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ERIC Number: ED568320
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 146
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3038-5025-7
A Qualitative Study of Superintendent Leadership Experiences during a Top-Down Organizational Change
Bryant, Johane
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Capella University
The purpose was to investigate common experiences of superintendents as they responded to realignment of leadership responsibilities during an organizational change initiated by mayoral control. To discover the shared essence of changes in leadership responsibilities experienced by superintendents, individuals "told their stories" to answer the research question, "What were the shared leadership experiences of former superintendents who were district administrators during the initial phase of the top-down organizational change when their administrative responsibilities were realigned? In-depth interviews were used to gain an understanding of selected superintendents' experiences. Network sampling was used to find participants from the population of 45 superintendents. Five superintendents formed the sample for this study; three were female and two were male, between 57-67 years of age, with 30-35 years of experience in the district. The theoretical context for this study relied on open systems theory and organizational change. Open systems explained organizations are influenced by environmental influences, and organizational change described the process of change that takes place in an organization, such as educational reform in school districts. In this study, organizational change created an administrative realignment to produce improvements in student achievement. Responding to increased accountability requirements, the school district of this study responded with a top-down organizational change approach, which impacted those in leadership roles, such as superintendents, because there was an immediate shift in power with little preparation. The findings reported a centralized, controlling management style that was the foundation of the change. Superintendents' sub-districts were shut down. They were reassigned to a regional instructional center, with realigned roles, duties and responsibilities. No longer did superintendents have authority to make site-based decisions affecting the schools for which they were responsible. Superintendents felt demoralized when their authorities were diminished, and felt shut out of decision-making. Many superintendents knew that what was taking place was not in the best interest of students, but followed directives anyway for fear of losing their jobs. Many superintendents left the district, or remained and experienced personal and professional ambivalence. Implications for other school districts? When implementing a change, superintendents should be involved and fear should not be used. [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: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A