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ERIC Number: ED550716
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 231
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2679-5165-6
School Boards: the Overlooked Shapers of School Culture and Organizational Efficiency
Graham, Edward S.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Oakland University
As a result of increased federal control, the push for national curricula, and explicit school accountability standards, the ability of local school boards to lead public education has been questioned and left unanswered by the lack of applicable school board research. Hence, the purpose of this study was to consider the relationship between school board behaviors and the school culture and organizational efficiency of the districts they serve. Using a mixed methods design, public school teachers and building administrators within all districts in a Michigan county were surveyed to measure perceptions of school culture and organizational efficiency. School board members and superintendents from the same target population were asked to complete a self-assessment questionnaire to measure their board's proclivity to practice specific behaviors. Instruments garnered a 20.3% and 45.9% response rate respectively and their merged quantitative data was studied through multiple linear regression analyses to determine potential relationships. Board members and superintendents from outlier districts identified from the original data pool were subsequently interviewed to collect qualitative data. Six constructs of school culture, an organizational efficiency factor, and ten constructs of school board practice were confirmed through analyses. Significant relationships existed between all identified constructs of school culture and the board practices of exercise of authority, collaborative leadership, and making decisions. The board practice of acting strategically was significantly related with collaborative leadership, teacher collaboration, and learning partnerships. Board efforts to connect with the community related negatively with collegial support, unity of purpose, professional development, and learning partnerships. Board purpose also related negatively with collaborative leadership and learning partnerships. Practices to improve the leadership capacity of boards related negatively with collegial support and unity of purpose, while all board practices except functioning as a group and proactive leadership exhibited significant relationships with organizational efficiency. Findings suggest that board practices effect school operations, collaboration is foundational to a productive school culture, and board behaviors may be disconnected from district priorities. Boards are encouraged to actively engage in strategic planning efforts, maintain high expectations for attainment of district goals, and practice their governance responsibilities within the context of systems thinking. [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:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan