Secondary Education Principals/Superintendents
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the leadership practices of school district leaders and their impact on the relationship with the teachers’ union and its collective bargaining approach.
The population included all school superintendents in the state of Illinois, and 212 completed the
LPI-Self and provided demographic information including the type of bargaining they used in
their most recent negotiations with their teachers’ union (25% response rate). Five
superintendents, one representing each of the five leadership practices were interviewed about
their experiences with collective bargaining, their leadership practices and how their leadership
might have impacted the negotiation process. The collective bargaining agreements were coded
and analyzed for the themes found in The Leadership Challenge (Kouzes & Posner, 2012).
Seventy percent of the respondents were men, with an average age of 50 years and 5.1 years with
their current district.
Enable was identified as the most dominant leadership practice used by superintendents,
followed by Model and Encourage, and then Challenge and Inspire. The author points out:
“While the interview transcripts yielded a significant amount of data related to the leadership
practices of the superintendents, the collective bargaining agreements, in general, yielded very
little information or key words associated with the leadership practices” (p. 126); however, “the
leadership practices that were identified most often in the collective bargaining agreements were
disproportionately related to the practice of “Enable Others to Act” (p. 128).