This body of work presents the summary of findings; explanation of implications; discussion of conclusions; and recommendations about practice, policy and future research regarding principal leadership in school districts recognized as national Baldrige Award winners. This study widened the scope and definition of quality management in education by dissecting the roles of principal leadership as defined by the 21 Leadership Responsibilities (Marzano et al., 2005) of school leadership. These Leadership Responsibilities served as a vehicle for educators to report their observances of how principals express their roles in the context of their work. The study began with a dominant phase of quantitative data collection followed by a qualitative phase. The quantitative segment purposively sampled groups of employees, principals and their building staff, concurrently through electronic survey. The second, qualitative portion, consisted of interviews of principals who participated in the survey. To summarize, the quantitative data defined the "what" of building administration's work in a Baldrige system and the qualitative portion illuminated the "how" or the application of the 21 Leadership Responsibilities. Statistical analysis determined that principals reported expressing all 21 Leadership Responsibilities in their work. Staff observances correlated and supported the data reported by the participating principals. As a result of the principal interviews further observations were made regarding the work of Baldrige building level leaders. Considerations included innovation through shared leadership and process management to improve learning and services for students and staff. Principals appeared to express particular clusters of Leadership Responsibilities more than others to increase the student growth and school improvement. Participants included principals and teachers from Iredell-Statesville Schools, NC; Jenks Public Schools, OK; and Montgomery Public Schools.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; School management and organization; School principals; Educational leadership

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Vodicka, Devin