Date of Degree


Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)


Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology, and Foundations (LEPF)


Roberts, Patrick

Committee Members

Tonks, Stephen; Oest, Dan


school board members, motivation, transformational leadership, school governance, school board, personal motivation, altruistic motivation, coalition, school politics


Understanding the motivation behind school board members' governance is crucial for ensuring the effectiveness of public schools. This research aims to analyze the motivations of five newly elected board members and compare them with past research on governance and motivation. The leadership qualities of school superintendents also impact governance and can influence board members' motivations for running and serving their communities. Similarly, board members' motivations can affect how superintendents lead their districts and prioritize different topics. The research is divided into three papers. Paper 1 reviews existing literature and is organized into three distinct sections that explore school board governance, the board/superintendent relationship, and motivation for public service. Paper 2 presents the results of a qualitative study, analyzing and interpreting the responses of five newly elected school board members from different public school unit districts. Finally, Paper 3 synthesizes the information gathered from Papers 1 and 2 to develop a professional development tool for organizations, board presidents, presenters, and superintendents to use to better understand members' motivations.


Northern Illinois University

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