International school leaders must be prepared to steer their schools through ongoing crises and changes, regardless of the factors creating the crises and the need for swift change. To achieve the best possible outcomes from these dynamic situations, international school leaders must strategically deploy skills and abilities delineated by the Meta-leadership framework developed by Marcus et al.(2015). This study aimed to develop a valid and reliable instrument that measures the Meta-leadership competencies of international school leaders: the Meta-leadership Inventory for International School Leaders (MLI-ISL). This instrument development study involved a three-phase design. An initial set of items based on a theoretical blueprint derived from the scholarly literature was validated by a panel of subject matter experts followed with a reliability analysis to establish internal consistency of the inventory with a sample of 212 international school leaders. Utilizing Kalkbrenner’s (2021) MEASURE approach, Phase 1 resulted in the development of over 100 total items divided into three dimensions and 11 subdimensions. Phase 2 established content validation of 79 items by a second panel of experts with expertise in Meta-leadership, international school leadership, and survey design. Phase 3 reliability analysis procedures resulted in the MLI-ISL having excellent overall reliability (a = .95) and good reliability for the three main dimensions: The Person of The Meta-Leader (a = .87); The Situation (a = .85); and Connectivity (a = .89). Four subdimensions met the .70 reliability level with the eight remaining subdimensions just below acceptable levels. Analysis of variance showed that geographic region of the respondents significantly impacted the three main dimensions’ scores. The study outcome provides strong evidence that the MLI-ISL is a valid and reliable instrument measuring Meta-leadership competencies of international school leaders. These leaders exhibit high intrapersonal and interpersonal skills, enabling them to strategically lead others through dynamic and complex events within their organizations. The behaviors and actions of international school leaders are influenced by the cultural context of the geographic location of the leader's school. Recommendations for future research include refining the MLI-ISL’s length, revising demographic items, improving the reliability of the subdimensions, and expanding the instrument’s target population.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

International schools--Leadership; Educational leadership; Crisis management--Leadership

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Kay Davis