Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Lea A. Hubbard, PhD; Paula A. Cordeiro, EdD; Kimiko Fukuda, EdD


cross-case method, Domain analysis, Leadership studies, mentoring, motivation, principals, public schools, qualitative, recruitment policy and practice, school administration, school leadership positions, teachers


Public schools in the United States are facing one of the most extensive transformations in school leadership. Districts face the difficult challenge of recruiting and training school leaders who have the capacity to deal with the growing demands and responsibilities placed on school site administrators. Despite a surplus of people certified for administration, the changing demands of the principal's job precipitated by national reform efforts have left a shortage not only of qualified applicants, but also in the total number of applicants (qualified and unqualified) willing to carry the burden of the job. This study investigated the factors that influence principals' and teachers' decision to pursue school leadership and the impact those factors had on their recruitment. Qualitative research methods were used to address the following question: What structural, agentive, and cultural factors motivated and discouraged people from moving into positions of school leadership? Data were collected using an Internet-based survey, and interviews were conducted with administrators and teachers in three districts. Analysis was conducted through cross-case method using domain analysis. This study suggests that an organization's structure and its culture are interrelated in the recruitment process. Administrators and teachers identified informal mentoring as the primary factor in their decision to pursue school leadership. However, a culture that fostered informal networks raised concerns that a different kind of "good old boys" network evolved, one not exclusive to white men. Formalizing a culture of mentoring is essential to enhancing districts' recruitment efforts. This study suggests that it is vital to recognize leadership traits among teachers through a formal institutionalized mentoring process, thereby creating a more effective recruitment path within districts and attracting more recruits.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access