Publication Date

2005

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

First Advisor

Wholeben, Brent E.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Department

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations

LCSH

School superintendents--Illinois--Political activity||School superintendents--Political aspects--Illinois

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the use of political power by selected superintendents in northern Illinois. The population consisted of 750 superintendents. The study sample consisted of seven recommended superintendents. Qualitative research methods were used in this study. The researcher employed a grounded theory method to derive a general, abstract theory of a process, action, or interaction grounded in the participants' views. This involved using multiple stages of data collection and the refinement and interrelationship of the defined categories of information. The initial or emerging theory was always tested against the data that was systematically collected through a constant comparative method. The qualitative interview method was used to explore the use of power in political situations to resolve conflict. The primary data collection technique used by this researcher was interviewing with an interview guide. This researcher conducted a content analysis of each participant's response. This involved an initial reading of the transcribed interviews. Color codes were assigned to each emerging category. The superintendent's responses were analyzed to determine patterns and themes. Based on the exploratory factor analysis of the first interview, 31 components or underlying factors were identified. These 31 factors accounted for 91.1% of the analysis of the variance. Based on the exploratory factor analysis of the second interview, 47 components or underlying factors were identified. These 47 factors accounted for 87.7% of the analysis of the variance. A binomial analysis was computed to determine which are the significant variables or themes that emerged from the coded responses, based on the frequency of the response. The variables were listed in descending sort order by frequency of response. Eighteen issues were found to be statistically significant in the first interview. In the second interview, 16 issues were found to be statistically significant. The data analysis of this study revealed the theme of the superintendent as politician and ethical leader. Included within the role of politician were three major patterns, which were negotiator, effective communicator, and information expert. Superintendents operate in political arenas, where power dominates many of their decisions. Superintendents must develop the skills necessary to operate successfully in this political arena. They must learn to balance the forces of power and politics, making decisions and resolving conflicts in the best interest of students and the school district. Politics and conflict are inevitable in the superintendency. Power has become the key resource in resolving conflict. The result of this study indicated recommendations that include the need for educational administration programs to provide instruction in the use of political strategies, negotiating skills, effective communication, and ethical training.

Comments

Includes bibliographical references (pages [160]-167).

Extent

x, 262 pages

Language

eng

Publisher

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

Text

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