Date of Award

1-1-2011

Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Leadership and Policies

Sub-Department

Educational Administration

First Advisor

Edward P Cox

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if principal leadership behavior, as perceived by principals and teachers, is related to principal longevity at the current school and total principal experience. The study used Kouzes and Posner's Leadership Practices Inventory (2003) to measure perceptions of principal leadership behavior. The researcher surveyed 59 public elementary, middle, and high school principals and 235 of their teachers in the Midland's area of South Carolina. Data were analyzed to determine overall principal (LPI-Self) and overall teacher (LPI-Observer) perceptions of principal leadership behavior. Data were further analyzed to investigate the following relationships: 1) the relationship between principals' perceptions of their leadership behavior and principal longevity at the current school, 2) the relationship between principals' perceptions of their leadership behavior and total principal experience, 3) the relationship between teachers' perceptions of their principals' leadership behavior and principal longevity at the current school, and 4) the relationship between teachers' perceptions of their principals' leadership behavior and total principal experience.

Principals and teachers assessed principal leadership behavior using a survey which measured the frequency of 30 behaviors on a 6-point Likert scale. The behaviors were divided into five leadership areas: 1) Model the Way, 2) Inspire a Shared Vision, 3) Challenge the Process, 4) Enable Others to Act, and 5) Encourage the Heart. There were six questions that addressed each of the five leadership areas.

Principals and teachers both rated principals' leadership behavior favorably. Principals rated their own leadership behavior even more favorably than teachers rated their principals' leadership behavior. Enable others to act was ranked the highest leadership category by both principals and teachers. Principals ranked Challenge the process as the lowest leadership category, while teachers ranked Encourage the heart as the lowest category. The study did not find a significant relationship between principals' leadership behavior and principal longevity at the current school or total principal experience. However, the implications for leadership development and increased self-awareness were apparent.

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