Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Leading cultural change in a school district through a budget building collaboration
by Radford, Ricky Warren, Ed.D., Lindenwood University, 2009, 131; 3390652
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to assess, plan, and implement a budget building process through collaboration with the stakeholders of a targeted school district. The research question of this study was, "Will allowing the stakeholders more input, autonomy, and collaboration during a budget building process build a team environment and ultimately ownership in managing their perspective budgets?" The culture and attitudes of stakeholders were pessimistic towards the senior administration. There seemed to be a feeling of mistrust concerning the budget and allocations. Action research methodology was conducted, while applying Andragogical principles with the members of the district. This process allowed for input and collaboration from the stakeholders of the district, while inquiry was derived through openness and candor. Through open communication, participants were able to uncover biased and unequal leadership practices.

The techniques for this study utilized were; (a) pre-step: context and purpose, (b) diagnosing, (c) planning action, (d) taking action, and (e) evaluating what action was done and the effectiveness of the process. Data was collected using (a) interviews, (b) focus groups, (c) emails, (d) meeting minutes, and (e) letters. This study was conducted by an inside researcher, as the Chief Financial Officer and facilitator of change.

In answer to the research question, participants have begun to make positive comments, and relationships between the faculty and the senior administration have improved due to their involvement and participation during the process of change. The emerging themes from the participation, interviews, and focus groups were (a) trust, (b) transparency, (c) equitability, (d) understanding about the budget, (e) teamwork, and (f) attitudes and expectations.

The implication of the study is if leadership of a district builds a healthy relationship through collaboration and participation, then there is likely to be increased morale and a positive culture, which will result in attracting "Highly Qualified Teachers" to the district. This will increase better teaching, student performance, and ultimately Annual Yearly Progress for NCLB. The most salient finding of the study was that allowing participants to be included in the budget process illustrated trust between the participants and the senior administration, which created an open relationship of collaboration and communication.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Vitale, Cindy
Commitee: Marion, Jeff, Oldani, John
School: Lindenwood University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-A 71/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Educational leadership, School administration
Keywords: Budget, Collaboration, Cultural change, School district, Stakeholder collaboration
Publication Number: 3390652
ISBN: 9781109601954
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