Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Leadership and Policies

First Advisor

Peter Moyi


The role of the school principal is ever expanding in both scope and complexity. School districts must consider how to recruit, develop and retain principals to lead their schools. Principal self-efficacy (PSE) is primal to the leader’s overall positive effect on teaching and learning, yet the antecedents of PSE are not fully defined. This quantitative study used social cognitive theory to investigate the potential influence of enabling district structure (EDS) on the development of PSE within South Carolina public-school principals. Due to increased focus on consolidation of the state’s schools, the study also explored the potential relationship between EDS and district size. This study found a moderate, statistically significant relationship between the degree to which a district is enabling (EDS) and principal self-efficacy (PSE). A small, negative, statistically significant correlation was found between district size and EDS. Results support limited prior research suggesting EDS may be an influential antecedent of PSE and that EDS may be inversely impacted by district size. These findings support the need for increased study of the role both principal self-efficacy and enabling district structure play in the performance of the 21st Century school principal.