A Study of Superintendents' Change Leadership Styles Using the Situational Leadership Model

By Ireh, Maduakolam; Bailey, Joe | American Secondary Education, Summer 1999 | Go to article overview

A Study of Superintendents' Change Leadership Styles Using the Situational Leadership Model


Ireh, Maduakolam, Bailey, Joe, American Secondary Education


Leadership studies and the interpretation of research findings about them are often perplexing and controversial, especially in attempting to show cause and effect. But, the important role leadership plays in the effort to improve schools requires that continued research be carried out in the hopes of revealing predominant and consistent leader behaviors relating to effectiveness. Although schools are too complex for effectiveness to be attributed to any single dimension of organizational effectiveness, there is no doubt that leadership owns a significant share of responsibility for effectiveness in schools (Bolman & Deal, 1991; Vail, 1991; White, 1990). Its nature and quality render it amenable to continued investigation and improvement. School superintendents are key players in the planning and implementation of "second order" changes--organizational changes which bring about new goals, structures, and roles that transform familiar ways of doing things into new ways of solving persistent problems. In fact, the success of recent efforts, such as those of reform movements aimed at refocusing the mission of public education in America, depends greatly on the quality of leadership manifested in schools by school superintendents (Bolman & Deal 1991; Fullan, 1991; Glass, 1992.

There seems to be a consensus that reforms in American schools cannot be realized without school superintendents acting as catalysts (Auguste, 1986; Jenlink, Reigeluth, Carr, & Nelson, 1996; Lewis, 1996; Vail, 1991). Also, it is apparent that given the complex demands that government mandates, interest groups, boards of education, the community, parents, and students thrust upon schools, superintendents will have to assume a major leadership role in planning and implementing change programs. To be successful, school leaders must be prime movers of ideas and facilitators of change, as well as those who can create climates which encourage the anticipation of and response to external pressures (Kanter, 1983; Walker, 1994). They must also unify all groups in the organization to work toward a common vision. But, in many circumstances, school leaders are confronted with situations in which their individual leadership style is in conflict with the organizational environment prevalent in their school system. Such conflict leaves school leaders with options such as (a) changing the behavior of members of the school organization, (b) changing their own methods of making decisions or style of leadership, or (c) changing their positions. Some leadership scholars (Fiedler & Chemers, 1974; Hersey & Blanchard, 1988b) posit that effective leadership depends upon the manner in which the leader adjusted to the situation presented in the organization, while others posit that other personal characteristics and how they interact with contextual, organizational variables are needed in describing and explaining leadership behavior and organizational effectiveness (Bolman & Deal 1991; Sergiovani, 1987). Some writers have noted certain school administrators' behavior as more or less effective in facilitating specific innovations or planned organizational change (Berg, 1996; Chauvin, 1992; Fullan, 1991; Hall & Hord, 1987; Jenlink & Welsch, 1995; Walker, 1994) and certain school district characteristics as contributing to the success or failure of planned change in schools (Chauvin, 1992; Crawford, 1991; Hall & Hord, 1987; Haro, 1991; Kerekes, 1993). Others posit that knowledge of the interaction between school district characteristics and administrators' leadership styles are needed in describing and explaining organizational response to change (Hersey & Blanchard, 1988a, 1988b; Jenlink, Reigeluth, Carr, & Nelson, 1996; Sheppard, 1996; Smith & Andrews, 1989).

Theoretical Framework

An object of persistent scrutiny by social scientists, leadership is a concept that defies a common definition, with little consensus on what it means in social life. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Study of Superintendents' Change Leadership Styles Using the Situational Leadership Model
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.