Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


This study examined the Machiavellian interpersonal orientation in the principalship in relation to perceptions of role clarity, satisfaction with multiple dimensions of the work context, and individual characteristics. The key focus was on how interpersonal orientation influences the way principals' "size up" their work situation. The Getzels and Guba social systems model (1957) and the Christie and Geis interaction model (1970) served as the theoretical basis for the study. An ex post factor research design was utilized in this study of 235 public school principals. Each principal responded to a research packet of measures. Factor analyses were computed for each measure to verify their construct validity with this particular sample of principals. No changes were made in the original Job Descriptive Index. Revised one-factor scales were developed for the role clarity and Machiavellian measures. Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient matrices, analyses of variance, and a canonical correlation analysis were utilized to respond to the research questions and to provide supplemental data. The Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient between principals' perceptions of role clarity and Machiavellian interpersonal orientation suggested a slight positive relationship. This coefficient between the principals' Machiavellian interpersonal orientation and total job satisfaction denoted a slight inverse relationship. A significant inverse relationship was noted between relations with co-workers and Machiavellian interpersonal orientation. No other significant relationships were identified. The canonical correlation analysis identified one significant multivariate relationship that was explained primarily by negative role clarity perceptions being associated with positive perceptions of satisfaction with the job itself and supervision. The analyses of variance revealed that the school-level configuration provided significant main effects in role clarity, Machiavellian interpersonal orientation, and job satisfaction. A Scheffe post hoc test revealed significant differences in the Machiavellian interpersonal orientation of principals. Secondary principals were found to be higher Machs than the principals of other levels. The school size also produced significant main effects in job satisfaction. This principalship study made a contribution to our understanding of schools as social organizations. More sophisticated studies of role and person variables are needed to offer additional developments of descriptive, explanative, and predictive theories.