Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Mary M. Williams, EdD, Director; Edward F. DeRoche, PhD; William Piland, PhD


Alberta (Canada), case study, decision-making, Leadership studies, parents & parenting, perception, public schools, restructuring, school administration, school-based management, stewardship, teachers


In 1994, the Government of Alberta, Canada, instituted major fiscal measures designed to reduce operating costs and a large provincial debt. In tandem, Alberta Education restructured public education by: reducing the number of school districts, redefining the role of school boards, increasing the involvement of parents, initiating Charter schools, expanding student testing, downsizing Alberta Education, improving delivery of services to children, and mandating the implementation of school-based management in all public schools (Alberta Education News Release, January 18, 1994). The purpose of this study was to develop an understanding of how the implementation of school-based management, through the first three year plan (1994–97), shaped the roles, functions, and attitudes of participant school leaders. School leaders were defined as lead teachers, principals and school council chairpersons. A case study methodology was used to describe, and examine, interviews with the eighteen participants from three elementary and three secondary schools, on site observations and school and district documents. The findings provide a description of the collective and individual roles of participant school leaders and how they accommodate staff and parent input, decision-making, increased community involvement and improved communications. Stewardship was the style of leadership which evolved during the Three year Plan (1994–97). Participants reported a high degree of satisfaction with school-based management, in spite of conflicting restructuring measures, and placed a heightened value on collaborative decision-making. Implications of the study include changing leadership styles that occurred as a result of collaborative decision-making which help refocus school attention on school-based management. School leaders, particularly the principal, used collaborative decision-making, mentoring and power sharing to strengthen school-based initiatives and redefine stakeholder values which resulted in school leadership which was transforming and encouraged collaborators and leaders to be stewards of the process.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access