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Title:Empowering principal behavior: The examination of one successful principal: A case study
Author(s):Bailey, Joseph Fredrick, Jr.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):McGreal, Thomas L.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Administration
Psychology, Industrial
Abstract:The field of educational leadership is currently undergoing significant changes regarding how it views the role of the school principal as organizational leader (Dunlap & Goldman, 1991; Liontos, 1992; Tucker-Ladd, Merchant, & Thurston, 1992; Reitzug, 1994). Specifically, the traditional identification of the school principal as an instructional leader is being subsumed by a more theoretical-based view of the principal as a cultural catalyst (Fullan, 1992; Lee, 1993; Leithwood, 1992).
The purpose of this study was to provide a field-based examination of a successful principal's use of empowering behavior within a school setting. The secondary goal of this study was to explore distinctions between manipulative and empowering principal leadership behavior where appropriate. It was also intended that this study provide a field-based example of transformational principal behavior as related to teacher empowerment.
An important aspect of this research inquiry pertained to the use of a conceptual framework for the purposes of interpreting and explaining data obtained through the study. Accordingly, this research inquiry utilized Reitzug's (1994) conceptual framework, "A Developmental Taxonomy of Empowering Principal Behavior," which was developed based upon Prawat's (1991) "Conversations with Self and Settings: A Framework for Thinking about Teacher Empowerment."
The case study site was an Illinois public elementary school in a southwestern suburb of Chicago. Specifically examined was the leadership behaviors of the school's principal as related to the "empowerment" component of transformational leadership.
An analysis of the information gathered during this inquiry suggested that Reitzug's (1994) original framework be revised to include several additional "support behaviors." These additional behaviors included: providing an environment conducive to collaboration and derivative behaviors of exhibiting enthusiastic commitment, and encouraging inclusive and voluntary participation; organizing the environment for critique with derivative behaviors of modeling organizational excellence, and providing ongoing evaluations of programs and structures.
Study results indicate that there are three "key" behaviors principals must exhibit in pursuit of successful teacher empowerment. Empowering principals must: (a) build an environment in which mutual trust exists between principal and staff; (b) create an environment in which communication is prevalent and practiced between staff and principal; and (c) understand and practice problem-solving skills with staff. Finally, the framework utilized and revised within this study is a "work in progress" and is far from complete.
Issue Date:1995
Rights Information:Copyright 1995 Bailey, Joseph Fredrick, Jr
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9543519
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9543519

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