Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Chad D. Ellett


The primary purpose of this study was to utilize conceptions of principal change facilitator style, bureaucratic and professional orientations and teacher receptivity to change to extend our understanding of schools as organizations and to develop a comprehensive theoretical conception of planned organizational change in schools. A secondary purpose of this study was to report the results of a series of data analyses used to refine operational definitions of the study variables. This study is the first known in the literature to examine relationships among these variables in concert with a common set of schools, principals and teachers. The sample for this study consisted of all principals and teachers in 94 public schools in southern Louisiana. A total of 1921 teachers and 87 principals participated in the study. The study used an ex post facto survey research design (Campbell & Stanley, 1963). Four instruments were used in data collection: (1) a revised form of the Receptivity to Change Inventory (Hennigar, 1979); (2) the Attitudes of Professional Autonomy scale (Forsyth & Danisiewicz, 1985); (3) the Bureaucratic Orientation Scale (Kuhlman & Hoy, 1974; DiPaola, 1990); and (4) the Change Facilitator Style Questionnaire (Hall & Vandenberghe, 1987). Findings suggested that considerable work is needed in refining conceptual and operational definitions of these key variables in studying planned organizational change in schools. Results of analyses pertinent to research questions guiding the study revealed that principal change facilitator style is a useful variable for understanding teacher receptivity to change. Other major conclusions included: (1) perceptions of principals' and teachers' roles appear to be mediated by school context variables; (2) identified relationships are somewhat at odds with prior findings reported in the literature relating to change in schools and to principal leadership; (3) relationships among variables do not appear to be moderated by SES, and various demographic variables; and (4) relationships among variables established using school means may not generalize to individual schools at all. The findings raise a considerable number of issues about appropriate units of analysis in school research, and methodological issues about understanding the relationships among variables studied within the unique contexts of schools as complex organizations.