Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Chad D. Ellett


This study explores the organizational nature of instructional supervision in schools. A conceptual model of the organizational/supervisory (O/S) structure and effects of school supervisory behaviors is presented. The model is based on an organizational conception of instructional supervision that views the variety of supervisory behaviors, interactions and decision making engaged in by school personnel as forming a unique supervisory subculture within the school organization. The model suggests that a school's overall O/S structure is determined through the complex interrelationship of an array of macro- and micro-level communicative elements or supervisory events. These macro- and micro-level elements are, in turn, influenced by a number of supervisory variables, including: degree of centralization of administrative influence, level of vertical communication, teacher sense of professional autonomy, professional rapport, degree of communicative depth, goal consensus, and metaphoric perceptions of supervisory roles. The interrelationships among these supervisory variables contribute to the formation of a resulting O/S climate within a school. Conceptual definitions of these variable constructs within the O/S model are presented. The model posits multiple, reciprocal relationships occurring among school inputs (i.e., school personnel--administrators, teachers and peer professionals), O/S structure, resulting O/S climate and school outcomes. The model is operationally defined through the development of a quantitative measure of overall O/S climate in schools--the Organizational/Supervisory Climate Inventory (OSCI). This quantitative measure is further refined through a qualitative field analysis of outlier and comparison schools identified from survey results. Thus, in this study, the quantitative measure of school O/S climate serves as the independent variable. The dependent variables in this study are three recognized indices of effectiveness: (1) school effectiveness (student achievement as measured by standardized achievement test scores); (2) organizational effectiveness (teachers' and administrators' overall perceptions of organizational effectiveness as measured by the Index of Perceived Organizational Effectiveness (IPOE) (Miskel, Fevurly, & Stewart, 1979; Mott, 1972)); and (3) school holding power (as measured by student attendance).