Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Principal Leadership for Diffusing Innovation across an Established, High-Performing K-12 School System
by Sparrow, Jennifer L., Ed.D., University of Southern California, 2018, 186; 10929804
Abstract (Summary)

Although many studies had sought to understand aspects of principal leadership and others had focused on diffusion or scaling of innovation, limited research had been conducted to examine the intersection of the two. The purpose of this study was to understand what leadership strategies have helped principals successfully diffuse an innovation across an established, high- performing school. A qualitative research design was used to interview both experts on innovation diffusion and practitioners who have successfully diffused an innovation in their context. Transcripts of interviews were coded for key words and phrases, categories and themes. Both practitioners and experts viewed principals as having an important role in diffusing innovative high-impact practices across a school context. Overall, practitioners were focused more on nurturing the innovation at the classroom level, starting from where their school was in relation to the change and then working with faculty to propel the change across the system. In contrast, the experts were generally more focused on the actual position of principal as the ones responsible for leading change and innovation. In general, they believed that a principal’s primary role was to provide a vision, change the culture and system, and then lead the way in changing the status quo. Several strategies were identified that principals should use to diffuse innovative high-impact practices across a school. These strategies related to change leadership, instructional leadership, innovation diffusion leadership, fostering distributed leadership, and acting as manager.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Picus, Lawrence O.
Commitee: Chung, Ruth H., Reeves, Douglas B.
School: University of Southern California
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 80/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Educational administration, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Change leadership, Change management, Innovation, Innovation diffusion, K-12 schools, Principal
Publication Number: 10929804
ISBN: 9780438574564
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