Term of Award

Fall 2007

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Linda M. Arthur

Committee Member 1

Charles Reavis

Committee Member 2

Abebayehu Tekleselassie

Abstract

In this era of increased accountability and increased pressure to improve our public schools, elementary school leaders, working to meet the provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001, are focusing on developing effective leadership behaviors as they face the complex challenges of meeting organizational goals within their elementary schools and maintaining or increasing staff satisfaction. Leadership behavior has long been of interest in industry, business, military, and the government; on the whole, research shows that focusing on social factors such as morale, group interaction, and supportive relationships has a strong effect on productivity and success. The literature suggests that a relationship exists between leadership behavior and staff morale and job satisfaction. It hypothesizes that principals who consciously practice transformational leadership behaviors have a positive impact on the morale and productivity of their teachers. This study explores the soundness of the hypothesis and provides data for school leaders who strive to develop innovative leadership styles that will empower their teachers and improve morale. This study was conducted to determine if a statistically significant relationship exists between the principal's perceived leadership behaviors and teachers' morale. The two questionnaires used were the Excellent Principal Inventory and the Purdue Teacher Opinionnaire. Leadership behavior clearly impacts teacher morale, and a positive relationship between leadership behavior and teacher morale is evident in several areas. These findings support that teacher morale can be predicted on the basis of the leadership style asserted by the principal. Principals who use a participatory style of leadership are more likely to have more satisfied and productive teachers than principals who use an autocratic style of leadership.

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