Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Rosemary A. Lambie


The purpose of this study was to explore and compare small, public middle school principals’ and middle school teachers’ perceptions of the leadership style exercised by principals in these schools. The study also investigated the relationship between the principals’ and teachers’ perceptions of the principals’ leadership style as well as the principals’ and teachers’ perceptions of the presence of the 14 school cultural norms in their school cultures.

The sample used in this study included building principals and their instructional staffs from 32 small, public middle schools across the Commonwealth of Virginia. Onsite visits were conducted by the researcher to administer the surveys at scheduled faculty meetings or to train a staff member on the administration of the surveys.

Leadership style was measured by Bass and Avolio’s (1996) Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire. The 14 school cultural norms were measured by Sagor’s (1996) School Culture Survey. Descriptive and inferential statistics and Pearson’s r, the correlation coeflicient, were used to investigate the relationship of the perceptions of the teachers and of the principals in regards to the principals’ leadership style and the school cultural norms.

Some of the findings of the study were:

Middle school principals and their teachers differ in their perceptions of the leadership style exhibited in their schools. A significant difference was found to exist between the perceptions of principals and teachers in regards to the degree in which the middle school principals exhibited transformational leadership style behaviors. Both principals and teachers perceived that transactional leadership style behaviors were exhibited by these principals but to a lesser degree.

Middle school principals and their teachers perceived that the 14 school cultural norms “generally” exist in their present positive school cultures. The middle school principals in this study perceived the 14 school cultural norms to exist at a higher degree than did their teachers.

A correlation was found to exist between transformational leadership style behaviors and the one cultural norm, protection of what is important fiom the middle school principals’ perceptions. Seven cultural norms were perceived by the teachers in this study to be significantly correlated with the transformational leadership style behaviors exhibited by the middle school principals.


Scanned, with permission from the author, from the original print version, which resides in University Archives.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission


Included in

Education Commons