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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Comparison of the Leadership Style Perceptions of School Board Presidents and Public School Superintendents
by Kinsler, Linda L., Ed.D., Neumann University, 2017, 144; 10693023
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation determined the perceptions of school board presidents regarding their superintendent's leadership style and the self-perceptions of superintendents regarding their personal leadership style. The leadership framework of Bass and Avolio (2004) was used to focus on three specific leadership styles of superintendents: transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire leadership. This information was vital because superintendents are considered the chief executive officers responsible for the day-to-day management of school districts.

The methodology for this study was quantitative with a correlational design. The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire ([MLQ], 2004) was used to gather perceptions regarding transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire leadership styles from school board presidents regarding the leadership style of their superintendent and from superintendents regarding their personal leadership style. Seventy-five matched pairs (school board presidents and superintendents from the same school district) were collected to analyze research questions.

To address research questions one and two, the researcher conducted descriptive statistics on the data to describe the school board presidents’ perceptions regarding superintendent's leadership style. In addition, a one-sample t-test was used to compare the mean leadership style scores to a hypothesized mean. Once analyzed, data indicated that school board presidents perceived their superintendents to exhibit transformational and transactional leadership styles and did not perceive their superintendents to exhibit a laissez-faire leadership style. Superintendents’ ratings of their own leadership style indicated a strong tendency towards transformational leadership, with some tendencies towards the transactional leadership style. Superintendents scored lowest in laissez-faire leadership style.

For research question three, the assumption of linearity was assessed using a Pearson r correlation analyses. There were no statistically significant relationships between public school board presidents’ and superintendents’ behavior scores.

This study illustrated the importance of finding a superintendent’s leadership style and skills. It specifically highlighted the importance of ensuring a positive fit between a superintendent’s leadership style, the needs of a school board, and the needs of the district. The research established a statistically strong link between school board presidents’ and superintendents’ perceptions of leadership.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: O'Brien, Joseph
Commitee: Dass, Subir, Lowe, Philip, McGinnis, Karen
School: Neumann University
Department: Education and Pastoral Counseling
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 79/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social research, Educational leadership, Educational administration
Keywords: Educational leadership, Laissez-faire, MLQ, Multi leadership questionnaire, School board, Transactional, Transformational
Publication Number: 10693023
ISBN: 978-0-355-41485-1
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