Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Transformational Leadership: A Qualitative Study of Rural Elementary Schools in Fresno County
by Pina, Xavier, Ed.D., Loyola Marymount University, 2013, 184; 3610144
Abstract (Summary)

Principal leadership is crucial to improving school effectiveness and positively affecting organizational culture in the midst of expectations from education reform mandates. Principals who provide direction and exercise influence can inspire commitment from organizational members to attain shared goals. Rural school principals face unique obstacles and situations as documented in the research and literature. This qualitative research study aimed to provide insight as to the perceived impact of transformational leadership behaviors and characteristics on organizational culture. This study also provided insight as to the transformational leadership behaviors and characteristics perceived to positively affect organizational culture. The protocols, which included interviews, were administered by the researcher to principals and certificated teachers at four rural elementary schools (two elementary schools not in Program Improvement [PI] and two elementary schools in PI) in Fresno County that met specific student demographic criteria. The data from the interviews provided insight regarding increased individual and collective stress in rural elementary schools due to the unprecedented expectations of NCLB. The organizational response to this increased stress was found to be contingent on the behaviors and characteristics by the rural elementary principal. The findings indicated a difference in perceptions between certificated teachers at the rural elementary schools not in PI and in PI. The rural principals in non-PI schools utilized communication to define clear expectation, and a collaborative decision making process to develop a shared vision which cultivated trust among certificated teachers to improve organizational culture and student academic achievement. The rural principals in PI schools were found to have utilized bureaucratic leadership approaches. The bureaucratic leadership approaches led to increased stress and frustration among certificated teachers. Frustration was found to have negatively affected organizational culture and no improvement in student academic achievement. This study validated the need for rural school principals to be aware of effective leadership approaches to positively affect organizational culture.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Dell'Olio, Franca
Commitee: Litton, Edmundo F., Pack, Emilio
School: Loyola Marymount University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 75/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Elementary education
Keywords: California, Fresno county, Organizational culture, Rural schools, Transformational leadership
Publication Number: 3610144
ISBN: 9781303697197
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