Alt Title

Correlation of self assessed leadership skills and interpersonal communication competencies of public school superintendents in Illinois

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Johnson, Donald R., 1941-

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations


School superintendents--Illinois--Attitudes; School superintendents--Illinois--Rating of; School superintendents--Illinois--Psychology; Public schools--Illinois--Administration


A school superintendent's role is one of leadership which requires competency in communication skills. There is a need to determine the relationship between specific leadership skills and specific interpersonal communication competencies so that the most effective training can be developed within educational leadership programs for superintendent candidates and professional development programs for current superintendents. The purpose of this study was to examine this relationship. A quantitative research design was employed to address the research questions: (1) What is the comparison of various demographic subgroups' self-ratings of their leadership skills? (2) What is the comparison of the various demographic subgroups' self-ratings of their communication competencies? (3) What is the relationship between specific interpersonal communication competencies, as described by Spitzberg, and specific leadership skills, as described by Kouzes and Posner? (4) What are the constructs that underlie effective leadership and communication for superintendents? A self-administered survey that combined demographic questions, the Leadership Practices Inventory, and the Conversational Skills Rating Scale was sent via the World Wide Web to a random sample of Illinois school superintendents. A total of 112 responses were received. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics including the use of a t test, an analysis of variance (ANOVA), the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, and factor analysis. The data analysis of this study showed few major differences in leadership skills or communication competencies based on demographic data. The only demographic data that showed significant differences on multiple questions for multiple leadership skills and communication competencies was gender. The data also revealed a moderately low correlation between two out of five leadership skills and four out of four interpersonal communication competencies. Finally, the factor analysis identified 14 underlying factors or components that accounted for 74.546% of the variance. Key recommendations include a quantitative study of others' perceptions of superintendents' leadership skills and communication competencies and a qualitative study of the relationship between leadership skills and interpersonal communication competencies for school superintendents. The recommendations also state the need for educational leadership/administration preparation programs and professional development programs to provide instruction in communication competencies along with leadership skills.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [129]-133).


xii, 177 pages




Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type