A Study of the Relationships Between Transformational Leadership and Organizational Culture

Secondary Education    Principals/Superintendents

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TITLE: A Study of the Relationships Between Transformational Leadership and Organizational Culture
RESEARCHER: M. Patricia Howard
Department of Teaching, Learning and Leadership
Western Michigan University
Doctoral Dissertation: April 2004

This study examined the relationship between transformational leadership and organizational culture among elementary school teachers.

Elementary school teachers in Michigan were recruited to volunteer for the study through involved at a statewide conference (N=69), advertisements in the state newsletter (N=11) and through enrollment in professional courses at the university (N=41) resulting in 121 participants. The typical respondent was female (90%), less than 30 years old (32%), Caucasian (81%), with more than 12 years of teaching experience (41%). Respondents completed the Leadership Practices Inventory-Observer regarding their school’s principal and completed the Instructional Climate Inventory: Part 1 (Krug, 1993).

Some support was found about differences expected as a result of school size. The leadership practices of Challenging, Inspiring, Modeling and Overall Leadership (composite of the five practices) showed significant differences based upon the size of the respondent’s school: Small schools (less than 250 students) were different from medium (250-499 students) and large (over 500 students) schools on Challenging and Inspiring, and different from medium schools on Modeling. Respondents from small schools gave lower scores than those from teachers in medium and large schools. No significant differences by school size were found on any of the seven organizational culture scales.

Canonical correlations indicated “a moderly high relationship between leadership and organizational culture….the author found that the cultural elements of accomplishment, recognition, and affiliation tend to be positively correlated with all aspects of transformational leadership” (p. 90).