A Description of Leadership Behaviors

Secondary Education    Principals/Superintendents

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TITLE: A Description of Leadership Behaviors
RESEARCHER: Mary K. Culver
School of Education
Northern Arizona University
Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation: May 2004

The purpose of this research was to compare leadership behaviors with which teachers prefer to work, the leadership behaviors principals believe they exhibit, and the leadership behaviors teachers observe in their principals.

The population consisted of the administrators and teachers of the public, non-charter high schools in Maricopa County, Arizona, who are members of the AZ Interscholastic Association’s 4A Conference Skyline Region. The sample consisted of the principal of each selected school and a random sample of 15 percent of the teachers from each location, resulting in a sample of 5 principals and 51 teachers. Principals completed the Self version of the Leadership Practices Inventory, while teachers completed the LPI-Observer and a second version of the LPI-O adapted to measure teacher preferences (with scales ranging from “not at all important” to “very important”). Interviews and focus groups provided qualitative data.

None of the quantitative measures resulted in statistically significant differences among any of the three perspectives investigated. There was substantial agreement between teacher perceptions of their principals on the five leadership practices and for the leadership behaviors they preferred. Likewise the LPI-Self and LPI-Observer scores, on average, were also quite similar as were comparisons between LPI-Self scores and those on the teachers’ “preferred” leadership behaviors/practices assessment.