Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Theory, Policy, and Practice

First Advisor

Dianne Taylor


This exploratory study examines teachers' perceptions of the principal/superintendent relationship in terms of hierarchical independence and influence, and whether those teachers' perceptions correlate with perceptions of the organizational climate of the school. A new instrument (TAI) was developed to measure the principal/superintendent relationship. After a literature review, panel of experts, and a principal intern class, a fourteen item instrument was used with the teachers. In order to hold some extraneous variables constant, only principals and superintendents who held office for at least three years were acceptable for the study. Factor analysis was conducted and the results indicate that while the instrument is weak, it falls within acceptable parameters. The OCDQ was the climate instrument. OCDQ measures principal and teacher behavior in a dimensional form. These climate measures are of teachers and principal behaviors from the teachers' perspective. Students' perceptions are not included. The teachers' results on the TAI offer evidence of a connection with the teachers' results on the OCDQ for the high school sample. The high school correlations are strongest with the supportive (r =.49) and directive (r =.30) behavior dimensions of principal behavior. There is also a moderately negative relationship with the intimate (r = $-$.53) dimension of teacher behavior. The elementary sample showed no significant correlations between the TAI and any OCDQ dimension. The case study offers evidence of an interwoven nature of hierarchical independence and influence as perceived by teachers. Some of the elementary teachers view hierarchical independence as evidence of the principal's hierarchical influence with the superintendent. The teachers view independence as a resource or benefit that the principal provides for the benefit of the school. These results indicate that teachers do connect the principal's interactions with the superintendent with their perceptions of the work environment. This information adds another piece to understanding the organizational puzzle. By understanding leader relationships' effect on members, leaders gain a better perspective of useful tools in their work.