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ERIC Number: EJ849042
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 17
ISSN: ISSN-0146-9282
Power and the Role of the Superintendent
Miller, Teresa Northern; Salsberry, Trudy A.; Devin, Mary A.
Educational Considerations, v36 n2 p26-34 Spr 2009
This study of the superintendent focus group interviews from the "Voices 3" project adds to the research base with regard to the range and nature of the types of power experienced or used by superintendents. Using the French & Raven/Andrews & Baird model of seven types of power, the authors analyzed superintendents' self-described interactions with others in the school district, community, and beyond. Several superintendents' comments described a search to gain credibility, or referent power although they did so by using other types of power. In order to make changes superintendents believed were needed, they found they had to use coercive power and, less often, reward power. They described using legitimate or expert power to make changes that they believed were in the best interests of students, but they also mentioned that they felt their experience or expertise was not always respected by stakeholder groups. Superintendents accessed existing data to gain informational power and then connected with their stakeholder groups to make decisions, which could result in increased referent power. Referent power appeared hard to use effectively without the use of other powers. (Contains 6 tables and 1 endnote.)
Kansas State University, College of Education. 1100 Mid-Campus Drive, 006 Bluemont Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506. Tel: 785-532-5525; Fax: 785-532-7304; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001