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ERIC Number: ED526997
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 211
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1241-0166-8
Special Education Cooperative Directors: Leadership and Effective Governance Partnerships
Bintz, Sally H.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Illinois State University
The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological multi-case study was to explore the leadership practices related to governance issues experienced by executive directors in selected Illinois special education cooperatives. These leadership practices were generally defined as responses to governance issues and challenges. The study examined five Illinois special education cooperative directors' experiences with their governing partners and identified those leadership practices these directors employed to meet the expectations of their two governing boards. The study addressed two central research questions: 1. What challenges do special education cooperative executive directors experience while working with two governing boards simultaneously? 2. What leadership practices do executive directors rely on to meet those challenges? The findings of this research revealed that special education cooperative directors face the unique challenges of working with a large number of diverse board members, generating inter- and intra-board communications, complex board dynamics, and the heightened politics of shared governance. Investigating how cooperative directors address these challenges, this study concluded that effective directors employ strategic relationship building leadership practices, pro-active communications, and service oriented adaptive leadership practices. The study also revealed that successful directors defer to their member districts' superintendents in communication and governance processes. The special education cooperative's multi-tiered governance structure requires a dynamic governance partnership that is frequently difficult to understand and navigate. This research will assist special education cooperative directors, superintendents, and lay board members in expanding their understanding of this complex governing process and lay the foundation for improved collaboration and communication. Both experienced and new special education executive cooperative directors will benefit from the leadership experiences explored in this study. The study also has significance for both special education administrator preparation programs and on-going professional development activities. Recommendations for practice and research are suggested. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois