile expressed higher job performance and ability to work than the other groups. In contrary, principals belonging to the negative emotions profile experienced lower job performance and ability than the other groups. Principals belonging to the mild emotions profile and to the strong emotions profile did not differ from each other in job performance and ability to work. No gender differences were found between the groups. This study shows that school principals experienced a great variety of emotions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The strongest positive and negative emotions are associated with job performance and ability to work. In the future, it would be important to study, how school principals’ emotions change in different work circumstances and how emotions are connected to the wider wellbeing of school principals.