Date of Graduation

5-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Advisor

Ed Bengtson

Committee Member

John Pijanowski

Second Committee Member

Kara Lasater

Keywords

Education; Leadership behaviors; Principals; School size

Abstract

The purpose of this multi-case study was to examine if there may be a perceived relationship between the size of the school and the leadership behaviors of the four principals. This purpose was achieved through a qualitative inquiry of principal interviews, principal survey, observation of a principals' leadership team meeting, focus group interview with the principals' leadership team, and analysis of the extant texts: principals' time log for one week, organizational chart, and agenda for a leadership team meeting. The data were reduced through two cycles of coding which then further analyzed resulting in the identification of five major themes. Finding one: All four principals appeared to have six common leadership behaviors that did not appear to be different based on the size of the school. Finding two: All four principals appeared to have six leadership behaviors that looked differently based on the size of the school. Finding three: While all four principals demonstrated their understanding of the need for "being visible with students," "being visible with teachers," "knowing your students," and "knowing your staff," they all recognized that these skills would be easier to develop and execute in a small school compared to a large school. Finding four: The additional behaviors that were present in the leadership behavior of "organizing" in the principals of large schools may have supported additional leadership behaviors in "communicating with students," "communicating with staff," and "developing leaders" in the principals of the large schools. Finding five: The two leadership behaviors of "seeking input" and "setting direction/limits" appeared to counter-balance each other depending on the size of the school. Synthesis of the findings suggest that while there are common leadership behaviors among these four principals, there were also differences in their leadership behaviors that indicated that there may have been a perceived relationship between the size of the school and the leadership behaviors of the four principals. The descriptions of the leadership behaviors of the four participants in this study lend credibility to the argument that leadership does not take place in a vacuum. How leadership is implemented is dependent upon many factors, including the size of the environment.

Share

COinS