Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Joseph C. Rost, PhD, Director; William P. Foster, EdD; Kevin Freiberg, EdD


adolescents, high schools, Leadership studies, principals, transformational leader


There is widespread concern about the standards of our schools today. The colossal wave of educational reform, political rhetoric and hysteria created an avalanche of legislative debates and a proliferation of literary documents questioning the role of principals. The effective schools research highlighted the important role principals have as instructional leaders. The purpose of this study was to examine how transformational leadership, leadership as a process, and the critical aspects of leadership worked to revive and transform an inner city high school. Specific focus centered on the administrator of the school examining the leadership process within the context of where the relationships exists. The principal was the center of the leadership web weaving relationships based on the mutual purpose that all students can and do learn. Qualitatively, this research was an interpretative case study guided by observations and interviews over a three year period. Through analyzing the meanings that people gave to their experiences during this process, this research will broaden our understanding of the nature of leadership. Specifically, five questions formed the backbone of this research: 1. What leadership characteristics has the leader developed that supports the transformational model? 2. What mechanisms were used to articulate the leader's values to followers? 3. How does the leader elicit follower commitment to the relationships of influence, conflict and power? 4. What processes were used to mobilize resources? 5. What approaches were used in the development of future leaders? This study revealed that reciprocal relationships of influence, conflict and power are necessary for the process of leadership to have an impact on educational and personal transformation.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access