Type of Document Dissertation Author Duncan, Doreen Agatha URN etd-11152004-203901 Title School Culture: Exploring Its Relationship With Mental Models and Leadership Behaviors In Schools Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Dale W. Lick Committee Chair Fanchon Funk Committee Member Laura Hassler Committee Member Peter Easton Committee Member Richard Tate Committee Member Keywords
- Leadership Behaviors
- Mental Models
- School Culture
- School Levels
Date of Defense 2004-11-04 Availability unrestricted AbstractABSTRACT
The purpose of this study was to explore the relationships among variables reflecting the cultures, mental models or thinking styles, and leadership behaviors for elementary, middle, and senior high schools. This study explored the characteristics of thinking styles and leadership behaviors as they related to school culture. It was important to find out how these constructs, differ depending on school level, gender, position and years of experience. The three constructs were school culture, mental models or thinking styles and leadership behaviors of school administrators. School administrators studied consisted of both female and male principals and assistant principals from K-12 schools in Riverhills County (a pseudonym).
This research design was a quantitative correlational study. The Pearson Product –Moment, multiple regression analyses, and a two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), were used to examine the research questions to determine the relationships between the dependent and independent variables. Instead of the usual alpha level of a = .05 that is recommended for educational research, the decision was made to control for the family-wise error rate and to set a more rigorous level of significance for alpha (a = .01).
The survey instruments utilized to measure the constructs of mental models, leadership behaviors and current school culture were: the Inquiry Mode Questionnaire (Bramson-Harrison, 1982), the Leadership Orientations Self-Survey (Bolman & Deal, 1991), and results of the Whole School Effectiveness Survey (Riverhills County School).
For the two primary questions: relationships were found between school culture and mental models, but they were not of statistical significance; relationships between school culture and the four frames of leadership behaviors were not of significance. There were four secondary questions to further explain the relationships of the three constructs. Bivariate correlations and multiple regression analyses showed statistically significant relationships between the four frame and dimensions of leadership behaviors and demographic variables. Characteristics of current school culture had statistically significant inverse relationships with gender of school administrators. School level one(elementary schools) had statistically significant relationships with all the characteristics of current school culture (assumptions, behaviors, beliefs, norms and values). Statistically significant differences were found between the idealist and realist mental models for female and male school administrators. Finally, effectiveness as manager and leader were found to be statistically significant with the four frames of leadership behaviors (i.e., structural, human resource, political and symbolic).
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