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ERIC Number: ED553907
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 109
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3031-2244-6
Should It Stay or Should It Go: How Successful Superintendents Build, Shift, and Transform District Culture in an Age of Increasing Accountability
Arnold, Joshua F.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Southern California
The purpose of this study was to gain information regarding the manner in which superintendents build, shift, and transform district culture in an age of increasing accountability so that the new values and past practices of the organization work in concert with each other to match the culture of educational accountability sweeping the nation. Specifically, this study set out to determine: 1) which aspects of a healthy organizational culture Superintendents are most focused on building during their tenure as organizational leaders, 2) how superintendents decide what programs and services to focus on while shifting the cultural values of a district in new directions, 3) in what ways increasing state and federal accountability standards have transformed the way district's think about their organization's cultural tendencies, and 4) how Superintendents sustain a single cultural ethos across an entire school district with new reforms, laws, and budget constraints changing from year to year. A mixed methods approach, using 51 surveys and six in-depth interviews, was used in the collection and analysis of the research data. Data analysis revealed that superintendents who are successful in shifting district culture communicate clearly, value collaboration, share beliefs throughout the organization, hold everyone accountable for being mission-aligned, possess a clear vision, focus on instruction, maintain high expectations for students, value process, and hire extraordinary people. This study validated the importance and implications for aspiring and/or transitioning superintendents to understand how culture is a critical component of the health of any school district. To successfully build, or shift, culture across a large organization, leaders must be deliberate and intentional in the processes, programs, and protocols they promote. Overall, this study provides a framework of leadership superintendents can use to build culture, shift values, and improve student learning in their districts. [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: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A