A comparison of management and leadership skills critical to the principalship as perceived by superintendents in selected independent school districts in Texas
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The purpose of this study was to determine which management and leadership behaviors selected superintendents perceived as critical to the position of principal. Differences were examined by gender as well as size of district. A secondary goal of this research was to raise awareness regarding gender inequity that exists in educational administration. The population of the study was all female superintendents in Texas (N=135) and randomly selected male superintendents (N=301). Data were disaggregated by gender and size of district. An e-mail was sent to each superintendent with a web address and an access code. A response rate of 66% was obtained for a sample size of 290 superintendents. The survey contained items on management and leadership skills from the Peterson Managerial Leadership Instrument (PMI) and the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) developed by Kouzes and Posner. Superintendents were asked to respond to the behaviors based on their envisioned best principal. Descriptive and inferential statistical analyses were performed for the total group and subgroups. Major research findings included: 1. An independent samples t-test on the PMI determined two behaviors that were significantly different (p< .05) and six behaviors that were significantly different (p<.01) between the means of female and male superintendents. 2. An independent samples t-test on the LPI determined four behaviors that were significantly different (p<.05) and one behavior that was significantly different (p<.01) between the means of female and male superintendents. 3. A post hoc Scheffe analysis on the PMI indicated four levels of perceived use on the managerial statements and six levels of perceived use on the leadership statements at the p< .05 level. Based on the findings of this study, researcher recommendations include: 1. The process of identifying the pool of applicants for the principalship needs to be examined for screening processes that block women and minorities from educational administration. 2. Principal appraisal instruments should be reviewed and weighted to correctly reflect management tasks against other administrative duties. 3. School districts need to investigate the use of personality and leadership instruments while developing a cohort of potential principals.
White, Katherine Alia (2005). A comparison of management and leadership skills critical to the principalship as perceived by superintendents in selected independent school districts in Texas. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from