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Work activities and time management

Material Information

Title:
Work activities and time management strategies of metropolitan school superintendents
Creator:
Huber, Dean Terry
Place of Publication:
Denver, Colo.
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
xv, 306 leaves : forms ; 28 cm

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Doctorate ( Doctor of Philosophy)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
School of Education and Human Development, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:
Education
Committee Chair:
Koeppe, Richard P.
Committee Members:
Meyers, Russell W.
Martin, W. Michael

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
School superintendents -- Time management ( lcsh )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 246-252).
Thesis:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Doctor of Philosophy, School of Education and Human Development
Statement of Responsibility:
by Dean Terry Huber.

Record Information

Source Institution:
|University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
|Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
19687664 ( OCLC )
ocm19687664
Classification:
LD1190.E3 1988d .H82 ( lcc )

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Full Text
WORK ACTIVITIES AND TIME MANAGEMENT
STRATEGIES OF METROPOLITAN
SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS
by
DEAN TERRY HUBER
B.A., North Central College, 1969
M.A., University of Northern Colorado, 1973
A thesis submitted to the
Faculty of the Graduate School of the
University of Colorado in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
School of Education
1988


This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy degree by
Dean Terry Huber
has been approved for the
School of
Education
by
Date I


Huber, Dean Terry (Ph.D., Education)
Work Activities and Time Management Strategies of
Metropolitan School Superintendents
Thesis directed by Professor Richard P. Koeppe
This research examined the daily work activities
and time management strategies of successful public
school superintendents. Qualitative methodology was
selected for this study and data gathering was accom-
plished through observations and interviews. Two
Denver Metropolitan Area superintendents were
observed and interviewed to obtain the majority of
hard data. Additional and confirming data were
obtained from interviews with the superintendents'
secretaries and one senior administrative staff
member. Three additional superintendents were
interviewed to gather supplemental data and to react
to the study's findings. Work activity findings were
analyzed and presented in seven categories of type of
work activity and 11 categories of work activity
content. Findings related to time management were
presented in a descriptive format.
The superintendents spent a substantial amount
of their time in face-to-face contacts with
administrators and staff members assigned to their
districts' central offices. Superintendents
initiated a majority of their contacts, meetings, and


IV
telephone calls for the general purpose of gathering
information needed to make decisions and manage the
districts' affairs. The most frequently observed
content of work activities were matters concerned
with board of education activities and communica-
tions. The pace of work activities and the frequency
of interruptions to the superintendents' workday
indicated that efficient use and control of time are
essential. The traditional time management strate-
gies frequently observed enabled the superintendents
to control time spent on routine activities and create
more time for priority matters. The presence of major
district events and issues, such as mill levy elec-
tions and major policy changes, had a substantial
impact on the superintendents' work activities and
use of time.
The findings of this research are consistent
with prior research on the superintendency. The two
superintendents who were observed in this study were
both successful but each had individual preferences
for use of time and utilized different time management
strategies. These findings have implications for the
preparation of future superintendents and continued
training of and assistance to practitioners.


V
The form and content of this abstract are
approved. I recommend its publication.
Signed
of thesis


vi
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The author expresses gratitude to Dr. Richard
Koeppe for guidance and assistance throughout this
project. His suggestions for reinterpretation of the
data and presentation of findings were very helpful.
The author also thanks Dr. Russell Meyers for his
concern for quality, encouragement, and helpful
criticism.
A very special thank you goes to the two super-
intendents who permitted the author to observe their
everyday activities. Even though they are busy
individuals, they gave some of their precious time to
someone who wanted to study how successful superin-
tendents use and manage their time. Thanks also to
the secretaries, senior staff members and other
metropolitan superintendents who contributed their
perceptions to this study.
Finally, the biggest thanks of all to my wife
Deborah, and to my boys, Andrew and Jeffrey, for their
encouragement and patience.


CONTENTS
CONTENTS
I. INTRODUCTION ............................. 1
Statement of the Problem ............... 3
Purpose and Value of the Study .... 4
Definitions............................. 6
Limitations............................. 8
II. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE..................10
Introduction ......................... 10
History of the Superintendency .... 11
Legal Status of the Superintendency
and the Relationship with the
Board of Education....................13
Board of EducationSpecific Duties. . 13
Board of EducationSpecific Powers. . 14
Superintendent's Role............ 18
Related Studies.......................2 0
Managers' and Superintendents 1
Use of Time.......................2 0
Work Activity StudiesQualitative
Methodology.......................2 6
Time and Activity Studies. ..... 28
Superintendents and Effective
Schools...........................31
Summary...............................3 3


Vlll
III. METHODOLOGY...............................35
Justification and Appropriateness. . 35
Characteristics of Qualitative
Research..............................39
Issues and Limitations in Qualitative
Research............................4 5
Subjectivity ........................ 45
Researcher Bias.....................4 6
Data Collection Limitations...........48
Selection of Superintendents .......... 50
Researcher/Subject Relationship. ... 54
Data Collection.........................56
Structured Observation .............. 56
Role of the Observer..................61
Observer Effects..................... 65
Interviews ...........................69
Participant Self-Reporting .......... 73
Document Review.......................74
Analysis................................75
Analysis During Field Work .......... 76
Data Review and Reduction.............77
Memoing...............................80
Typological Analysis ................ 81
Quality Issues ........................ 82
Validity and Reliability ............ 82
Triangulation.........................87


ix
Reaction to Data Analysis by
the Subjects.......................90
IV. FINDINGS ....................................92
Description of Subjects................93
Work Activity and Content of Work
Activity Categories..................99
Identification of Categories .... 99
Work Activity Findings .................. 110
Time Distribution By Activity
Category...........................114
Time Distribution by Work
Activities Categories..............115
Contacts and Conferences ................ 120
Contacts and Conferences Who
Participates ........................ 123
Contacts and Conferences How
Long.............................. 126
Contacts and Conferences Who
Initiates..........................127
Contacts and Conferences - Where . . 128
Contacts and Conferences Size
of Group...........................130
Contacts and Conferences -
Scheduled or Unscheduled ......... 131
Meetings...............................133
Meetings Who Participates.........13 6
Meetings How Long..................138
Meetings Who Initiates . . . ... . 139
Meetings Scheduled or Unscheduled. 141


Telephone Contacts .................... 142
Telephone Contacts Who
Participates ...................... 144
Telephone Contacts How Long. . .145
Telephone Contacts Who Initiates 145
Telephone Contacts Where .......... 146
Desk Work...............................147
Desk Work How Long..................148
Desk Work Mail and Written
Communication.......................152
Visitations and Observations .......... 155
Summary of Work Activities..............156
Content of Work Activity Findings. . .157
Definitions of Content Categories. 158
Time Distribution by Content
Categories............................159
Board of Education Activity and
Communication.......................162
Supervising Administrators .......... 168
Instruction, Teaching, and
Curriculum.........................17 0
Personnel and Evaluation ............ 171
Public Relations and Community
Affairs.............................172
Business and Finance..................173
Managing and Policy Implementation 174
General Administration .............. 174
General Contacts .................... 175


xi
Other...............................176
Campaigning and Election ........... 176
Summary.............................177
Time Management Techniques and
Strategies..........................178
Use of Secretaries...................178
Car Phone............................187
Computers...........................189
Simultaneous Activity...............190
Files...............................191
Delegation...........................193
Summary................................194
V. DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS AND
RECOMMENDATIONS.......................195
Discussion of Findings ............... 197
Overall Work Activities.............197
Board of Education Activities. ... 198
Focus on Personal Contacts..........2 01
The Superintendent and
Information.......................207
The Superintendent and Pace
of Work Activities.................213
The Superintendent and Time
Management........................220
The Impact of Events and Issues
on Work Activities................234
Summary...............................240
Recommendations.......................241


Xll
Recommendations and Implications
for Practitioners..................241
Recommendations for Future
Research...........................242
REFERENCES.....................................245
APPENDICES.....................................253
A. INTERVIEW GUIDES.........................254
B. DATA RECORD FORMS........................279
C. DATA TABLES..............................287
D. CORRESPONDENCE AND QUESTIONNAIRE.........29 6


xiii
TABLES
TABLE
1. Length of Contacts and Conferences...........127
2. Group Size for Contacts and Conferences. . 131
3. Scheduled and Unscheduled Contacts and
Conferences................................132
4. Length of Meetings...........................139
5. Source of Meeting Initiation ............... 141
6. Length of Telephone Contacts ............... 146
7. Length of Desk Work Sessions................151
8. Distribution of Time in Content Categories 160


FIGURES
FIGURE
1. Distribution of time by activity
categoriesSuperintendent Adams. . . 116
2. Distribution of time by activity
categoriesSuperintendent Adams;
before election ...................... 117
3. Distribution of time by activity
categoriesSuperintendent Adams;
after election........................117
Distribution of time by activity
categoriesSuperintendent Brown. . 118
4.


xiv
FIGURES
FIGURE
1. Distribution of time by activity
categoriesSuperintendent Adams. . . 116
2. Distribution of time by activity
categoriesSuperintendent Adams;
before election ...................... 117
3. Distribution of time by activity
categoriesSuperintendent Adams;
after election........................117
4. Distribution of time by activity
categoriesSuperintendent Brown. . . 118


XV
DATA RECORD EXCERPTS
EXCERPT
1. Field Notes Summary Superintendent
Adams 11/17/87.........................102
2. Chronology Record Superintendent
Brown 1/6/88...........................108
3. Chronology Record Superintendent
Adams 11/18/87.........................129
4. Phone Record Superintendent Adams -
11/17/87.................................143
5. Activity Record Superintendent
Adams 1/20/88 ........................ 149
6. Chronology Record Superintendent
Adams 11/18/87.........................150
7. Superintendent Adams Written
Communication Summary .................. 153
8. Superintendent Brown Written
Communication Summary ......... .... 154
9. Sample Week from Superintendent
Brown's Calendar....................... 182
10. Secretary's Responses to Dictated
Instructions Superintendent Brown . 184
11. Contact Record Superintendent
Brown - 12/15/87........................192
12. Contact Record Superintendent
Brown - 1/8/88........................ 203
13. Activity Record Superintendent
Adams - 11/17/87........................211


CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
The role of the superintendent of schools has
been studied from varied perspectives. Few of the
studies in the last two decades, however, have been
undertaken to investigate how the chief school
executives of local districts functioned in the job
and to explain why they functioned the way they did.
Aside from a few biographies which recount the
experiences of pioneering school administrators,
research has, for the most part, centered on the
simple compilation of superficial and largely
unconnected modal characteristics of super-
intendents or on issues to which the superin-
tendency is of only tangential concern.
(Pitner & Ogawa, 1981, p. 45)
Considering the assertion made by the American
Association of School Administrators (AASA) that the
superintendent, "more than any other single person in
the community, influences the shape of public educa-
tion" (AASA, 1965, p. 1), the need to have reliable
research on how superintendents function becomes
evident. The survey research which details what
salaries superintendents receive, what degrees they
earn, and how old they are gives interesting


2
information, but tells very little about what they
actually do each day to fulfill the role of chief
executive.
Simply examining the literature concerning the
role of the superintendent does not provide needed
information. Griffiths (1966) stated that through-
out its existence the role of superintendent has been
ambiguous with some believing the role should be that
of an educator (philosopher-statesman-innovator) and
others supporting a business manager (efficiency
expert) type. Callahan (1972) concluded that the
ambiguity was finally resolved in favor of the busi-
ness resource manager responsibility while others,
including Murphy and Hallinger (1980), have promoted
the instructional leader model. With this continuing
ambiguity and lack of agreement about the superinten-
dent's role, it would seem to be both desirable and
legitimate to observe and describe school superinten-
dents going about the conduct of their daily work to
develop further definitions, concepts, theory, and
role descriptions related to administrative behavior.


3
Statement of the Problem
The research problem of this study was to
describe the work activities of successful public
school superintendents and the ways in which they
controlled the use of their time. Using a qualitative
research approach, the problem was investigated by
observing and interviewing two successful Colorado
school superintendents, interviewing three additional
superintendents and interviewing other key informants.
The majority of data was collected through the role of
passive participant observer in order to document the
patterns of routine activities which occurred. Sub-
jective interpretations were obtained from the
subjects and other informants through structured and
unstructured interviews. Descriptions of observed
work activities, enumeration documenting their fre-
quency, and perceptions of the subjects concerning
their work are reported.
Results of the study are reported in the follow-
ing manner:
Chapter II: Review of the LiteratureFocuses on
literature describing the superintendency, specifi-
cally that describing the structure, content, and
frequency of the superintendent's daily activities.


4
Chapter III: MethodologyReports the processes
of observing and interviewing subjects and explains
the rationale for using a qualitative approach.
Chapter IV: FindingsPresents and analyzes the
data gathered.
Chapter V: Discussion of Findings and Recommen-
dationsPresents a summary of the findings, recommen-
dations and implications for practitioners, and
recommendations for further research.
Purpose and Value of the Study
The purpose of this study was to learn how
successful school superintendents use and manage their
time, and for what activities their time is used.
The qualitative study approach was used only to
describe the work of superintendents in the context of
its natural setting and not to prove or disprove any
theory. In contrast to some quantitative analyses,
this study did not engage in the systematic testing
of theory or hypothesis.
Current information on the superintendency can
be misleading.
The popular notions of the superintendent's
duties are obtained from textbooks, periodicals,
newspaper accounts, and sporadic personal


5
contacts. Such sources of information would
lead one to the conclusion that a superintendent
passes time philosophizing upon education and
the state of youth, in planning an on-going cur-
riculum, deciding how a financial pie should be
cut, making awards, shuffling papers, supervising
a teacher's handling of a learning unit, erecting
a building, running a meeting of the board of
education, and occasionally firing a coach.
That he does all these things is true. To
assume that this is the substance of his work
load is grossly misleading. (Wilson, 1960, p. 21)
Spindler (1963) made the insightful observation
that men in positions of educational power rely pri-
marily on oral tradition to train, to incorporate,
and to replace one another. Clinton, in his monograph
on leadership in education, asserted that research on
successful administrators is needed to meet the
"opportunity today to change school leadership for
the better" (1987, p. 3). He stated that 40 percent
of current administrators will retire within ten years
and now is the time to be training replacements. He
indicated that the behavior of leaders who have
"turned schools around" must be analyzed and used
with the great middle ground of administrators who
"want to make a difference but are besieged by oppres-
sive bureaucracy . want to be leaders, but they
don't know how or don't have time" (Clinton, 1987, p.
3). In addition to the high rate of retirements
expected during the next few years, Peterson and Finn


6
(1985) cited rising school enrollments, a keen
interest in the quality of elementary and secondary
schooling, and the attention being given to education
by governors, legislators, business leaders, and other
influential laymen as providing an authentic chance
to make improvements in the training of administra-
tors.
The value of this study is in the description of .
the ways which incumbents deal with the work of the
superintendency and in the ways they manage their
time to conduct everyday affairs. The study should
be of interest to those contemplating the school
superintendency and who need to know what a superin-
tendent actually does. It should also be of help to
practitioners already in the field who are interested
in comparing their work activities and use of time
with successful peers.
Definitions
The search for successful performance in the
role of school superintendent is compounded by
the nebulous nature of that post, by the hundreds
of different opinions of what constitutes suc-
cess, by the fact that no two environments in
which superintendents operate are identical, and
by the fact that no two persons capped with the
title perform in identical fashion or are cut
from the same cloth. (Wilson, 1979, p. 4)


7
Halpin (1957) noted that there is usually wide-
spread disagreement between groups regarding the
superintendent's role; that different interest groups
will have differing expectations. Because of the
difficulty in finding a universal role description of
a superintendent and, therefore, difficulty in defin-
ing what success in that role really looks like, this
study used a fairly loose criteria for and definition
of success.
The following terms and definitions will be used
throughout this study.
Successful"Coming about, taking place, or
turning out to be as was hoped for; having a
favorable result" (Webster's New World Dictionary
of the American Language. 1966). For the purpose of
this study, a successful superintendent was an indi-
vidual who had achieved longevity (more than five
years) in the current superintendency and had a repu-
tation of success among peers and others who were
familiar with his or her work.
Superintendent of SchoolsThe chief executive
or administrative head of the school district.
Qualitative ResearchA methodology which strives
to describe literally, in completeness, the way of


8
life of a particular group or individual. In this
study the individual was the superintendent but the
focus of attention was placed on work activity, not
on the person.
Work ActivityThe unit of active involvement
for a school superintendent engaging in a task. A
work activity changed when the participants and/or
media changed.
Work ContentThe topics, issues, or problems
addressed during work activities.
Time ManagementA deliberate, controlled effort
or action taken to achieve efficiency and effective-
ness in the use of time.
Limitations
This study has identifiable limitations in the
following areas:
Number of SubjectsThe small sample size was
due to the data-gathering methods which were used.
Choice of SubjectsSelection was done based on
partial information about subjects, depended on
willingness to participate, and was influenced by the
level of informedness of nominators.


Time of Year and Amount of Observation Time
The work activity of superintendents varies throughout
the school year. The observation of a superinten-
dent's full work year is needed to see a full cycle
of activity.


CHAPTER II
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
Introduction
This chapter reviews the research relevant to
this study. The focus of the literature search was
on descriptions of what superintendents do by virtue
of being in that position. Needless to say, describ-
ing the work of the typical or average superintendent
of schools is a difficult task because there is no
typical or average superintendent, school district,
or work day. However, one would hope to find descrip-
tions of common activities that might happen in the
office of any superintendent and to that apply some
conceptual scheme that would allow generalizations to
be made.
The review of the literature found that such
information is limited. While there are numerous
studies of the superintendency, most provided inade-
quate descriptions of the structure and content of the
superintendent's work-related activities. An obvious


11
need exists for more detailed descriptions of super-
intendents' work.
History of the Superintendencv
With the focus of this literature review on
securing a general picture of the everyday activities
of the modern-day superintendent, certain informa-
tion on the superintendency was not included in the
review. For example, the historical development of
the superintendency has been adequately covered by
Callahan (1966); Campbell, Cunningham, and McPhee
(1965); Cuban (1976); and Griffiths (1966). Three
important points were made in these historical
reviews, however, which should be considered when
examining the superintendent's work.
First, the position emerged as the complexity of
and responsibility for supervising public education
became more than could be handled by unpaid lay mem-
bers of boards of education. Therefore, the first
superintendents were given responsibilities that the
boards were charged to do but were unable to fulfill
adequately (Cuban, 1976).
The second point is that boards of education
have never relinquished all their responsibilities to


12
the superintendents. Legally, they are prohibited
from doing so. As early as 1894, former Cleveland
Superintendent Hinsdale reminded his readers that the
first superintendent's duties "originated in the dele-
gation to him of powers every one of which belonged
to the board and that the board still often exercises"
(Cuban, 1976, p. Ill) Discussion of the separation
of responsibilities between boards and superinten-
dents continues today.
Callahan made a third point when he described
the changing conception of the superintendency between
1865 and 1965 in terms of four dominant roles. These
roles, one succeeding another, were: scholarly
educator (1865-1910), business manager (1919-1930),
educational statesman (1930-1954), and expert in
applied social science (1954-present). If Callahan's
conception of the changing role of the superintendent
is accepted, then it appears that one must also accept
the idea that the work of the superintendent changed
as the role changed.
Each of these points (the superintendency grew
out of board of education responsibilities, boards
continue to retain responsibilities to varying
degrees, and the role of superintendent continues to


13
change over time) indicates that the work activity of
superintendents has not been constant. Furthermore,
it probably will always be subject to change.
Legal Status of the Superintendent and the
Relationship with the Board of Education
The superintendent's authority is formally
derived from state law and in rules and regula-
tions of boards of education which outline the
responsibilities, powers, and duties of the
superintendent. (Pitner, 1978, p. 1)
"By legal definition the school board is the
formal policy-making organ of a public school system
and the superintendent is its executive officer"
(Gross, 1958, p. 100). Colorado statutes provide for
the hiring of school superintendents but provide no
specific provisions or descriptions concerning the
superintendent's role or function.
Board of EducationSpecific Duties
To employ all personnel required to maintain the
operations and carry out the educational programs
of the district, and to fix and order paid their
compensation. (Colorado Revised Statutes, 1973,
22-32-109[f])
Board of EducationSpecific Powers
To employ a chief executive officer to adminis-
ter the affairs and the programs of the district,
pursuant to a contract. (Colorado Revised
Statutes, 1973, 22-32-110[g])


14
Few states' statutes define the school superin-
tendency; most have simply authorized the creation of
the position. McCann (cited in Knezevich, 1984)
reported that school codes in only about half the
states define the relationship between the board of
education and the superintendent, and that the courts
of 13 states have declared superintendents to be
officers of the board, whereas six others ruled they
are employees.
The position of superintendent is clearly subor-
dinate to the board of education throughout the
United States. The superintendent reports to the
board, the board hires and fires superintendents, and
the board evaluates the superintendent; consequently,
the board can have a major influence on the work
activities in which the superintendent engages.
Dykes (1965) identified a superintendent's major
responsibility to be keeping the board of education
informed. In a study performed by PROBE (Practical
Research into Organizational Behavior and Effective-
ness, 1979), superintendents were asked to rank tasks
according to the amount of time each consumes.
In large districts (over 5,000 student enrollment)
superintendents ranked "school board relations and
\


15
activities as most time consuming. In the total
sample of districts, respondents ranked this item
third (Duea, 1980). In his shadow study of San Fran-
cisco School Superintendent Robert Alioto, Feilders
stated:
Among those who take the superintendent's time
and shape his activities, the school board mem-
bers are the most influential. They account for
one-quarter of his time in meetings and also for
much of the remaining time either in preparing
for or following up on those meetings.
. . Notably, less than 15% of their discussion
at a typical board meeting refers to teaching
and learning problems in the schools. This
orientation directly reflects on the superinten-
dent's agenda and limits his range of discretion-
ary choices. (1982, p. 97)
Gross (1958) attempted to study the degree of
consensus within boards of education and between
boards and superintendents as a way of accounting for
the variability of behavior of incumbents in the
superintendency. While this work was a theoretical
test of hypotheses pertaining to role theory, it sug-
gested that recognizing that there are different
expectations held by boards for superintendents'
behavior and attributes is crucial for understanding
how they behave and perform their work.
The time devoted to board relations and activi-
ties can substantially increase when conflict exists
between the board and superintendent. The axiom that


16
"administrators should stay out of policy and that
board members should refrain from intervening in
administrative affairs" (Institute for Educational
Leadership, 1986, pp. 26-27) is not that simple to
follow. In the day-to-day management of a school
district these lines become blurred. Without a
constant dialogue between the superintendent and the
board about roles and measures of accountability on
who is responsible for what, conflict can erupt.
Constant communication is a superintendent activity
highly recommended by Arnez (1981), Dykes (1965),
Gross (1958), and Getzels, Lipham, and Campbell
(1968) in order to avoid unnecessary conflict.
Gross (1958) pointed out the need for super-
intendents to give time and attention to individual
board members as well as to the board as a whole.
There is another aspect of school board behavior
that deserves attention. Many school board mem-
bers who are well motivated have ill-defined or
hazy notions about their jobs. In some school
systems board members spend most of their time
dealing with trivial matters and display little
interest in the more crucial school problems
such as curriculum improvement. Some school
board members act as if they as individuals had
the right to make decisions, which is prerogative
of the entire school board. Some school board
members act as if they, rather than the super-
intendent, had the right to administer the policy
decisions of the board, (p. 139)


17
Getzels et al. (1968) indicated that part of
potential conflict between the superintendent and an
individual board member is the result of the existence
of differing reference groups. For board members the
major reference group is the local community, a
"local orientation" to the district's constituents.
The superintendent's major reference group is fellow
administrators, a "cosmopolitan orientation" to the
profession. At times the board members' attitude of
"what is good for the community" can be at odds with
the superintendents' attitude of "what is good pro-
fessional practice."
In summary, the daily work activities of super-
intendents are influenced more by the board's expecta-
tions than by the expectations of any other group.
Furthermore, the literature supports the need for
superintendents to spend more time for and engage in
activities which maintain and promote positive rela-
tionships between the superintendent and board as a
whole, between the superintendent and individual board
members, and between board members themselves. If
time is not spent avoiding unnecessary conflict, there
is a good possibility that more time will need to be
spent resolving conflict at a later time. Finally,


18
as pointed out by Dykes, "in the final analysis, the
superintendent's job is what he and the board perceive
it to be" (1965, p. 67).
Superintendent's Role
One way to study the everyday work activities of
superintendents is to determine what activities are
suggested in the listings of major functions of super-
intendents. Numerous publications from professional
associations and school board associations give
comprehensive lists of roles and responsibilities of
superintendents. Such publications include
Principles of Effective School District Governance
and Administration (1984), Selecting a Superintendent
(1979), Roles and Relationships: School Boards and
Superintendents (1980), all joint publications of the
American Association of School Administrators (AASA)
and the National School Boards Association (NSBA),
and Evaluating the Superintendent (AASA, 1980). The
numerous functions of the superintendent were also
outlined in an Educational Policies Commission Report,
The Unique Role of the Superintendent of Schools.
(1965) which specified how the roles are interrelated.
The superintendent has many functions, but all
are focused on a single goal: to provide for


19
the best education in his community. This means
creating the conditions in which the teacher can
perform to the best of his ability . assist-
ing the school board in the formulation of poli-
cies governing the school system. . Aspects
of his job include management, school budget,
finding solutions of day-to-day problems, morale
of the staff and the art of human relations. In
short the superintendent is a teacher, poli-
tician, philosopher, student of life, public
relations counselor, and businessman. All of
these aspects are involved in the central role
of leadership, (p. 7)
Carlson (1972); Merrow, Foster, and Estes (1974) ;
and Boyd (1976) referred to the increased need for
superintendents to have skills to engage in political
activities. Zeigler's, Kehoe's, and Reisman's (1985)
three-year study compared the conflict management
behavior of school superintendents and city managers.
They found that while superintendents spent substan-
tially less time resolving conflict with their legis-
lative bodies (boards of education) than did city
managers with their city councils, the need for
political activity on the part of superintendents
could not be avoided. In his sample of over 1,000
advertisements for school superintendent positions,
Chand (1983) found that "political astuteness" was in
the top 20 of most frequently listed task requirements
for superintendents.


20
While these lists, reports, and studies provide
general categories of work-related activities for
superintendents, they do not reveal anything about
the way superintendents actually act. The value of
this literature to research on superintendents' work
activity comes forward when the content of work activ
ity can be related to the roles and responsibilities
the superintendent is trying to fulfill.
Related Studies
Managers1 and Superintendents1
Use of Time
A major study conducted outside the field of
education, but which has relevance to the work activ-
ity studies of school superintendents, was done by
Carlson (1951) in the early 1950s. Carlson analyzed
the work of ten directors of various Western European
businesses via the diary method. He concluded that
managers rarely had uninterrupted time, had little
control over their own workdays, spent much of their
time with visitors, and sent less written information
than they received. Of major significance was his
finding that managers could lengthen duration of
activities through better use of secretaries and
delegating work.


21
Mintzberg (1973) included a school superinten-
dent in a study of five managers and their work
activities. He concluded that:
Managerial activities may be divided into three
groups those that are concerned primarily with
interpersonal relationships, those that deal
primarily with transfer of information, and those
that involve decision-making, (p. 56)
By focusing on the structure, content, and time
expenditure of managerial work Mintzberg was able to
identify ten roles or functions which he divided into
three groupsinterpersonal roles, informational
roles, and decision roles.
The roles of figurehead, liaison, and leader
emanated from his interpersonal role which placed
the manager in a unique position to obtain infor-
mation. The three informational rolesmonitor,
disseminator, and spokesmangave the manager
unique access to information, and coupled with
his special status and authority, placed him in
a position where organizational decisions were
made. He specified the decisional roles as
entrepreneur, disturbance handler, resource allo-
cator, and negotiator. (Pitner, 1978, p. 37)
Two of Mintzberg's (1973) findings are relevant
to this research because they help explain the nature
of work activity and the amount of time given to
certain activities. He found differences between the
suburban superintendent and other subjects of his
study and concluded that, for the superintendent
"there are more scheduled meetings, more clocked


22
meetings, more formal authority requests, and a ten-
dency to present analyses in the form of printed
reports" (p. 236) He further concluded that the
public (or quasi-public) organization chief
executives:
faced more complex coalitions of external forces
. . spent more time in formal activity and
more time meeting with outside groups, clients,
and directors. Decisions taken in public organi-
zations are more sensitive politically; hence
there is a need to weigh more carefully the con-
cerns of special interest groups and to be more
careful about legitimizing the actions taken.
(p. 108).
The second significant finding from this study
concerns the work activity level of managers.
Mintzberg noted that managers' daily activity is quite
hectic.
The primary occupational hazard of the manager
is superficiality. Because of the open-ended
nature of his job and because of his responsi-
bility for information processing and strategy-
making, the manager is induced to take on a heavy
load of work, and to do much of it superficially.
Hence, his work pace is unrelenting and his work
activities are characterized by brevity, variety,
and fragmentation, (p. 5)
Mintzberg emphasized that he did not focus on
the time of crisis in the life of managers, but
observed day-to-day activities. He reported that
half of the observed routine activities were completed
in less than nine minutes, and only one-twelfth took


23
more than an hour. Mintzberg's conclusions contradict
Carlson's (1981) contention that managers can easily
lengthen the average duration of their activities by
making better use of secretaries and by delegating
work. Mintzberg (1973) stated:
[Managers] . chose not to free themselves of
interruption or to give themselves much free
time. To a large extent, it was the chief execu-
tives themselves who determined the duration of
their activities . managers, not the other
parties, terminated many of the meetings and
telephone calls, and the managers frequently
left meetings before they ended. They frequently
interrupted their desk work to place telephone
calls or to request that subordinates come by.
(p. 34)
The managers' tendencies to invite interruptions but
also keep activities brief were interpreted to be
deliberate so as to not interrupt the flow of infor-
mation which managers need to do their jobs. The
negative side of this behavior is the superficial
appearance of the managers' work activities. To
deal consciously with this superficiality, Mintzberg
advised managers to consider various levels of
personal involvement, e.g., (1) they should delegate
a significant number of activities, (2) they should
handle some issues in a marginal way where they should
only be involved to authorize the final decision, and


24
(3) they should continue to give special attention to
the most complex and sensitive issues.
Some studies have been patterned after
Mintzberg's work to broaden the research on superin-
tendents' work activities. Pitner (1978) followed
this model in her studies of six superintendents.
"The central purpose of the Pitner studies was to
observe, describe, and analyze the actual on-the-job
behavior of the suburban superintendents" (Pitner &
Ogawa, 1981, p. 46). The superintendents were
observed to spend 80% of their time involved in direct
interaction with people in unscheduled and scheduled
meetings, telephone conversations, school facility
tours, and conferences. The remaining time was spent
in desk work involving reading and the writing of
letters, memoranda, and reports or in travel to and
from meetings.
Two major clusters of patterns emerged from
Pitner's studies of superintendents' behavior:
1. Superintending is communicating. The com-
munication is characteristically brief and frag-
mented and usually involved subordinates but
often involved board of education members and
members of the community at large.
2. Superintendents are constrained by social
and organizational structures, but yet control a
major part of their day-to-day work and exert an
important organizational influence. (Pitner &
Ogawa, 1981, p. 49)


25
Approximately every ten years, the American
Association of School Administrators has conducted a
national survey of school superintendents. The major
portion of these studies has focused on demographic
information. The 1971 and 1982 surveys also asked
superintendents to choose from a list of 15 factors,
the two that most constrained their effectiveness.
The responses to this item indicated the concern
shared by superintendents about demands of the job
and the time element. In 1971, the second most
frequently chosen item was "too many insignificant
demands upon the superintendent" (33.2%) and the fifth
most frequently chosen was "lack of time/too much
added responsibility" (21.7%). In 1982, "too many
insignificant demands upon the superintendent" was
again the second most frequently picked (34.2%), "lack
of time" (22.8%) was third, and "too much added
responsibility" (12.3%) was fifth on the list
(Cunningham & Hentges, 1982, pp. 24, 25).
Work Activity Studies Qualitative
Methodology
Qualitative studies have been conducted using a
small sample of superintendents' work activities for


26
the purpose of describing the nature of superinten-
dents' work. In his study of three big city superin-
tendents and their responses to significant big city
issues, Cuban (1976) used the analogy of a juggler:
The superintendent is not unlike a juggler, who,
in order to keep a dozen objects in the air on a
windy day, must constantly move about, keeping
his eyes roving; he may be very uncertain that
he has the whole dozen, but he doesn't dare to
stop to find out! (p. 167)
Blumberg's (1985) study was based on interviews
with 25 superintendents. "Living with conflict" was
the central theme on which Blumberg chose to focus.
The metaphors he used to describe how various
superintendents handled conflict were: movie
producer, orchestra conductor, trout fisherman, tone
setter, bus driver, creator of crisis, coach, obstacle
remover, lightning rod, watchguard, greased barrel,
sponge, and prostitute (pp. 33, 34).
Wilson's (1960) account of actual situations
encountered by a superintendent during a three-year
period was equally enlightening. A partial list of
situations included:
Established new boundary lines for the city's
elementary school districts.
Male teacher found guilty of sodomy with high
school boys.


27
A local patriotic lodge demanded an investiga-
tion of all history books to determine extent
of anti-American propaganda.
A rival contractor publicly accused the school
building contractor of faulty and hazardous
workmanship.
Athletic booster club conducted a stealthy
campaign to have basketball coach dismissed.
Parents objected to special classes for gifted
children (pp. 35-38).
Feilders' (1982) three-month-long shadowing of
only one superintendent provided an insightful look
at the time demands, the board of education's
influence on the superintendent's time and activi-
ties, the time management strategies of the super-
intendent, and the hectic work pace of the superin-
tendent .
Krajewski (1980) kept a personal chronolog of a
typical day as the superintendent of a school district
of about 7,700 students. This diary account, which
is loaded with documentation of contacts made with
subordinates, consultants, and constituents, confirmed
Pitner's (1978) conclusion that "superintending is
communicating."


28
Time and Activity Studies
Campbell et al. (1965) reported a study conduc-
ted by the Midwest Administration Group in 1958-59.
Four superintendents in districts of varied size and
character were each observed by a different
observer for one-half day per week over a period of
six months. The purpose of the study was to document
the interactions of superintendents and the purposes
of those interactions. They used the constructs of
initiating structure and consideration proposed by
John Hemphill (1958) to analyze and classify incidents
collected through the observations. The researchers
found that almost 70% of interactions were with mem-
bers of the school organization, 12% with the school
board, and only 17% with constituents of the district
and community groups. The findings concerning pur-
poses of interaction were consistent with Feilders'
(1982) findings in that only 14% were directly related
to instruction and learning.
Morris (1979) used a self-reporting technique
with 12 superintendents and found that only 12% of
the issues addressed by superintendents over a period
of 12 working days were related to curriculum and
instruction. A 1974 study conducted by the New York


29
State Office of Education Performance Review concen-
trated on the superintendents who managed the 300
largest school districts in New York State,
exclusive of New York City. These superintendents
were asked to assess their use of time. Again, the
results were similar to other studies of time use.
Superintendents in this study reported they spent
almost 79% of their work time in fiscal and adminis-
trative activities and only slightly more than 10% of
their time in the supervision of teaching and the
evaluation of content and curriculum (New York State
Office of Education Performance, 1974, p. iii).
From interviews with superintendents in Massa-
chusetts, Gross (1958) collected data which led to
similar conclusions. He found a large discrepancy
between the amount of time superintendents felt they
should devote to the instructional program and the
amount of time actually given to that function. The
superintendents cited menial and trivial tasks as the
major obstacles to having time for instructional lead
ership.
Duignan (1980) used a structured observation
approach with a sample of eight superintendents to


30
answer the question, "What does a school superinten-
dent actually do on the job?" (p. 7). His findings
supported the conclusion that "superintending is
communicating" in that approximately 70% of the
superintendent's time was spent talking to people,
either in scheduled or unscheduled meetings or on the
telephone.
Of particular interest are Duignan's findings on
the problem of time control. He concluded that there
are a number of reasons that make it difficult for
the superintendent to spend his working time in
accordance with pre-established plans and priorities.
First is what he called the "chain reaction phenome-
non." Duignan observed that certain activities or
events often initiated a series of reactions from the
superintendent that lasted for a whole morning, a
whole day, or even longer. Secondly, the superinten-
dents' practice of being readily accessible to
subordinates tended to encourage impromptu interrup-
tions. Thirdly, the superintendents had to meet a
number of deadlines which placed added pressures on
them and frequently caused issues to be dealt with in
a quick and superficial manner. Finally, Duignan


31
noted that the superintendents had no definite time-
allocating procedures. The subjects rarely used an
economizing view of alternative time use, in terms of
a return to time invested. In other words, the deci-
sion on what to do next was based on the subject's
perception of the potential explosiveness of an issue.
Superintendents and
Effective Schools
Cuban (1984) observed that recent research on
effective schools has concentrated on the local school
site and the principal's leadership. The broader
perspective of the district-level influence is often
missing from the researcher's analyses of effective
schools. To ignore that the school is part of a
larger organization and that pivotal roles are played
by superintendents and boards of education in provid-
ing resources and giving legitimacy to a reform effort
provides only a partial picture of what is needed for
effective schools. The interplay between central
office and school site "can spell the difference
between implementation success and failure" (Cuban,
1984, p. 132) .


32
The crucial role in the creation of effective
schools which the superintendent plays is illustrated
as follows:
Given that the literature on effective schools
suggests that no school can become effective
without the visible and active involvement of a
principal hip-deep in the elementary school
instructional program, then it also seems likely
that no school board approving policies aimed at
systematic improvement can hope to achieve that
condition without a superintendent who sustains
a higher than usual involvement in the district's
instructional program. (Cuban, 1984, p. 146)
Murphy and Hallinger's (1980) research focused
on the superintendents in instructionally effective
school districts. After identifying 12 of the most
instructionally effective school districts in Cali-
fornia, they used interviews with superintendents and
analyses of district documents to develop descriptions
of district-level policies, practices, and activities
that these superintendents used to coordinate and
control the instructional management activities of
their principals.
A summary of their results concerning superin-
tendents' activities follows.
The superintendents in these instructionally
effective school districts reported that they
were actively involved in managing and directing
technical core activities in their districts.
They used a variety of both direct and indirect
leadership tools. They controlled the develop-
ment of goals both at the district and school


33
levels; they were influential in establishing
procedures for the selection of staff; they took
personal responsibility for the supervision and
evaluation of principals; and they established
and regularly monitored a district-wide
instructional and curriculum focus. (Murphy &
Hallinger, 1980, p. 220)
Superintendents in these IESD [instructionally
effective school districts] also appear to invest
a considerable amount of time and energy in prac-
tices and behaviors designed to ensure that the
more global types of leadership actually trans-
late into "organizational events" that push the
district toward its goals, (p. 229)
Murphy and Hallinger*s work linked work activi-
ties of superintendents and the instructional effec-
tiveness of the school districts which they lead. No
other studies were found that made this connection.
Summary
This chapter summarized the remarkably thin
research on the superintendent's leadership role and
daily work activities. However, a substantial amount
of information exists in the form of demographic
characteristics and statistics about superintendents.
As Cuban (1976) remarked,
While we know to the penny what salaries admin-
istrators received, what degrees they earned,
and where they were born, we know very little
about what they, as executives actually do
each day. (p. xiv)


34
The small amount of information available con-
firms that further study is needed which treats the
routine, everyday work life of the superintendent as
the topic of inquiry and analysis.


CHAPTER III
METHODOLOGY
The first part of this chapter presents justi-
fication for the use of a qualitative research
approach for this study, describes the characteristics
of qualitative research, and discusses the issues and
limitations related to this approach. The remainder
of the chapter describes the data collection and
analysis methods that were used for this study.
Justification and Appropriateness
A qualitative research approach was used because
the objective of this study was to describe the daily
work activities of two superintendents. This study
did not attempt to examine work activities from the
perspective of predetermined descriptions of the role
derived from sources external to the superintendents.
This study did not begin with predetermined research
hypotheses that predicted the relationship between the
degree of success of superintendents and specific
work activities or the way in which time is used.


36
Wolcott criticized the empirically based research
on school administrators. He argued that this
approach "provides factual data which tend to tell
too little about too much" (1979, p. 380). His criti-
cism continued:
The literature dealing with school administration
might have been expected to serve as a source of
information about administrative behavior, but
that body of writings is susceptible to several
of the limitations which characterize the litera-
ture of professional education more generally.
One such limitation is that much of the litera-
ture is hortatory or normative in content. It
tells principals [or superintendents] how they
ought to act. It is prescriptive rather than
descriptive. Literature of this type can provide
a source for inquiring into the ideal world of
formal education, but it fails to provide an
account of what actually goes on or how the
ideals are translated into real behavior.
(p. 380)
Griffiths (1966) also criticized the survey
approach to studying administrative behavior. He
first pointed out that the money usually available
for research is insufficient for anything else to be
done. He cautioned readers to be wary of those
studies which have asked people to check a blank or
to write down on a piece of paper the way they
perceive themselves and then equate these reports of
self-perception with actual behavior.
A quantitative research approach, therefore, was
not appropriate for this study because of the methods


37
by which data would have had to be collected. Data
collected through the survey methods which are common
to quantitative research
intrude as a foreign element into the social
setting they would describe, they create as well
as measure attitudes, they elicit atypical roles
and responses. (Webb, 1966, p. 1)
Such intrusion would have been an obstacle to the
collection of naturalistic data which are necessary
for this type of study.
Qualitative research is frequently used as an
umbrella term to include a variety of labels, depend-
ing upon which researcher one reads. Kerlinger (1965)
used exploratory field study, Wilson (1977) used
ethnographic, and Cusick (1973) and Wolcott (1970)
used participant observation as labels for this
research approach. Still others used the term
"naturalistic" for this methodology which is derived
from anthropological research.
Regardless of the label used, Bogdan and Biklen
(1982) identified the common characteristics found in
each of these approaches:
1. "The data collected are termed soft. that
is, rich in the description of people, places, and
conversations, and not easily handled by statistical
procedures."


38
2. Researchers may develop a focus while they
collect data, but they do not have specific hypotheses
to test.
3. Researchers are concerned with understanding
behavior from the subject's own frame of reference.
4. Data are collected through sustained contact
with the subjects in their natural surroundings
(p. 2).
Taylor and Bogdan (1984) described the increasing
interest in the use of qualitative methods:
Indeed qualitative research approaches are
accepted as never before. There are now journals
devoted exclusively to reporting qualitative
studies. There is an ever increasing number of
books and articles written on field research,
photography, and other qualitative methods. In
education, social work, evaluation, and applied
fields, qualitative methods are demanding serious
attention. Qualitative research is coming of
age. (p. v)
Patton (1980) argued that issues of methodology
are issues of strategy, not of morals or virtue. It
is no longer a question of using the "alternative"
method of data collection, but simply using a
"different" one. The strategy decision is one of
selecting the method that best matches the research
questions being asked. Patton quickly pointed out,
however, that:


39
the science of making methods decisions is no
less highly developed than the technology for
making other simple decisions, for example, how
to choose a spouse, career, city of residence,
or which toothpaste to use. (p. 17)
Characteristics of Qualitative Research
Qualitative research methodology has specific
identifiable characteristics. Each of these traits
is not exhibited with equal potency in all qualitative
research studies; some studies may not exhibit one or
more of the traits (Bogdan & Biklen, 1982).
The natural setting is the direct source of data
for the researcher. By conducting research in the
natural setting, one is able to examine relationships
and other phenomena which are not explicit and which
would be impossible to study using quantitative
methodology (Dean, Eichhorn, & Dean, 1969). Quali-
tative research is often referred to as naturalistic
because the researcher does not attempt to manipulate
the research setting, but rather uses the setting to
understand phenomena in their naturally occurring
states. Bridges (1982) discussed the importance of
the natural setting in these terms:
Extensive research has been conducted that demon-
strates the importance of the influence of
setting and the often divergent findings that


40
result when the same phenomenon is studied in
the laboratory and in the field. Ecological
psychologists claim that if one hopes to
generalize research findings to the everyday
world where most human events occur, then the
research must be conducted in settings similar
to those the researchers hope to generalize
about, where the same forces that will one day
act are not interrupted, (pp. 20, 21)
Conducting research in the natural setting
requires that the researcher get close to the people
and situations being studied. Lofland (1971) stated
that there is no substitute for face-to-face assoc-
iation when conducting the research. He used the
analogy of a reporter who, in order to accurately
report on an event or situation, must be physically
present, must be truthful, should report a significant
amount of pure description of action, and should use
direct quotations in reporting.
Closeness to people and situations allows data
to be more personalized. The procedures used in
qualitative research "communicate respect to respon-
dents by making their ideas and opinions stated in
their own terms the important data source . ."
(Patton, 1980, p. 84). The methods also take into
account idiosyncrasies and uniqueness of individuals,
thereby adding to the personal nature of the
methodology.


41
A second feature of this research approach is
the descriptive and detailed manner of recording data
and reporting results.
The qualitative research approach demands that
the world be approached with the assumption that
nothing is trivial, that everything has the
potential of being a clue which might unlock a
more comprehensive understanding of what is being
studied. (Bogdan & Biklen, 1982, pp. 27-30)
Qualitative data are detailed descriptions of
behaviors, situations, events, people, and inter-
actions, and often include direct quotations from
subjects of the study. The same degree of detail is
usually applied to printed materials (documents,
correspondence, mail, and case histories) used as
sources of data.
Qualitative methodology is concerned with process
as well as outcomes or products of the research. A
significant factor in the process is the researcher
as the major instrument for data collection and
analysis. Through observation, interviewing, and
other data collection methods, the researcher gathers
information in a first-hand manner. Even if observa-
tion and interview guides are used, they only assist
in data collection. These devices cannot replace the
person conducting the research.


42
A strength of the qualitative research process
is the flexibility it offers to change direction and
refocus data collection, explore new leads, address a
revised research question, or interview a new
informant. The flexibility also allows for the
observation of people and sites longer than originally
planned. Consequently, "not everything is resting on
the single interview or observation" (Miles &
Huberman, 1984, p. 46).
Another characteristic of qualitative research
is the inductive approach that is often utilized.
A qualitative research strategy is inductive in
that the researcher attempts to make sense of
the situation without imposing preexisting
expectations on the research setting. Quali-
tative designs begin with specific observa-
tions and build toward general patterns.
Categories or dimensions of analysis emerge from
open-ended observations as the researcher comes
to understand organizing patterns that exist in
the empirical world under study. The strategy in
qualitative designs is to allow the important
dimensions to emerge from analysis of the cases
under study without presupposing in advance what
these important dimensions will be. (Patton.,
1980, pp. 40, 41)
Researchers cannot completely eliminate personal
prior experience and acquired knowledge before
entering a research setting. They can, however,
develop the skill of suspending preconceptions (Goetz
& LeCompte, 1984; Wilson, 1977). This technique


43
enables the researcher to avoid the temptation of
trying to force the data into predetermined and
standardized categories such as those typically found
in questionnaires and surveys.
Gallaher (1973) maintained that the inductive
techniques allow the patterned, rather than the un-
patterned, phenomena to emerge and become the basis
on which meaning is derived. He pointed out that the
anthropological approach usually seeks to derive data
based on normal and ordinary occurrences and does not
focus on abnormal situations. Consequently, emphasis
is placed on the patterns which inductively emerge to
describe normal, day-to-day behavior. Patton (1980)
summarized the concept of emerging relationships and
theories.
The cardinal principle of qualitative analysis
is that causal relationships and theoretical
statements be clearly emergent from and grounded
in the phenomena studied. The theory emerges
from the data; it is not imposed on the data,
p. 276-277)
The final characteristic of qualitative research
is the participant perspective and the "commitment to
represent the participants in their own terms"
(Lofland, 1971, p. 4). The researcher is committed
to understanding social phenomena from the perspective
of the participants and attempts to render a "true to


44
life" picture of what people say and how they act.
The participants1 words and actions are left to speak
for themselves so that the perspective of the
individual is preserved. The concept of verstehen
(Bogdan & Biklen, 1982; Taylor & Bogdan, 1984) is a
philosophical foundation of qualitative research which
emphasizes understanding, on a personal level, the
motives and beliefs behind people's actions. Patton
(1980) argued that a holistic approach is necessary
to understand the context of situations and the per-
ceptions of participants.
Researchers using qualitative methods strive to
understand phenomena and situations as a whole;
evaluators using qualitative methods attempt to
understand the gestalt, the totality, and the
unifying nature of particular settings. The
holistic approach assumes that the whole is
greater than the sum of its parts. . Thus it
is insufficient simply to study and measure the
parts of a situation by gathering data about
isolated variables, scales, or dimensions, (p.
40)
Issues and Limitations in
Qualitative Research
As is the case with any research method, there
are issues and limitations inherent to the qualitative
approach which require the researcher's attention.


45
Subjectivity
The most frequent attack on qualitative research
is that the methodology is inevitably "subjective."
Subjectivity in scientific research is considered to
be a major weakness and connotes "opinion rather than
fact, intuition rather than logic, impression rather
than confirmation ..." (Patton, 1980, p. 336).
Authorities in qualitative methodology acknowledge
the existence of the subjective perceptions and biases
of both participants and researchers in the research
frame.
Weick (1985) stated that the goal of qualitative
researchers is to be "objective in close." To achieve
the simultaneous condition of closeness and objectiv-
ity he suggests that systematic observation which is
sustained, explicit, and methodical should be used.
Some researchers attempt to maintain distance from
the subjects and situations being studied in order to
achieve objectivity. Patton warned that "distance
does not guarantee objectivity, it merely guarantees
distance" (1980, p. 336).
While the subjective tendency is considered a
limitation, the researcher, by being aware of any
bias or predisposition, can attempt to neutralize any


46
potential impact on the study. By examining his or
her own beliefs and making these prejudices known,
the readers of the study can determine what, if any,
effect such predispositions may have had on the
research and subsequent findings.
Researcher Bias
The researcher in this study assessed his biases
prior to beginning the data collection phase. Even
though the researcher selected this study as a means
of expanding his personal knowledge of the work activ-
ities of superintendents, it should be noted that the
researcher's public school administrative experience
provided a prior general knowledge base of the work of
superintendents. He began the study believing that
the work of the superintendency was characterized by
a hectic pace and that the superintendent's time was
often controlled by other people and circumstances.
Being aware of these beliefs, the researcher sought
to be as objective as possible in gathering data.
Another of the researcher's predispositions was
the belief that superintendents need to be good time
managers to be effective in their work. Without time
management techniques and strategies, the superinten-
dent's time would be so controlled by other people


47
and situations that there would be little time left
for thinking, planning, theorizing, and philosophiz-
ing. Once again, the researcher needed to recognize
this predisposition and then to suspend its influence
while gathering data concerning time management
strategies.
Bruyn encouraged researchers to tailor work to
the six indices of "subjective adequacy," cited in
Homans (1966), in order to address the issue of sub-
jectivity:
1. TimeThe more time an individual spends
with a group the more likely it is that an accurate
perception of the social meaning its members live by
will be obtained.
2. PlaceThe closer the researcher works geo-
graphically to the people being studied, the more
accurate should be the conclusions and interpreta-
tions.
3. Social circumstancesThe number and variety
of social circumstances which the observer encounters
within the social structure of the community increases
accuracy.
4. LanguageThe researcher and the subjects
should share a common language.


48
5. IntimacyThe greater degree of intimacy the
researcher achieves, the greater will be the accuracy
of the findings.
6. ConsensusThe researcher should attempt to
obtain confirmation that the interpretations of mean-
ing are correct (pp. 181-182).
Data Collection Limitations
Mintzberg (1973) raised issues related to the
diary or self-reporting data collection methods fre-
quently used in qualitative studies of managers' use
of time. First, he cautioned that the diary method
(e.g., subjects record various aspects of each activ-
ity on a precoded form) requires the subject to rely
on memory when recording, the subject may forget to
record altogether, or the subject may not be able to
decipher the meanings of categories. Carlson (1951),
in his often-cited study of the work activities of
ten directors in various Western European businesses,
used the diary method to gather data. His realiza-
tion of methodological limitations is reflected in
this statement:
The study of the kind of action was, as I expec-
ted it to be, the most difficult part of our
whole investigation, and neither the concepts
nor the recording technique used are as yet suf-
ficiently refined in this respect, (p. 49)


49
He reported that the shortcomings in the recording
technique made it difficult to get an exact measure-
ment of the executives' use of time. Wolcott (1973)
also was concerned with the use of any self-reporting
technique when studying the school administrator's
use of time.
Administrators tend to be uneasy about the way
they actually distribute their time, and, there-
fore, not completely dependable about self-
reporting, for they cannot escape a nagging feel-
ing that the way they do allocate their time is
not the way they should allocate it. (p. xiii)
Other data-gathering techniques, when used as
the sole means of collection, have limitations.
Interviews can produce a wealth of information but
strongly reflect the informant's biases and percep-
tions. Activity sampling (e.g., the researcher
records the subject's activities at random time inter-
vals) does not provide a continuous record of activity
and can miss important events. The critical incidents
technique (e.g., subjects record activities critical
to the job and the researcher analyzes and interprets
the significance) requires the subject to judge which
are the critical incidents and should be recorded.
What may be considered a routine activity to the sub-
ject may have significance to the researcher;


50
consequently, vital information may never be recorded
using this technique.
Selection of Superintendents
Five public school superintendents were selected
as the subjects for this study. The majority of the
data collection time was spent with two of the super-
intendents and the majority of data was collected
through the observation and interviewing of these two
subjects. Additional and clarifying information was
gathered through interviews with the other three
superintendents. (A more complete description of the
use of data from these three superintendents is
presented later in this chapter.) The small sample
size (two superintendents) used for the collection of
the majority of data was necessary to be able to
spend sufficient time with each subject to obtain the
detail sought.
Qualitative researchers usually work with smaller
samples of people in fewer global settings than
do survey researchers. Also, qualitative samples
tend to be more purposive than random, partly
because the initial definition of the universe
is more limited . and partly because social
processes have a logic and coherence that random
sampling of events or treatments usually reduces
to uninterpretable: sawdust. (Miles & Huberman,
1984, p. 36).


51
Patton (1980) referred to "purposeful sampling"
as a strategy which researchers use to think through
what cases they could learn the most from, and those
are the cases selected for the study. In this study,
superintendents who had a record of success in their
current superintendencies were candidates for selec-
tion. Success was a criterion because the purpose of
this study was to describe work activities, content
of work activities, and the use and management of
time in the fulfillment of roles and responsibili-
ties in the superintendency. Furthermore, it was the
researcher's belief that more could be learned from
studying the work of successful practitioners than
from examining the work of novices or those whose
performance was suspect.
The measures of success were longevity in current
positions and reputations among peers and others who
were familiar with the superintendent's work. Other
criteria include the following:
1. The subjects were employed in districts
located along the front range in Colorado. Preference
was given to superintendents who were members of the
Denver Area School Superintendents' Council (DASSC).


52
2. The districts of employment were involved in
a significant issue or issues which impacted the
superintendent's work activities. In this study, the
subjects came from districts facing different issues.
The researcher worked with his university
advisor, who had recently served as a metropolitan
Denver superintendent and was knowledgeable of the
area's superintendents, to identify superintendents
who met the selection criteria. From this list of
potential subjects, the two who were considered to be
the best subjects for observing and interviewing were
contacted. Initial contact was made by letter from
the advisor to his former colleagues inviting them to
participate as subjects in the study. One of the
superintendents originally selected accepted the
invitation, but the other superintendent declined.
Consequently, the researcher and his advisor con-
tacted a third superintendent who accepted the invi-
tation.
Upon receiving notification of willingness to
participate, the researcher scheduled appointments
and met with each of the two superintendents. At the
initial meeting, agreements were made about data
collection procedures.


53
1. The subjects agreed to allow the researcher
to spend the equivalent of ten working days (and
nights when appropriate) observing and gathering data,
to observe all or most of the work activity, and to
have access to mail, memos, printed material and other
pertinent records or documents which would help
explain the purpose and content of work activities.
2. The subjects were willing to keep a diary of
work activities which occurred on weekends or nights
when the researcher was not scheduled to observe.
3. The subjects agreed to be available for a
minimum of two interviews: one prior to observation
and one after all observations had been completed.
4. The subjects agreed to allow the researcher
to interview their secretaries and one senior staff
member.
The initial interview time and dates for the
first few observation days were also set at the first
meeting. The subjects were given a questionnaire
asking for general background information and were
asked to sign the Informed Consent Letter at this
meeting. (See Appendices D-2 and D-3 for copies of
the Informed Consent Letter and Questionnaire,
respectively.) Other matters concerning the


54
researcher/subject relationship, which are discussed
in the next section, were addressed during this
initial meeting.
The three superintendents interviewed for tri-
angulation data and for verification of the prelimi-
nary data analysis were selected by the researcher
based upon input from his advisor. The researcher
contacted these superintendents by telephone and they
all accepted the invitation to be interviewed. Inter-
view dates were selected and appointments made during
this telephone contact.
Researcher/Subiect Relationship
Bogdan and Biklen (1982) pointed out that
explaining one's research procedures and interests to
the subjects is one of the most sensitive issues of
qualitative research. They advised that the
researcher be truthful but should not disclose full
details.
It is unwise to give details concerning your
research and the precision with which notes will
be taken. If they knew how closely they were
going to be watched, most people would feel
self-conscious in your presence ... or stage
events for his or her [the researcher's] benefit,
(p. 25)


55
In keeping with this advice, the researcher
entered this study with the intent to establish
rapport with each subject and his or her staff and to
give a clear, but general, description of the study
and the methodology. Included in this description
was an explanation of what the researcher would be
doing, what was going to be done with the field notes,
why the subject was chosen, and what the subject
could expect to get from his or her participation
(Bogdan & Biklen, 1982). It was emphasized that the
researcher's purpose was to observe and record rather
than to judge the subject's actions. Therefore, the
researcher would not give ongoing feedback to the
subj ect.
A final point in establishing the appropriate
relationship with the subjects was developing a clear
understanding concerning confidentiality. Subjects
were informed that all identities would be kept
confidential and pseudonyms would be used for the sub-
jects, their school districts, and all other persons
mentioned in the study. All proposed reports of the
study would be made available for the subjects to
review and requests for deletion of any portions would
be given consideration.


56
Data Collection
The discussion of issues and limitations earlier
in this chapter supports the conclusion that reliance
on any single data collection method is undesirable.
While each technique has its weaknesses, through the
use of a combination of methods, the researcher can
neutralize these weaknesses and take advantage of the
strengths offered by each. The data collection
methods for this study included a combination of
structured observation, unstructured and structured
interviews, participant self-reporting, and document
review.
Structured Observation
The primary method of data collection for this
study was first-hand structured observation done by
the researcher. The structure for the observations
was provided by the identification of work activity
and work content categories, the development of raw
data recording techniques, and the creation of record
forms used for coding and grouping the raw data.
The purpose of collecting observational data
using a structured approach was to obtain data which
were detailed, consistent in format, taken directly


57
from the natural work setting, and, most importantly,
comprehensive within and pertinent to the specific
areas on which this research was focused. Patton
listed several advantages of direct observation over
other data collection methods. For this study of
superintendents' work activities, three of these
advantages were of particular importance. First, the
researcher was able to see things of a routine nature
which may have escaped the conscious awareness of the
subjects.
Participants in those routines take them so much
for granted that they cease to be aware of the
important nuances that are apparent only to an
observer who has not become fully immersed in
those routines. (Patton, 1980, p. 125)
Secondly, the researcher was able to learn about
things which the subjects may have been unwilling or
neglected to talk about in interviews. Finally,
observation allowed the researcher to understand the
actions in the context of the natural settings where
the actions occurred.
Goetz and LeCompte (1984) pointed out that
recording everything is not an attainable goal for
field observers. Therefore, most researchers choose
to record phenomena salient to the major aspects of
the defined research topics. Morris (1979) con-


58
tended that a useful description of work activity can
be obtained from a small set of components such as
the issues, actions, actors, and information sources.
The raw data notes taken during observation ses-
sions focused on the identification of participants,
length, location, source of initiation, number of
participants, the content or topic of each observed
work activity, and whether the work activity was
scheduled or unscheduled. The mail and other
written communication to which the subjects gave any
time or attention were also included in the recording
of raw data. These data included the form, sender,
and purpose of the written communication, and the
attention given to and action taken toward each piece
of communication. Access to mail and written com-
munication was generally achieved by either sitting
next to the superintendent's desk and the superin-
tendent handing items to the researcher as he finished
with them, or by arriving early at the superinten-
dent's office and looking at items awaiting his
attention.
A final area of recorded data focused on the
time management strategies and techniques used by the
subjects. The specific strategies were recorded as


59
they were observed and the identification of strategy
categories emerged as the data were analyzed and
coded.
The data recorded during observation sessions in
this study focused only on a limited amount of
specific information about each work activity. The
information recorded was that which was most pertinent
to the research questions being investigated. As
defined in Chapter I, a work activity was considered
as beginning when there was a change in the basic
participants and/or the media of the activity changed
(i.e., face-to-face, telephone, or written forms of
communication, or individual work activity). The
recording of observations included all contacts, all
business-like work, but excluded activities that were
personal in nature.
The identification of work activity and work
content categories, the development of raw data
recording techniques, and the creation of record forms
used for coding and grouping the raw data occurred
after the initial observation sessions and were used
during subsequent sessions. As Mintzberg (1973) indi-
cated, the specific categories in such recording forms
are best developed during the observations. This


60
allows the categories to emerge from the data rather
than forcing the data into the categories. Because
these data collection features were based on findings
from initial observations and were developed as part
of the early data collection steps, a description is
presented as part of the discussion of findings in
Chapter IV.
Observations were scheduled to run concurrently
at both sites. In other words, the on-site observa-
tions were interspersed with one another. Strauss
(in McCall & Simmons, 1969) suggested that this two-
site approach allows the researcher to adapt observa-
tion strategies from one site to the other as new
data emerge. It also avoids the risk of a new insight
or need for data emerging after the conclusion of
observation at one of the sites. Observations were
scheduled to occur over a period of approximately 10
weeks (November 17, 1987 through January 28, 1988)
rather than for ten consecutive work days. The days
for observation were selected on the basis of which
days would reflect the most accurate picture of a
typical work day. This type of schedule gave a longer
"time sampling" feature to the observation which
Bogdan and Biklen (1982) indicated is needed to deal


with the cyclical nature of a school year's
activities.
61
Role of the Observer
Observing the behavior of subjects in qualita-
tive research involves more than simply showing up at
the site to begin data collection. Prior to the com-
mencement of observation the researcher must make
some important decisions about the role that he or
she will adopt during the observations. McCall and
Simmons (1969) stated:
The role which he claimsor to which he is
assigned by the subjectsis perhaps the
single most important determinant of what he
will be able to learn. . The role assumed by
the observer largely determines where he can go,
whom he can interact with, what he can inquire
about, what he can see, and what he can be told,
(p. 29)
Patton (1980) explained the need for the observer to
assume a role which combines the role of participant
and the role of the observer. The perspective of the
observer is important in describing for others what
is happening (role of reporter) and the perspective
of the participant in events is crucial in develop-
ing an insider's view and understanding of what is
happening. It has been stated that the phrase "par-


62
ticipant observation" has not been given a clear defi-
nition in the social sciences, but usually refers to
research that involves a prolonged period of social
interaction between the researcher and subjects in
the milieu of the latter, during which time data, in
the form of field notes, are unobtrusively and
systematically collected (Bogdan & Biklen, 1982;
Taylor & Bogdan, 1984).
Gold (1958, 1969), Patton (1980), and Zelditch
(1982) each identified four levels of participation
in the use of the participant observer technique for
data collection: complete participant, participant-
as-observer, observer-as-participant, and complete
observer. Goetz and LeCompte (1984) maintained that
the complete observer role could only exist where
activity was viewed from hidden cameras and recorders
or through one-way mirrors. With these exceptions,
they believed that interaction would be impossible to
avoid in social situations. Wolcott (1973) adopted
the participant-as-observer role in his ethnographic
study of an elementary principal. He explained this
role as one
in which the observer is known to all and is
present in the system as a scientific observer,
participating by his presence but at the same
time usually allowed to do what observers


63
do rather than expected to perform as others
perform, (p. 8)
Lutz and Iannaccone (1969) used only three cate-
gories in their description of participant observer
roles:
1. "The participant as an observer." In this
case the researcher already has group membership
before undertaking a study and therefore the role of
observer would be unknown to the subjects.
2. "The observer as a limited participant."
The observer would join a group for the expressed
purpose of studying it. The members would, perhaps
more than likely, know of the researcher's intent in
joining the group.
3. "The observer as a non-participant." The
presence of the observer may not even be known to the
group and if it were known, he or she would still be
outside the group, that is, without group membership.
The researcher adopted the role of "observer as
a limited participant" for this study because member-
ship in groups (the superintendents' school districts)
was only for the purpose of collecting data. Schwartz
and Schwartz (1969) clarified further this role.
They described the "passive" participant observer as


64
one who interacts with the observed as little as pos-
sible.
He conceives his sole function to be observation
and attempts to carry it on in the same mode as
an observer behind a one-way viewing screen.
. . The investigator assumes that the more
passive he is the less will he affect the situ-
ation and the greater will be his opportunity to
observe events as they develop, (p. 96)
In this study the subjects were made aware of
the purpose of the project and the role of the obser-
ver. Therefore, any type of covert information
gathering was prohibited and appearances of such were
avoided. As suggested by McCall and Simmons (1969),
the researcher "taught" the subjects what the role of
the researcher was. The researcher acquainted the
subjects with:
(1) the sorts of activities that this role
involves (e.g., asking questions, reading old
documents, looking over shoulders), with (2) the
sorts of information that fall within the legiti-
mate purview of his study, with (3) the uses to
which this information will be put, and with
(4) the manner in which he would like the sub-
jects to aid him in his pursuits (e.g., to relate
specific facts to him rather than vague generali-
zations and impressions, to guide him to perti-
nent resources, and to correct him when his
assumptions and conclusions seem to be in error).
In short he must teach the subjects the norms
governing the ideal role relationships between
observer and subjects, (p. 43)


65
Observer Effects
"No matter how well integrated an observer
becomes, we feel he is still an element with potential
to bias the production of critical data substantially"
(Webb et al., 1966, p. 113). Bogdan (1972), Weick
(1985), Patton (1980), and Miles and Huberman (1984)
also alerted the researcher to the effects which the
observer's presence has on the behavior of subjects.
A critical question in the objectivity of field data
is to what degree the observer's sustained participa-
tion and presence changed the statements and behavior
of subjects.
It is probable that observer influence can sel-
dom, if ever be reduced to zero. Therefore, the
problem becomes one of making it minimal, defin-
ing it, and keeping it as nearly constant as
possible. (Reynolds, 1979, p. 35)
Webb et al. (1966) suggested that early in the
study the observer conduct himself or herself in such
a way as to minimize "reactive effects." To do this,
the observer should fit as comfortably as possible
into the setting, establish a relationship character-
ized by trust and a free and open exchange of infor-
mation, and become one "whom the other participants
take for granted as belonging, and whom they consider
to be an 'insider' in a special nonthreatening role"


66
(Bogdan, 1972, p. 21). Miles and Huberman (1984)
advised that effects are minimized by staying as long
as possible on a site, using unobtrusive measures
whenever possible, making one's purpose clearly under-
stood, and downplaying the role of the researcher
(e.g., the researcher really is not such an important
person in their lives).
After the researcher has taken appropriate mea-
sures to minimize the reactive effects of being
observed, he or she should assume that stable behavior
means typical behavior, that stable behavior when the
subject is being observed is equivalent to behavior
when unobserved. In other words, the statement
"people soon adapt to it" is equivalent to the
statement "people act as they normally would even
though the observer is present" (Weick, 1985, p. 586).
For this study, the researcher made a decision,
prior to the selection of subjects for observation,
which was intended to reduce observer effects.
Because of concern that prior association and famili-
arity between the researcher and a subject could cause
the subject to act in a manner not entirely routine
and natural, only those superintendents were con-
sidered as possible candidates with whom the


67
researcher had no previous contact or association.
This lack of familiarity allowed the researcher to
more easily adopt the role of "observer as a limited
participant."
As familiarity between the researcher and sub-
jects grew during the course of the observation
period, it became increasingly difficult for the
researcher to minimize the observer effects. Even
though the role of the "observer as a limited partici
pant" was explained prior to beginning observations,
familiarity between researcher and subjects resulted
in a natural increase of information and opinion
exchange. The researcher attempted to keep such
exchanges minimal throughout the observation period.
However, complete elimination of interaction of this
sort was not possible because of the negative impact
it would have had on the positive relationships which
had developed during the course of observation.
One incident occurred which presented the
researcher with a difficult decision concerning the
role of observer. The researcher observed a confer-
ence between one of the superintendents, one of his
school board members, and a third party from outside
the district. The third party, in an attempt to


68
influence the superintendent1s opinion about a par-
ticular university-based program, provided the super-
intendent with inaccurate and misleading information.
The researcher's work at the university allowed him
to have substantial information about and insight
into the program being discussed. The researcher,
although offended by the inaccurate nature of the
information and eager to present a more accurate pic-
ture to the superintendent, was compelled to fulfill
the role of "observer as a limited participant."
Consequently, the researcher made the difficult
decision not to correct the misinformation during or
after the conference.
This was the only time that the role of the
researcher as observer was seriously challenged during
the study. This incident did, however, illustrate
the need for researchers to be prepared for unexpected
situations in which conscious decisions about the
observer role and observer effects must be made.
Interviews
Interviews provided a considerable amount of data
in this study. Interviewing is the research method
most often used in conjunction with participant obser-
vation. Numerous authors, including Taylor and


69
Bogdan (1984) Bogdan and Biklen (1982), Patton (1980),
Goetz and LeCompte (1984), and McCall and Simmons
(1969) defined the purpose of interviewing as being
the means by which the researcher could acquire data
directed toward understanding informants' perspectives
on their lives, experiences, actions, activities, or
situations as expressed in their own words. Patton
(1980) summarized the purpose of interviewing.
The purpose in interviewing is to find out what
is in and on someone else's mind. The purpose
of open-ended interviewing is not to put things
in someone's mind . but rather to access the
perspective of the person being interviewed. We
interview people to find out from them those
things we cannot directly observe. The issue is
not whether observational data is more desirable,
valid, or meaningful than self-report data. The
fact of the matter is that we cannot observe
everything. We cannot observe feelings,
thoughts, and intentions. We cannot Observe
behaviors that took place at some previous point
in time. We cannot observe situations that pre-
clude the presence of an observer. (p. 196)
Goetz and LeCompte (1984) described the variety
of advice available for the construction of inter-
views. They noted that massive amounts of literature
exist with an overwhelming array of instructions,
suggestions, protocol frames, and prescriptions con-
cerning interview construction. They quickly added
that there is little consistency in the suggestions
given,


70
consequently, researchers are best served by
seeking and following guidelines for interview
construction that are consistent with the goals
and designs of particular research projects.
(P- 124)
Different types of interviews can be employed at
different stages of the same study. At the beginning,
a more unstructured, free-flowing, exploratory
interview might be used to help acquire a general
understanding of the setting and the subjects (Bogdan
& Biklen, 1982). The initial interview in this study
occurred before observation commenced. Both of the
two subjects were interviewed concerning their
personal, educational, and professional backgrounds.
They were asked to discuss significant events in the
district's history and present situation, the Board
of Education's adopted performance goals for the
superintendent, the Board's goals for the district,
and the goals which the superintendent personally has
for the district. Finally, the subjects were given
the opportunity to share any other pertinent informa-
tion concerning working conditions, boards of educa-
tion, employees, the senior staff, educational or
management philosophy, and the job itself. (See
Appendix A-l for a copy of the initial interview
form.)


71
The initial interview utilized general guiding
questions but retained the features of open-endedness,
flexibility, and non-standardization which are impor-
tant to qualitative interviewing (Dean et al., 1969).
Because the qualitative researcher is always inter-
ested in having themes and information emerge from
the setting being studied, care must be taken not to
ask leading questions which direct or restrict
responses. This is especially important in early
stages of the study when "the researcher wants sub-
jects to talk about what is on their minds, and what
is of concern to them, not what the researcher
might think they are concerned about" (Bogdan, 1972,
p. 38).
Part of the field work technique in this study
included holding brief conversational interviews
throughout the observation period. These occurred
when the subjects offered explanations or clarifica-
tion of events, situations, or activities. They also
were initiated by the researcher at times when such
interactions minimally affected the natural course of
activity. These occurred when driving to a meeting,
during a break in the stream of activity, or at the
beginning or end of a work day. The purpose of on-


72
site conversational interviews was to access informa-
tion which explained the context of situations, the
purpose of activity, and the rationale for action
taken.
During the later stages of field work, the
researcher often becomes more structured in the inter-
viewing, attempting to ask more specific questions
in order to get comparable data from more than one
source or to focus on particular topics that emerged
during the observation (Bogdan & Biklen, 1982). In
these later stages this more specific type of ques-
tioning is much less likely to disturb the rapport
than it would in earlier stages of research. "Also,
if the researcher has done his job well, the subjects
should be very open to him and willing to give infor-
mation freely because of the trust he has developed"
(Bogdan, 1972, p. 39).
This study used focused, structured inter-
views after completion of the observation phase.
These interviews provided the opportunity to probe,
to seek clarification and elaboration, and to ask for
direct information on specific topics. These follow-
up interviews were scheduled after initial analysis


73
of observational data had been completed so that the
subjects could react to the analysis. Specific
questions for the follow-up interviews were generated
during data analysis. (See Appendices A-2 and A-3
for copies of the follow-up interview forms.)
Participant Self-Reporting
Two types of data recording forms were developed
as instruments which the subjects used for self-
reporting or diary purposes. Because of the limita-
tions inherent in self-reporting techniques, use of
these instruments was limited to the collection of
supplemental and verification information.
The first form was used to gather data about
weekend and evening work during selected portions of
the observation period when the researcher was not
present to conduct first-hand observation. The pur-
pose of this part of self-reporting was to give a
more comprehensive picture of the subject's work
activities, not just those that occurred during normal
working hours and days when the researcher was
present. (See Appendix B-6 for a copy of the Self-
Report Activity Form.)
?The second form was used to gather supplemental
data concerning the overall length of work days.


74
Upon completion of the first-hand observation done by
the researcher, subjects were asked to provide a one-
or two-week self-report of total daily work time.
This self-report information was compared to the total
daily work time recorded by the researcher during
first-hand observations. The self-report provided a
means of collecting additional data through an alter-
native data collection technique. (See Appendix B-7
for a copy of the Superintendent's Work Activity Time
Report.)
Document Review
The document review process in this study was
not considered as a separate data source but was used
to lend insight into organizational processes and the
perspectives of the people who used and wrote them.
Documents such as memos, records, appointment calen-
dars, and mail, and other forms of written communica-
tion were examined for any information which helped
the researcher understand the purpose and context of
activities. As advised by Patton (1980), the access
to these documents and records was negotiated during
the selection of subjects phase of the study.


75
Analysis
The data collected in qualitative research
requires analysis by the researcher so that a deeper
understanding of what has been studied can be
achieved.
Data analysis is the process of systematically
searching and arranging the interview tran-
scripts, field notes, and other materials that
you accumulate to increase your own understanding
of them and to enable you to present what you
have discovered to others. Analysis involves
working with data, organizing it, breaking it
into manageable units, synthesizing it, searching
for patterns, discovering what is important and
what is to be learned, and deciding what you
will tell others. (Bogdan & Biklen, 1982, p. 145)
Stevenson (1986) noted that the qualitative researcher
is at a disadvantage when compared to those involved
with quantitative research because of the absence of
formal rules for data analysis. Patton (1980) cited
the intellectual rigor, perseverance, creativity, and
insight of the researcher as the intangibles needed
to make sense out of the data. By returning to the
data over and over again to search for categories,
explanations, and interpretations which make sense,
the researcher can achieve explanations which accur-
ately reflect the nature of the phenomena studied.


76
Analysis During Field Work
Analysis of data began while gathering data in
the field. The use of data recording forms was one
way in which data were organized during field work.
As soon as possible after each data gathering session,
the researcher completed a summary record for each
type of activity gathered. The specific format and
content of these summary records were developed as
the analysis proceeded, and each contained information
about the main issues or themes of the activity,
information which pertained to the research questions,
salient and illuminating aspects of the event, and
any new questions which were generated from the event.
This type of analysis during field work allowed the
researcher to cycle back and forth between existing
data and strategies for collecting new and often
better quality data during subsequent data gathering
opportunities.
Analysis during field work forces the researcher
to make decisions which help to narrow the study,
enables the researcher to write observer comments
during the course of observation, and helps in the
reformulation and assessment of original research


77
questions (Bogdan & Biklen, 1982). Lofland (1971)
described this process as "analysis by default"
because the researcher, while not being able to pre-
sent everything in a description, begins the selec-
tion of some things from a larger body of material.
Data Review and Reduction
Goetz and LeCompte (1984) suggested that, at the
conclusion of data gathering, analysis continue by
reviewing the original proposal to see if research
has wandered from the original purpose. They also
encouraged scanning of data to check for complete-
ness (or gaps) and to reacquaint oneself with the
territory covered.
Because the goal of data gathering in qualita-
tive research is detail and depth of description, the
result is massive amounts of field notes, observation
records, interview transcripts, and document review
summaries. Data reduction is needed to put the raw
data into manageable proportions. Data reduction is
the "selecting, focusing, simplifying, abstracting,
and transforming the 'raw' data that appear in
written-up field notes" (Miles & Huberman, 1984, p.
21) .


78
Coding is one way of developing and refining
interpretations of the data.
Codes are categories. They usually derive from
research questions, hypotheses, key concepts, or
important themes. They are retrieval and
organizing devices that allow the analyst to
spot quickly, pull out, then cluster all the
segments relating to the particular question,
hypothesis, concept, or theme. (Miles & Huberman,
1984, p. 56)
Miles and Huberman (1984) suggested that developing
codes prior to field work is helpful because it forces
the researcher to tie research questions directly to
the data. They cautioned, however, that the codes
need to be adjusted when they look inapplicable, over-
built, ill-fitting, or overly abstract. Another,
more inductive approach is to suspend the development
of codes until some data are collected and the
researcher can see how the data more naturally can be
grouped.
The more inductive approach to coding was used
for this study. Codes were developed after the
initial observation sessions and reflected the focus
of the research questions as well as the nature of the
data gathered during early observation. These codes
were used and expanded during subsequent observation
and interview sessions. The coding strategies
presented by Bodan and Biklen (1982) were the


framework for development of codes in this study.
These strategies included the following:
79
1. Setting/context codesdirected at general
information on setting, subjects, or location.
2. Activity codesdirected at regularly
occurring kinds of activities.
3. Contact codesdirected at the individuals
or groups with whom the subject had contact.
4. Content codesdirected at the topics or
content addressed during work activities.
5. Strategy codesdirected at the tactics,
methods, techniques, maneuvers, ploys, and other
conscious ways the subjects managed their activities
and time.
Taylor and Bogdan (1984) urged that all data be
used in the coding process to be sure that codes are
developed to fit the data rather than forcing data
into codes. Miles and Huberman (1984) pointed out
the tendency which people habitually have
to overweight facts they believe in or depend
on, to forget data not going in the direction of
their reasoning, and to see confirming
instances far more easily than disconfirming
instances, (p. 216)


80
They also cited the need to consider "outliers"
(unusual or atypical events) in order to be able to
identify that which is typical or usual.
A good look at exceptions can test and strengthen
the basic finding. It not only tests the
generality of the finding, but protects against
self-selecting biases. (Miles & Huberman, 1984,
p. 237)
Memoing
Memoing, another data analysis strategy suggested
by Miles and Huberman (1984) was used in this study.
In discussing this strategy, they referred to Glaser's
(1978) definition of memoing.
[A memo is] the theorizing write-up of ideas
about codes and their relationships as they
strike the analyst while coding ... it can
be a sentence, a paragraph or a few pages . .
it exhausts the analyst's momentary ideation
based on data with perhaps a little conceptual
elaboration. (p. ,69)
Memoing can be used to move the analyst from
data to a conceptual level. It is a further refine-
ment and expansion of codes which allows the develop-
ment of key categories and relationships. Miles and
Huberman (1984) advised that priority should always be
given to memoing. Whenever ideas strike the
researcher, he or she should stop whatever else is
being done and write them down, even if they are
"foggy" or "fuzzy." They further advised that memoing


should begin as soon as the first field data are
analyzed.
81
Typological Analysis
A final step in data analysis that was used in
this study was the development of working typologies
as defined by Goetz and LeCompte (1984). The coding
of data enabled the researcher to manage the large
quantities of data and the memoing techniques
began the process of organizing the coded chunks of
data into related categories. The creation of working
typologies allowed for the emergence of constructs
which integrated coded data with the researcher's
inductive structure which was generated through memo-
ing.
Ethnographers usually begin with a form of
analytic induction. This strategy involves
scanning the data for categories of phenomena
and for relationships among such categories,
developing working typologies and hypotheses
upon an examination of initial cases, then
modifying and refining them on the basis of
subsequent cases. (Goetz & LeCompte, 1984,
p. 180)
Once the working typologies were created, coded
chunks of data were compared to the typologies to
discover patterns and relationships in the data.
This is the process by which a researcher begins to
build a baseline description of the social setting


82
under study (Goetz & LeCompte, 1984). In this study
the typologies which emerged from the data analysis
were the basis upon which the school superinten-
dent's work activities and use of time are described
in Chapters IV and V.
Quality Issues
Validity and Reliability
A frequent objection to participant observation
is the absence of standardized tests of validity and
reliability. Cusick (1973) maintained that internal
validity, the extent to which researchers actually
observe or measure what they think they are observing
or measuring, is strengthened by qualitative metho-
dology.
As one lives close to a situation, his descrip-
tion and explanation of it have a first-person
quality which other methodologies lack. AS he
continues to live close to and moves deeper into
that situation his perceptions have a validity
that is simply unapproachable by any so-called
standardized method. Likewise, as his validity
becomes better, so his reliability, which is an
extension of his validity, becomes better. As
the researcher is the actual instrument, as he
becomes more aware, more valid, so he must of
necessity become more reliable, (p. 231)
Goetz and LeCompte (1984) also viewed the inter-
nal validity as a strength of qualitative research.


83
They asserted that internal validity is assured
through the practice of collecting data over extended
periods of time, conducting interviews with subjects
and other informants, observing in natural settings
which reflect most accurately the life experiences of
subjects, and analyzing in a way which incorporates
self-monitoring and disciplined subjectivity.
This study attempted to achieve the close-
ness described by Cusick. The research design also
addressed the extended time frame for collecting data
in the natural setting, the use of interviewing, and
the self-monitoring as presented by Goetz and
LeCompte.
Webb et al. (1966) also identified consistency
of the research instrument as a means to improve
internal validity. As stated by Miles and Huberman
(1984) :
Most qualitative researchers work alone in the
field. Each is a one-person research machine:
defining the problem, doing the sampling,
designing the instruments, collecting the
information, reducing the information, analyzing
it, interpreting it, writing it up. A vertical
monopoly, (p. 230)
This study was no exception. The researcher was the
sole instrument and consistency in performing his


84
role addressed the internal validity issue of consis-
tency of instrumentation.
External validity refers to the extent that the
results of one study may be generalized across popula-
tions and settings (Goetz & LeCompte, 1984) A
general criticism of the participant observer method
is that since the subjects are usually limited in
number and selected by chance, the resulting data,
while interesting, are not transferable. Cusick
(1973) agreed that, on a superficial level, this might
appear to be true. However, he stated:
Those of us who undertake such studies feel that
men are more alike than they are different, and
what is reasonable behavior for one human being
in a given situation will, at least in some way,
be reasonable behavior for others given the same
situation. Furthermore, a good description of
the behavior of individuals in any situation can
be intelligible to an individual regardless of
the difference between that individual and the
subjects, (p. 5)
Therefore, external validity in this study was
enhanced through the careful description of work
activities, events, settings, and situations in which
the subjects were observed. This allows readers of
the study to compare their situations to those
described and find a common ground of reference.
This ability to compare, or comparability, is referred
to by Goetz and LeCompte (1984) as one issue of


Full Text

PAGE 1

WORK ACTIVITIES AND TIME MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES OF METROPOLITAN SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS by DEAN TERRY HUBER B.A., North Central College, 1969 M.A., University of Northern Colorado, 1973 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy School of Education 1988

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This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy degree by Dean Terry Huber has been approved for the School of Education by

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Huber, Dean Terry (Ph.D., Education) Work Activities and Time Management Strategies of Metropolitan School superintendents Thesis directed by Professor Richard P. Koeppe This research examined the daily work activities and time management strategies of successful public school superintendents. Qualitative methodology was selected for this studyand data gathering was accomplished through observations and interviews. Two Denver Metropolitan Area superintendents were observed and interviewed to obtain the majority of hard data. Additional and confirming data were obtained from interviews with the superintendents' secretaries and one senior administrative staff member. Three additional superintendents were interviewed to gather supplemental data and to react to the study's findings. Work activity findings were analyzed and presented in seven categories of type of work activity and 11 categories of work activity content. Findings related to time management were presented in a descriptive. format. The superintendents spent a substantial amount of their time in face-to-face contacts with administrators and staff members assigned to their districts' central offices. Superintendents initiated a majority of their contacts, and

PAGE 4

iv telephone calls for the general purpose of gathering information needed to make decisions and manage the districts' affairs. The most frequently observed content of work activities were matters concerned with board of education activities and communications. The pace of work activities and the frequency of interruptions to the superintendents' workday indicated that efficient use and control of time are essential. The traditional time management strategies frequently observed enabled the superintendents to control time spent on routine activities and create more time for priority matters. The presence of major district events and issues, such as mill levy elections and major policy changes, had a substantial impact on the superintendents' work activities and use of time. The findings of this research are consistent with prior research on the superintendency. The two superintendents who were observed in this study were both successful but each had individual preferences for use of time and utilized different time management strategies. These findings have implications for the preparation of future superintendents and continued training of and assistance to practitioners.

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The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication. v

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vi ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The author expresses gratitude to Dr. Richard Koeppe for guidance and assistance throughout this project. His suggestions for reinterpretation of the data and presentation of findings were very helpful. The author also thanks Dr. Russell Meyers for his concern for quality, encouragement, and helpful criticism. A very special thank you goes to the two superintendents who permitted the author to observe their everyday activities. Even though they are busy individuals, they gave some of their precious time to someone who wanted to study how successful superintendents use and manage their time. Thanks also to the secretaries, senior staff members and other metropolitan superintendents who contributed their perceptions to this study. Finally, the biggest thanks of all to my wife Deborah, and to my boys, Andrew and Jeffrey, for their encouragement and patience.

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CONTENTS CONTENTS I. INTRODUCTION 1 II. Statement of the Problem Purpose and Value of the study Definitions .. Limitations .. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Introduction History of the Superintendency Legal Status of the Superintendency and the Relationship with the 3 4 6 8 10 10 11 Board of Education . . . . 13 Board of Education--Specific Duties. 13 Board of Education--Specific Powers. 14 Superintendent's Role .. Related Studies. Managers' and Superintendents' Use of ........ Work Activity Studies--Qualitative 18 20 20 Methodology. . . . 26 Time and Activity studies ... ... 28 superintendents and Effective Schools. . 31 Summary . . . . . . 3 3

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viii III. METHODOLOGY. . . . . . 35 Justification and Appropriateness. . 35 Characteristics of Qualitative Research . . . . . 39 Issues and Limitations in Qualitative Research 45 Subjectivity 45 Researcher Bias .. 46 Data Collection Limitations .. 48 Selection of Superintendents . 50 Researcher/Subject Relationship. 54 Data Collection .. 56 Structured Observation 56 Role of the Observer 61 Observer Effects 65 Interviews . . . 69 Participant Self-Reporting 73 Document Review ... 74 Analysis 75 Analysis During Field Work 76 Data Review and Reduction. 77 Memoing ....... 80 Typological Analysis 81 Quality Issues 82 Validity and Reliability 82 Triangulation ....... 87

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IV. Reaction to Data Analysis by the Subjects . . . FINDINGS Description of Subjects. Work Activity and Content' of Work 90 92 93 Activity Categories. . . 99 Identification of Categories 99 Work Activity Findings 110 Time Distribution By Activity Category . . . . . 114 Time Distribution by Work Activities Categories .. 115 Contacts and Conferences . . 120 Contacts and Conferences -Who Participates . . . . . 123 Contacts and Conferences -How Long . . . . . 12 6 Contacts and Conferences -Who Initiates ............. 127 Contacts and Conferences -Where 128 Contacts and conferences -Size of Group . . . . 130 Contacts and Conferences -Scheduled or Unscheduled Meetings . . . . . Meetings -Who Participates. Meetings -How Long. . . Meetings -Who Initiates 131 133 . . 136 . 138 139 Meetings -Scheduled or Unscheduled. 141 ix

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Telephone Contacts . . . . 142 Telephone Contacts -Who Participates . . . . . 144 Telephone Contacts -How Long. . 145 Telephone Contacts -Who Initiates 145 Telephone Contacts -Where . 146 Desk Work. . . .. 147 Desk Work -How Long . 148 Desk Work -Mail and Written Communication. ... 152 Visitations and Observations . 155 Summary of Work Activities .. 156 Content of Work Activity Findings ... 157 Definitions of Content Categories .. 158 Time Distribution by Content Categories . . 159 Board of Education Activity and Communication. . . . . . 162 Supervising Administrators Instruction, Teaching, and curriculum . . . Personnel and Evaluation . 168 . 170 171 Public Relations and Community Affairs. . .... . 172 Business and Finance . 173 Managing and Policy Implementation 174 General Administration 174 General Contacts . .... 175 X

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v. Other. . . 176 Campaigning and Election . 17 6 Summary. . 177 Time Management Techniques and Strategies ........... 178 Use of Secretaries 178 Car Phone. . 18 7 Computers. 189 simultaneous Activity. . 190 Files ... 191 Delegation 193 Summary .. . 194 DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ..... . 195 Discussion of Findings . . 197 Overall Work Activities. 197 Board of Education Activities. 198 Focus on Personal Contacts The superintendent and Information. . The superintendent and Pace . 201 2 07 of Work Activities . . . 213 The Superintendent and Time Management . . 220 The Impact of Events and Issues on Work Activities . . 234 Summary ... 240 Recommendations .. 241 xi

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xii Recommendations and Implications for Practitioners ........ 241 Recommendations for Future Research . 242 REFERENCES .. 245 APPENPICES .. 253 A. INTERVIEW GUIDES. 254 B. DATA RECORD FORMS . 279 c. DATA TABLES 287 D. CORRESPONDENCE AND QUESTIONNAIRE. 296

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xiii TABLES TABLE 1. Length of Contacts and Conferences ..... 127 2. Group Size for Contacts and Conferences ... 131 3. Scheduled and Unscheduled Contacts and Conferences. . . . . . . 132 4. Length of Meetings . . . . . 139 5. Source of Meeting Initiation . 141 6. Length of Telephone Contacts . . 146 7. Length of Desk Work Sessions . . . 151 8. Distribution of Time in Content Categories 160

PAGE 14

FIGURE 1. FIGURES Distribution of time by activity categories--Superintendent Adams. 2. Distribution of time by activity categories--Superintendent Adams; xiii 116 before election . . . 117 3. Distribution of time by activity categories--Superintendent Adams; after election. . . . . 117 4. Distribution of time by activity categories--Superintendent Brown. . 118

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FIGURE 1. 2. 3. 4. FIGURES Distribution of time by activity categories--Superintendent Adams. Distribution of time by activity categories--Superintendent Adams; before election . . . . Distribution of time by activity categories--Superintendent Adams; after election. . . . . Distribution of time by activity categories--Superintendent Brown. xiv 116 117 117 118

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XV DATA RECORD EXCERPTS EXCERPT 1. Field Notes Summary -Superintendent Adams -11/17/87 ............ 102 2. Chronology Record -Superintendent Brown -1/6/88 .......... 108 3. Chronology Record -Superintendent Adams -11/18/87 ............ 129 4. Phone Record -Superintendent Adams -11/17/87. . . . . . 143 5. Activity Record -Superintendent Adams -1/20/88 . . . . . 149 6. Chronology Record -Superintendent Adams -11/18/87. . . . .. 150 7. Superintendent Adams Communication Summary . . . . 153 8. Superintendent Brown -Written Communication Summary . . . . 154 9. Sample Week from Superintendent Brown's Calendar ............ 182 10. Secretary's Responses to Dictated Instructions -Superintendent Brown . 184 11. Contact Record -Superintendent Brown -12/15/87 ............ 192 12. Contact Record -Superintendent Brown -1/8/88 ............. 203 13. Activity Record -Superintendent Adams -11/17/87 ........... 211

PAGE 17

CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION The role of the superintendent of schools has been studied from varied perspectives. Few of the studies in the last two decades, however, have been undertaken to investigate how the chief school executives of local districts functioned in the job and to explain why they functioned the way they did. Aside from a few biographies which recount the experiences of pioneering school administrators, research has, for the most part, centered on the simple compilation of superficial and largely unconnected modal characteristics of superintendents or on issues to which the superintendency is of only tangential concern. (Pitner & Ogawa, 1981, p. 45) Considering the assertion made by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) that the superintendent, "more than any other single person in the community, influences the shape of public educa-tion" (AASA, 1965, p. 1), the need to have reliable research on how superintendents function becomes evident. The survey research which details what salaries superintendents receive, what degrees they earn, and how old they are gives interesting

PAGE 18

information, but tells very little about what they actually do each day to fulfill the role of chief executive. 2 Simply examining the literature concerning the role of the superintendent does not provide needed information. Griffiths (1966) stated that throughout its existence the role of superintendent has been ambiguous with some believing the role should be that of an educator (philosopher-statesman-innovator) and others supporting a business manager (efficiency expert) type. Callahan (1972) concluded that the ambiguity was finally resolved in favor of the business resource manager responsibility while others, including Murphy and Ballinger (1980), have promoted the instructional leader model. With this continuing ambiguity and lack of agreement about the superintendent's role, it would seem to be both desirable and legitimate to observe and describe school superintendents going about the conduct of their daily work to develop further definitions, concepts, theory, and role descriptions related to administrative behavior.

PAGE 19

3 Statement of the Problem The research problem of this study was to describe the work activities of successful public school superintendents and the ways in which they controlled the use of their time. Using a qualitative research approach, the problem was investigated by observing and interviewing two successful Colorado school superintendents, interviewing three additional superintendents and interviewing other key informants. The majority of data was collected through the role of passive participant observer in order to document the patterns of routine activities which occurred. Sub jective interpretations were obtained from the subjects and other informants through structured and unstructured interviews. Descriptions of observed work activities, enumeration documenting their frequency, and perceptions of the subjects concerning their work are reported. Results of the study are reported in the following manner: Chapter II: Review of the Literature--Focuses on literature describing the superintendency, specifically that describing the structure, content, and frequency of the superintendent's daily activities.

PAGE 20

4 Chapter III: Methodology--Reports the processes of observing and interviewing subjects and explains the rationale for using a qualitative approach. Chapter IV: Findings--Presents and analyzes the data gathered. Chapter V: Discussion of Findings and Recommen-dations--Presents a summary of the findings, recommen-dations and implications for practitioners, and recommendations for further research. Purpose and Value of the S.tudy The purpose of this study was to learn how successful school superintendents use and manage their time, and for what activities their time is used. The qualitative study approach was used only to describe the work of superintendents in the context of its natural setting and not to prove or disprove any theory. In contrast to some quantitative analyses, this study did not engage in the systematic testing of theory or hypothesis. current information on the superintendency can be misleading. The popular notions of the superintendent's duties are obtained from textbooks, periodicals, newspaper accounts, and sporadic personal

PAGE 21

5 contacts. Such sources of information would lead. one to the conclusion that a superintendent passes time philosophizing upon education and the state of youth, in planning an on-going curriculum, deciding how a financial pie should be cut, making awards, shuffling papers, supervising a teacher's handling of a learning unit, erecting a building, running a meeting of the board of education, and occasionally firing a coach. That he does all these things is true. To assume that this is the substance of his work load is grossly misleading. (Wilson, 1960, p. 21) Spindler (1963) made the insightful observation that men in positions of educational power rely pri-marily on oral tradition to train, to incorporate, and to replace one another. Clinton, in his monograph on leadership in education, asserted that research on successful administrators is needed to meet the "opportunity today to change school leadership for the better" (1987, p. 3). He stated that 40 percent of current administr.ators will retire within ten years and now is the time to be training replacements. He indicated that the behavior of leaders who have "turned schools around" must be analyzed and used with the great middle 9round of administrators who "want to make a difference but are besieged by oppres-sive bureaucracy want to be leaders, but they don't know how or don't have time" (Clinton, 1987, p. 3). In addition to the high rate of retirements expected during the next few years, Peterson and Finn

PAGE 22

(1985) cited rising school enrollments, a keen interest in the quality of elementary and secondary 6 schooling, and the attention being given to education by governors, legislators, business leaders, and other influential laymen as providing an authentic chance to make improvements in the training of administra-tors. The value of this study is in the description of the ways which incumbents deal with the work of the superintendency and in the ways they manage their time to conduct everyday affairs. The study should be of interest to those contemplating the school superintendency and who need to know what a superin-tendent actually does. It should also be of help to practitioners already in the field who are interested in comparing their work activities and use of time with successful peers. Definitions The search for successful performance in the role of school superintendent is compounded by the nebulous nature of that post, by the hundreds of different opinions of what constitutes success, by the fact that no two environments in which superintendents operate are identical, and by the fact that no two persons capped with the title perform in identical fashion or are cut from the same cloth. (Wilson, 1979, p. 4)

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7 Halpin (1957) noted that there is usually widespread disagreement between groups regarding the superintendent's role; that different interest groups w.ill have differing expectations. Because of the difficulty in finding a universal role description of a superintendent and, therefore, difficulty in defining what success in that role really looks like, this study used a fairly loose criteria for and definition of success. The following terms and definitions will be used throughout this study. Successful--"Coming about, taking place, or turning out to be as was hoped for; having a favorable result" (Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language, 1966). For the purpose of this study, a successful superintendent was an individual who had achieved longevity (more than five years) in the current superintendency and had a reputation of success among peers and others who were familiar with his or her work. Superintendent of Schools--The chief executive or administrative head of the school district. Qualitative Research--A methodology which strives to describe literally, in completeness, the way of

PAGE 24

life of a particular group or individual. In this study the individual was the superintendent but the focus of attention was placed on work activity, not on the person. Work Activity--The unit of active involvement for a school superintendent engaging in a task. A work activity changed when the participants and/or media changed. Work Content--The topics, issues, or problems addressed during work activities. 8 Time Management--A deliberate, controlled effort or action taken to achieve efficiency and effectiveness in the use of time. Limitations This study has identifiable limitations in the following areas: Number of Subjects--The small sample size was due to the data-gathering methods wnich were used. Choice of subjects--Selection was done based on partial information about subjects, depended on willingness to participate, and was influenced by the level of informedness of nominators.

PAGE 25

9 Time of Year and Amount of Observation Time--The work activity of superintendents varies throughout the school year. The observation of a superintendent's full work year is needed to see a full cycle of activity.

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CHAPTER II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Introduction This chapter reviews the research relevant to this study. The focus of the literature search was on descriptions of what superintendents do by virtue of being in that posit.ion. Needless to say, describing the work of the typical or average superintendent of schools is a difficult task because there is no typical or average superintendent, school district, or work day. However, one would hope to find descriptions of common activities that niight happen in the office of any superintendent and to that apply some conceptual scheme that would allow generalizations to be made. The review of the literature found that such information is limited. While there are numerous studies of the superintendency, most provided inadequate descriptions of the structure and content of the superintendent's work-related activities. An obvious

PAGE 27

11 need exists for more detailed descriptions of superintendents work. History of the Superintendency With the focus of this literature review on securing a general picture of the everyday activities of the modern-day superintendent, certain information on the superintendency was not included in the review. For example, the historical development of the superintendency.has been adequately covered by Callahan (1966); Campbell, Cunningham, and McPhee (1965); Cuban (1976); and Griffiths (1966). Three important points were made in these.historical reviews, however, which should be considered when examining the superintendent's work. First, the position emerged as the complexity of and responsibility for supervising education became more than could be handled by unpaid lay members of boards of education. Therefore, the first superintendents were given responsibilities that the boards were charged to do but were unable to fulfill adequately (Cuban, 1976). The second point is that boards of education have never relinquished all their to

PAGE 28

12 the superintendents. Legally, they are prohibited from doing so. As early as 1894, former Cleveland Superintendent Hinsdale reminded his readers that the first superintendent's duties "originated in the delegation to him of powers every one of which belonged to the board and that the board still often exercises" (Cuban, 1976, p. 111). Discussion of the separation of responsibilities between boards and superintendents continues today. Callahan made a third point when he described the changing conception of the superintendency between 1865 and 1965 in terms of four dominant roles. These roles, one succeeding another, were: scholarly educator (1865-1910), business manager (1919-1930), educational statesman (1930-1954), and expert in applied social science (1954-present). If Callahan's conception of the changing role of the superintendent is accepted, then it appears that one must also accept the idea that the work of the superintendent changed as the role changed. Each of these points (the superintendency grew out of board of education responsibilities, boards continue to retain responsibilities to varying degrees, and the role of superintendent continues to

PAGE 29

13 change over time) indicates that the work activity of superintendents has not been constant. Furthermore, it probably will always be subject to change. Legal Status of the Superintendency and the Relationship with the Board of Education The superintendent's authority is formally derived from state law and irt rules and regulations of boards of education which outline the responsibilities, powers, and duties of the superintendent. (Pitner, 1978, p. 1) "By legal definition the schbol board is the formal policy-making organ of a public school system and the superintendent is its executive officer" (Gross, 1958, p. 100). Colorado statutes provide for the hiring of school superintendents but provide no specific provisions or descriptions concerning the superintendent's role or function. Board of Education--Specific Duties To employ all personnel required to maintain the operations and carry out the educational programs of the district, and to fix and order paid their compensation. (Colorado Revised 1973, 22-32-109 [f]) Board of Education--Specific Powers To employ a chief executive officer to administer the affairs and the programs of the district, pursuant to a contract. (Colorado Revised statutes, 1973, 22-32-llO[g])

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14 Few states' statutes define the school superin-tendency; most have simply authorized the creation of the position. McCann (cited in Knezevich, 1984) reported that school codes in only about half the states define the relationship between the board of education and the superintendent, and that the courts of 13 states have declared superintendents to be officers of the board, whereas six others ruled they are employees. The position of superintendent is clearly subor-dinate to the board of education throughout the United States. The superintendent reports to the board, the board hires and fires superintendents, and the board evaluates the superintendent; consequently, the board can have a major influence on the work activities in which the superintendent engages. Dykes (1965) identified a superintendent's major responsibility to be keeping the board of education informed. In a study performed by PROBE (Practical Research into Organizational Behavior and Effective-ness, 1979), superintendents were asked to rank tasks according to the amount of time each consumes. In large districts (over 5,000 student enrollment) superintendents ranked "school board relations and \

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15 activities" as most time-consuming. In the total sample of districts, respondents ranked this item third (Duea, 1980). In his shadow study of San Francisco School Superintendent Robert Alioto, Feilders stated: Among those who take the superintendent's time and shape his activities, the school board members are the most influential. They account for one-quarter of his time in meetings and also for much of the remaining time either in preparing for or following up on those meetings . Notably, less than 15% of their discussion at a typical board meeting refers to teaching and learning problems in the schools. This orientation directly reflects on the superintendent's agenda and limits his range of discretionary (1982, p. 97) Gross (1958) attempted to study the degree of consensus within boards of education and between boards and superintendents as a way of accounting for the variability of behavior of incumbents in the superintendency. While this work was a theoretical test of hypotheses pertaining to role theory, it sug-gested that recognizing that there are different expectations held by boards for superintendents' behavior and attributes is for understanding how they behave and perform their work. The time devoted to board relations and activi-ties can substantially increase when conflict exists between the board and superintendent. The axiom that

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"administrators should stay out of policy and that board members should refrain from intervening in administrative affairs" (Institute for Educational Leadership, 1986, pp. 26-27) is not that simple to follow. In the day-to-day management of a school district these lines become blurred. Without a 16 constant dialogue between the superintendent and the board about roles and measures of accountability on who is responsible for what, conflict can erupt. Constant communication is a superintendent activity highly recommended by Arnez (1981), Dykes (1965), Gross (1958), and Getzels, Lipham, and Campbell (1968) in order to avoid unnecessary conflict. Gross (1958) pointed out the need for super-intendants to give time and attention to individual board members as well as to the board as a whole. There is another aspect of school board behavior that deserves attention. Many school board members who are well motivated have ill-defined or hazy notions about their jobs. In some school systems board members spend most of their time dealing with trivial matters and display little interest in the more crucial school problems such as curriculum improvement. Some school board members act as if they as individuals had the right to make decisions, which is prerogative of the entire school board. Some school board members act as if they, rather than the superintendent, had the right to administer the policy decisions of the board. (p. 139)

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17 Getzels et al. (1968) indicated that part of potential conflict between the superintendent and an individual board member is the result of the existence of differing reference groups. For board members the major reference group is the local community, a "local orientation" to the district's constituents. The superintendent's major reference group is fellow administrators, a "cosmopolitan orientation" to the profession. At times the board members' attitude of "what is good for the community" can be at odds with the superintendents' attitude of "what is good professional practice." In summary, the daily work activities of superintendents are influenced more by the board's expectations than by the expectations of any other group. Furthermore, the literature supports the need for superintendents to spend more time for and engage in activities which maintain and promote positive relationships between the superintendent and board as a whole, between the superintendent and individual board members, and between board members themselves. If time is not spent avoiding conflict, there is a good possibility that more time will need to be spent resolving conflict at a later time.

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18 as pointed out by Dykes, "in the final analysis, the superintendent's job is what he and the board perceive it to be" (1965, p. 67). Superintendent's Role One way to study the everyday work activities of superintendents is to determine what activities are suggested in the listings of major functions of super-. intendants. Numerous publications from professional associations and school board associations give comprehensive lists of roles and responsibilities of superintendents. Such publications include Principles of Effective School District Governance and Administration (1984), Selecting a Superintendent (1979), Roles and Relationships: School Boards and Superintendents (1980), all joint publications of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) and the National School Boards Association (NSBA), and Evaluating the Superintendent (AASA, 1980). The numerous functions of the superintendent were also outlined in an Educational Policies Commission Report, The Unique Role of the Superintendent of Schools, (1965) which specified how the roles are interrelated. The superintendent has many functions, but all are focused on a single goal: to provide for

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19 the best education in his community. This means creating the conditions in which the teacher can perform to the best of his ability . assisting the school board in the formulation of policies governing the school system. . Aspects of his job include management, school budget, finding solutions of day-to-day problems, morale of the staff and the art of human relations. In short the superintendent is a teacher, politician, philosopher, student of life, public relations counselor, and businessman. All of these aspects are involved in the central role of leadership. (p. 7) Carlson (1972); Merrow, Foster, and Estes (1974); and Boyd (1976) referred to the increased need for superintendents to have skills to engage in political activities. Zeigler's, Kehoe's, and Reisman's (1985) three-year study compared the conflict management behavior of school superintendents and city managers. They found that while superintendents spent substan-tially less time resolving conflict with their legis-lative bodies (boards of education) than did city managers with their city councils, the need for political activity on the part of superintendents could not be avoided. In his sample of over 1,000 advertisements for school superintendent positions, Chand (1983) found that "political astuteness" was in the top 20 of most frequently listed task requirements for superintendents.

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20 While these lists, reports, and studies provide general categories of work-related activities for superintendents, they do not reveal anything about the way superintendents actually act. The value of this literature to research on superintendents' work activity comes forward when the content of work activ-ity can be related to the roles and responsibilities the superintendent is trying to fulfill. Related Studies Managers' and Superintendents' Use of Time A major study conducted outside the field of education, but which has relevance to the work activ-ity studies of school superintendents, was done by Carlson (1951) in the early 1950s. Carlson analyzed the work of ten directors of various Western European businesses via the diary method. He concluded that managers rarely had uninterrupted time, had little control over their own workdays, spent much of their time with visitors, and sent less written information than they received. Of major significance was his finding that managers could lengthen duration of activities through better use of secretaries and delegating work.

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21 Mintzberg (1973) included a school superinten-dent in a study of five managers and their work activities. He concluded that: Managerial activities may be divided into three groups -those that are concerned primarily with interpersonal relationships, those that deal primarily with transfer of information, and those that involve decision-making. (p. 56) By focusing on the structure, content, and time expenditure of managerial work Mintzberg was able to identify ten roles or functions which he divided into three groups--interpersonal roles, informational roles, and decision roles. The roles of figurehead, liaison, and leader emanated from his' interpersonal role which placed the manager in a unique position to obtain information. The three informational roles--monitor, disseminator, and spokesman--gave the manager unique access to information, and coupled with his special status and authority, placed him in a position where organizational decisions were made. He specified the decisional roles as entrepreneur, disturbance handler, resource allocator, and negotiator. (Pitner, 1978, p. 37) Two of Mintzberg's (1973) findings are relevant to this research because they help explain the nature of work activity and the amount of time given to certain activities. He found differences between the suburban superintendent and other subjects of his study and concluded that, for the superintendent "there are more scheduled meetings, more clocked

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22 meetings, more formal authority requests, and a ten-dency to present analyses in the form of printed reports" (p. 236). He further concluded that the public (or quasi-public) organization chief executives: faced more complex coalitions of external forces . spent more time in formal activity and more time meeting with outside groups, clients, and directors. Decisions taken in public organizations are more sensitive politically; hence there is a need to weigh more carefully the concerns of special interest groups and to be more careful about legitimizing the actions taken. (p. 108). The second significant finding from this study concerns the work activity level of managers. Mintzberg noted that managers' daily activity is quite hectic. The primary occupational hazard of the manager is superficiality. Because of the open-ended nature of his job and because of his responsibility for information processing and strategymaking, the manager is induced to take on a heavy load of work, and to do much of it superficially. Hence, his work pace is unrelenting and his work activities are characterized by brevity, variety, and fragmentation. (p. 5) Mintzberg emphasized that he did not focus on the time of crisis in the life of managers, but observed day-to-day activities. He reported that half of the observed routine activities were completed in less than nine minutes, and only one-twelfth took

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23 more than an hour. Mintzberg's conclusions contradict Carlson's (1981) contention that managers can easily lengthen the average duration of their activities by making better use of secretaries and by delegating work. Mintzberg (1973) stated: [Managers] . chose not to free themselves of interruption or to give themselves much free time. To a large extent, it was the chief executives themselves who determined the duration of their activities managers, not the other parties, terminated many of the meetings and telephone calls, and the managers frequently left meetings before they ended. They frequently interrupted their desk work to place telephone calls or to request that subordinates come by. (p. 34) The managers' tendencies to invite interruptions but also keep activities brief were interpreted to be deliberate so as to not interrupt the flow of information which managers need to do the.ir The negative side of this behavior is the superficial appearance of the managers' work activities. To deal consciously with this superficiality, Mintzberg advised managers to consider various levels of personal involvement; e.g., (1) they should delegate a significant number of activities, (2) they should handle some issues in a marginal way where they should only be involved to authorize the final decision, and

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24 (3) they should continue to give special attention to the most complex and sensitive issues. Some studies have been patterned after Mintzberg's work to broaden the research on superin-tendents' work activities. Pitner (1978) followed this model in her studies of six superintendents. "The central purpose of the Pitner studies was to observe, describe, and analyze the actual on-the-job behavior of the suburban superintendents" (Pitner & Ogawa, 1981, p. 46). The superintendents were observed to spend 80% of their time involved in direct interaction with people in unscheduled and scheduled meetings, telephone conversations, school facility tours, and conferences. The remaining time was spent in desk work involving reading and the writing of letters, memoranda, and reports or in travel to and from meetings. Two major clusters of patterns emerged from Pitner's studies of superintendents' behavior: 1. Superintending is co:nlmunicating. The communication is characteristically brief and fragmented and usually involved subordinates but often involved board of education members and members of the community at large. 2. Superintendents are constrained by social and organizational structures, but yet control a major part of their day-to-day work and exert an important organizational influence. (Pitner & Ogawa, 1981, p. 49)

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25 Approximately every ten years, the American Association of School Administrators has conducted a national survey of school superintendents. The major portion of these studies has focused on demographic information. The 1971 and 1982 surveys also asked superintendents to choose from a list of 15 factors, the two that most constrained their effectiveness. The responses to this .item indicated the concern shared by superintendents about demands of the job and the time element. In 1971, the second most frequently chosen item was "too many insignificant demands upon the superintendent" (33.2%) and the fifth most frequently chosen was "lack of timejtoo much added responsibility" (21.7%). In 1982, "too many insignificant demands upon the superintendent" was again the second most frequently picked (34.2%), "lack of time" (22.8%) was third, and "too much added responsibility" (12.3%) was fifth on the list (Cunningham & Hentges, 1982, pp. 24, 25). Work Activity Studies -Qualitative Methodology Qualitative studies have been conducted using a small sample of superintendents' work activities for

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26 the purpose of describing the nature of superinten dents work. In his study of three big city superin-tendents and their responses to significant big city issues, Cuban {1976) used the analogy of a juggler: The superintendent is not unlike a juggler, who, in order to keep a dozen objects in the air on a windy day, must constantly move about, keeping his eyes roving; he may be very uncertain that he has the whole dozen, but he doesn't dare to stop to find out! (p. 167) Blumberg's {1985) study was based on interviews with 25 superintendents. "Living with conflict" was the central.theme on which Blumberg chose to focus. The metaphors he used to describe how various superintendents handled conflict were: movie producer, orchestra conductor, trout fisherman, tone setter, bus driver, creator of crisis, coach, obstacle remover, lightning rod, watchguard, greased barrel, sponge, and prostitute {pp. 33, 34). Wilson's {1960) account of actual situations encountered by a superintendent during a three-year period was equally enlightening. A partial list of situations included: --Established new boundary lines for the city's elementary school districts. --Male teacher found guilty of sodomy with high school boys.

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27 --A local patriotic.lodge demanded an investigation of all history books to determine extent of anti-American propaganda. --A rival contractor publicly accused the school building contractor of faulty and hazardous workmanship. --Athletic booster club conducted a stealthy campaign to have basketball coach dismissed. --Parents objected to special classes for gifted children (pp. 35-38). Feilders' (1982) three-month-long shadowing of only one superintendent provided an insightful look at the time demands, the board of education's influence on the superintendent's time and activities, the time management strategies of the superintendent, and the hectic work pace of the superintendent. Krajewski (1980) kept a personal chronolog of a typical day as the superintendent of a school district of about 7,700 students. This diary account, which is loaded with documentation of contacts made with subordinates, consultants, and constituents, confirmed Pitner's (1978) conclusion that "superintending is communicating."

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28 Time and Activity Studies Campbell et al. (1965) reported a study conducted by the Midwest Administration Group in 1958-59. Four superintendents in districts of varied size and character were each observed by a different observer for one-half day per week over a period of six months. The purpose of the study was to document the interactions of superintendents and the purposes of those interactions. They used the constructs of initiating structure and consideration proposed by John Hemphill (1958) to analyze and classify incidents collected through the observations. The researchers found that almost 70% of interactions were with members of the school organization, 12% with the school board, and only 17% with constituents ofthe district and community groups. The findings concerning purposes of interaction were consistent with Feilders' (1982) findings in that only 14% were directly related to instructionand learning. Morris (1979) used a self-reporting technique with 12 superintendents and found that only 12% of the issues addressed by superintendents over a period of 12 working days were related to curriculum and instruction. A 1974 study conducted by the New York

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29 State Office of Education Performance Review concentrated on the superintendents who managed the 300 largest school districts in New York State, exclusive of New York City. These superintendents were asked to assess their use of time. Again, the results were similar to other studies of time use. Superintendents in this study reported they spent almost 79% of their work time in fiscal and administrative activities and only slightly more than 10% of their time in the supervision of teaching and the evaluation of content and curriculum (New York state Office of Education Performance, 1974, p. iii). From interviews with superintendents in Massachusetts, Gross (1958) collected data which led to similar conclusions. He found a large discrepancy between the amount of time superintendents felt they should devote to the instructional program and the amount of time actually given to that function. The superintendents cited menial and trivial tasks as the major obstacles to having time for instructional leadership. Duignan (1980) used a structured observation approach with a sample of eight superintendents to

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30 answer the question, "What does a school superintendent actually do on the job?" (p. 7). His findings supported the conclusion that "superintending is communicating" in that approximately 70% of the superintendent's time was spent talking to people, either in scheduled or unscheduled meetings or on the telephone. Of particular interest are Duignan's findings on the problem of time control. He concluded that there are a number of reasons that make it difficult for the superintendent to spend his working time in accordance with pre-established plans and priorities. First is what he called the "chain reaction phenomenon." Duignan observed that certain activities or events often initiated a series of reactions from the superintendent that lasted for a whole morning, a whole day, or even longer. Secondly, the superintendents' practice of being readily accessible to subordinates tended to encourage impromptu interruptions. Thirdly, the superintendents had to meet a number of deadlines which placed added pressures on them and frequently caused issues to be dealt with in a quick and superficial manner. Finally, Duignan

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31 noted that the superintendents had no definite timeallocating procedures. The subjects rarely used an economizing view of alternative time use, in terms of a. return to time invested. In other words, the decision on what to do next was based on the subject's perception of the potential explosiveness of an issue. Superintendents and Effective Schools Cuban (1984) observed that recent research on effective schools has concentrated on the local school site and the principal's leadership. The broader perspective of the district-level influence is often missing from the researcher's analyses of effective schools. To ignore that the school is part of a larger organization and that pivotal roles are played by superintendents and boards of education in provid-ing resources and giving legitimacy to a reform effort provides only a partial picture of what is needed for effective schools. The interplay between central office and school site "can spell the difference between implementation success and failure" (Cuban, 1984, p. 132).

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32 The crucial role in the creation of effective schools which the superintendent plays is illustrated as follows: Given that the literature on effective schools suggests that no school can become effective without the visible and active involvement of a principal hip-deep in the elementary .school instructional program, then it also seems likely that no school board approving policies aimed at systematic improvement can hope to achieve that condition without a superintendent who sustains a higher than usual involvement in the district's instructional program. (Cuban, 1984, p. 146) Murphy and Hallinger's (1980) research focused on the superintendents in instructionally effective school districts. After identifying 12 of the most instructionally effective school districts in Cali-fornia, they used interviews with superintendents and analyses of district documents to develop descriptions of district-level policies, practices, and activities that these superintendents used to coordinate and control the instructional management activities of their principals. A summary of their results concerning superin-tendents' activities follows. The superintendents in these instructionally effective school districts reported that they were actively involved in managing and directing technical core activities in their districts. They used a variety of both direct and indirect leadership tools. They controlled the development of goals both at the district and school

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33 levels; they were influential in establishing procedures for the selection of staff; they took personal responsibility for the supervision and evaluation of principals; and they established and regularly monitored a district-wide instructional and curriculum focus. (Murphy & Hallinger, 1980, p. 220) . . . . . . . . . . . Superintendents in these IESD (instructionally effective school districts] also appear to invest a considerable amount of time and energy in practices and behaviors designed to ensure that the more global types of leadership actually trans late into "organizational events" that push the district toward its goals. (p. 229) Murphy and Ballinger's work linked work activi-ties of superintendents and the instructional effec-tiveness of the school districts which they lead. No other studies were found that made this connection. Summary This chapter summarized the remarkably thin research on the superintendent's leadership role and daily work activities. However, a substantial amount of information exists in the form of demographic characteristics and statistics about superintendents. As Cuban (1976) remarked, While we know to the penny what salaries administrators received, what degrees they earned, and where they were born, we know very little about what they, as executives actually do each day. (p. xiv)

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34 The small amount of information available confirms that further study is needed which treats the routine, everyday work life of the superintendent as the topic of inquiry and analysis.

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CHAPTER III METHODOLOGY The first part of this chapter presents justification for the use of a qualitative research approach for this study, describes the characteristics of qualitative research, and discusses the issues and limitations related to this approach. The remainder of the chapter describes the data collection and analysis methods that were used for this study. Justification and Appropriateness A qualitative research approach was used because the objective of this study was to describe the daily work activities of two superintendents. This study did not attempt to examine work activities from the perspective of predetermined descriptions of the role derived from sources external to the superintendents. This study did not begin with predetermined research hypotheses that predicted the relationship between the degree of success of superintendents and specific work activities or the way in which time is used.

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36 Wolcott criticized the empirically based research on school administrators. He argued that this approach "provides factual data which tend to tell too little about too much11 (1979, p. 380). His criti-cism continued: The literature.dealing with school administration might have been expected to serve as a source of information about administrative behavior, but that body of writings is susceptible to several of the limitations which characterize the literature of professional education more generally. One such limitation is that much of the literature is hortatory or normative in content. It tells principals [or superintendents] how they ought to act. It is prescriptive rather than descriptive. Literature of this type can provide a source for inqtiiring into the ideal world of formal education, but it fails to provide an account of what actually goes on or how the ideals are translated into real behavior. (p. 380) Griffiths (1966) also criticized the survey approach to studying administrative behavior. He first pointed out that the money usually available for research is insufficient for anything else to be done. He cautioned readers to be wary of those studies which have asked people to check a blank or to write down on a piece of paper the way they perceive themselves and then equate these reports of self-perception with actual behavior. A quantitative research approach, therefore, was not appropriate for this study because of the methods

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37 by which data would have had to be collected. Data collected through the survey methods which are common to quantitative research intrude as a foreign element into the social setting they would describe, they create as well as measure attitudes, they elicit atypical roles and responses. (Webb, 1966, p. 1) Such intrusion would have been an obstacle to the collection of naturalistic data which are necessary for this type of study. Qualitative research is frequently used as an umbrella term to include a variety of labels, depending upon which researcher one reads. Kerlinger (1965) used exploratory field study, Wilson (1977) used ethnographic, and Cusick (1973) and Wolcott (1970) used participant observation as labels for this research approach. Still others used the term "naturalistic" for this methodology which is derived from anthropological research. Regardless of the label used, Bogdan and Biklen (1982) identified the common characteristics found in each of these approaches: 1. "The data collected are termed soft, that is, rich in the description of people, places, and conversations, and not easily handled by statistical procedures."

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38 2. Researchers may develop a focus while they collect data, but they do not have specific hypotheses to test. 3. Researchers are concerned with understanding behavior from the subject's own frame of reference. 4. Data are collected through sustained contact with the subjects in their natural surroundings (p. 2). Taylor and Bogdan (1984) described the increasing interest in the use of qualitative methods: Indeed qualitative research approaches are accepted as never before. There are now journals devoted exclusively to reporting qualitative studies. There is an ever increasing number of books and articles written on field research, photography, and other qualitative methods. In education, social work, evaluation, and applied fields, qualitative methods are demanding serious attention. Qualitative research is coming of age. (p. v) Patton (1980) argued that issues of methodology are issues of strategy, not of morals or virtue. It is no longer a question of using the "alternative" method of data collection, but simply using a "different" one. The strategy decision is one of selecting the method that best matches the research questions being asked. Patton quickly pointed out, however, that:

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39 the science of making methods decisions is no less highly developed than the technology for making other simple decisions, for example, how to choose a spouse, career, city of residence, or which toothpaste to use. (p. 17) Characteristics of Qualitative Research Qualitative research methodology has specific identifiable characteristics. Each of these traits is not exhibited with equal potency in all qualitative research studies; some studies may not exhibit one or more of the traits (Bogdan & Biklen, 1982). The natural setting is the direct source of data for the researcher. By conducting research in the natural setting, one is able to examine relationships and other phenomena which are not explicit and which would be impossible to study using quantitative methodology (Dean, Eichhorn, & Dean, 1969). Quali-tative research is often referred to as naturalistic because the researcher does not attempt to manipulate the research setting, but rather uses the setting to understand phenomena in their naturally occurring states. Bridges (1982) discussed the importance of the natural setting in these terms: Extensive research has been conducted that demonstrates the importance of the influence of setting and the often divergent findings that

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result when the same phenomenon is studied in the laboratory and in the field. Ecological psychologists claim that if one hopes to generalize research findings to the everyday world where most human events occur, then the research must be conducted in settings similar to those the researchers hope to generalize about, where the same forces that will one day act are not interrupted. (pp. 20, 21) Conducting research in the natural setting 40 requires that the researcher get close to the people and situations being studied. Lofland (1971) stated that there is no substitute for face-to-face associ-iation when conducting the research. He used the analogy of a reporter who, in order to accurately report on an event or situation, must be physically present, must be truthful, should report a significant amount of pure description of action, and should use direct quotations in reporting. Closeness to people and situations allows data to be more personalized. The procedures used in qualitative research "communicate respect to respon-dents by making their ideas and opinions stated in their own terms the important data source . II (Patton, 1980, p. 84). The methods also take into account idiosyncrasies and uniqueness of individuals, thereby adding to the personal nature of the methodology.

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41 A second feature of this research approach is the descriptive and detailed manner of recording data and reporting results. The qualitative research approach demands that the world be approached with the assumption that nothing is trivial, that everything has the potential of being a clue which might unlock a more comprehensive understanding of what is being studied. (Bogdan & Biklen, l982, pp. 27-30) Qualitative data are detailed descriptions of behaviors, situations, events, people, and inter-actions, and often include direct quotations from subjects of the study. The same of detail is usually applied to printed materials (documents, correspondence, mail, and case histories) used as sources of data. Qualitative methodology is concerned with process as well as outcomes or products of the research. A significant factor in the process is the researcher as the major instrument for data collection and analysis. Through observation, interviewing, and other data collection methods, the researcher gathers information in a first-hand manner. Even if observa-tion and interview guides are used, they only assist in data collection. These devices cannot _replace the person conducting the research.

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42 A strength of the qualitative research process is the flexibility it offers to change direction and refocus data collection, explore new leads, address a revised research question, or interview a new informant. The flexibility also allows for the observation of people and sites longer than originally planned. Consequently, "not everything is resting on the single interview or observation" (Miles & Huberman, 1984, p. 46). Another characteristic of qualitative is the inductive approach that is often utilized. A qualitative research strategy is inductive in that the researcher attempts to make sense of the situation without imposing preexisting expectations on the research setting. Qualitative designs begin with specific observa-tions and build toward general patterns. categories or dimensions of analysis emerge from open-ended observations as the researcher comes to understand organizing patterns that exist in the empirical world under study. The strategy in qualitative designs is to allow the important dimensions to emerge from analysis of the cases under study without presupposing in advance what these important dimensions will be. (Patton., 1980, pp. 40, 41) Researchers cannot completely eliminate personal prior experience and acquired knowledge before entering a research setting. They can, however, develop the skill of suspending preconceptions (Goetz & LeCompte, 1984; Wilson, 1977). This technique

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43 enables the researcher to avoid the temptation of trying to force the data into predetermined and standardized categories such as those typically found in questionnaires and surveys. Gallaher (1973) maintained that the inductive techniques allow the patterned, rather than the un-patterned, phenomena to emerge and become the basis on which meaning is derived. He pointed out that the anthropological approach usually seeks to derive data based on normal and ordinary occurrences and does not focus on abnormal situations. Consequently, emphasis is placed on the patterns which inductively emerge to describe normal, day-to-day behavior. Patton (1980) summarized the concept of emerging relationships and theories. The cardinal principle of qualitative analysis is that causal relationships and theoretical statements be clearly emergent from and grounded in the phenomena studied. The theory emerges from the data; it is not imposed on the data. p. 276-277) The final characteristic of qualitative research is the participant perspective and the "commitment to represent the participants in their own terms" (Lofland, 1971, p. 4). The researcher is committed to understanding social phenomena from the perspective of the participants and attempts to render a "true to

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44 life" picture of what people say and how they act. The participants' words and actions are left to speak for themselves so that the perspective of the individual is preserved. The concept of verstehen (Bogdan & Biklen, 1982; Taylor & Bogdan, 1984) is a philosophical foundation of qualitative research which emphasizes understqnding, on a personal level, the motives and beliefs behind people's actions. Patton (1980) argued that a holistic approach is necessary to understand the context of situations and the per-ceptions of participants. Researchers using qualitative methods strive to understand phenomena and situations as a whole; evaluators using qualitative methods attempt to understand the gestalt, the totality, and the unifying nature of particular settings. The holistic approach assumes that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. . Thus it is insufficient simply to study and measure the parts of a situation by gathering data about isolated variables, scales, or dimensions. (p. 40) Issues and Limitations in Qualitative Research As is the case with any research method, there are issues and limitations inherent to the qualitative approach which require the researcher's attention.

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45 Subjectivity The most frequent attack on qualitative research is that the methodology is inevitably "subjective." Subjectivity in scientific research is considered to be a major weakness and connotes "opinion rather than fact, intuition rather than logic, impression rather than confirmation ... (Patton, 1980, p. 336). Authorities in qualitative methodology acknowledge the existence of the subjective perceptions and biases of both participants and researchers in the research frame. Weick (1985) stated that the goal of qualitative researchers is to be "objective in close.11 To achieve the simultaneous condition of closeness and objectivity he suggests that systematic observation which is sustained, explicit, and methodical should be used. Some researchers attempt to maintain distance from the subjects and situations being studied in order to achieve objectivity. Patton warned that "distance does not guarantee objectivity, it merely guarantees distance11 (1980, p. 336). While the subjective tendency is considered a limitation, the researcher, by being aware of any bias or predisposition, can attempt to neutralize any

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46 potential impact on the study. By examining his or her own beliefs and making these prejudices known, the readers of the study can determine what, if any, effect such predispositions may have had on the research and subsequent findings. Researcher Bias The researcher in this study assessed his biases prior to beginning the data collection phase. Even though the researcher selected this study as a means of expanding his personal knowledge of the work activities of superintendents, it should be noted that the researcher's public school administrative experience provided a prior general knowledge base of the work of superintendents. He began the study believing that the work of the superintendency was characterized by a hectic pace and that the superintendent's time was often controlled by other people and circumstances. Being aware of these beliefs, the researcher sought to be as objective as possible in gathering data. Another of the researcher's predispositions was the belief that superintendents need to be good time managers to be effective in their work. Without time management techniques and strategies, the superintendent's time would be so controlled by other people

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47 and situations that there would be little time left for thinking, planning, theorizing, and philosophizing. Once again, the researcher needed to recognize this predisposition and then to suspend its influence while gathering data concerning time management strategies. Bruyn encouraged researchers to tailor work to the six indices of "subjective adequacy," cited in Homans (1966), in order to address the issue of subjectivity: 1. Time--The more time an individual spends with a group the more likely it is that an accurate perception of the social meaning its members live by will be obtained. 2. Place--The closer the researcher works geographically to the people being studied, the more accurate should be the conclusions and interpretations. 3. Social circumstances--The number and variety of social circumstances which the observer encounters within the social structure of the community increases accuracy. 4. Language--The researcher and the subjects should share a common language.

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48 5. Intimacy--The greater degree of intimacy the researcher achieves, the greater will be the accuracy of the findings. 6. Consensus--The researcher should attempt to obtain confirmation that the interpretations of mean-ing are correct (pp. 181-182). Data Collection Limitations Mintzberg (1973) raised issues related to the diary or self-reporting data collection methods fre-quently used in qualitative studies of managers' use of time. First, he cautioned that the diary method (e.g., subjects record various aspects of each activity on a preceded form) requires the subject to rely on memory when recording, the subject may forget to record altogether, or the subject may not be able to decipher the meanings of categories. Carlson (1951), in his often-cited study of the work activities of ten directors in various Western European businesses, used the diary method to gather data. His realization of methodological limitations is reflected in this statement: The study of the kirid of action was, as I expected it to be, the most difficult part of our whole investigation, and neither the concepts nor the recording technique used are as yet sufficiently refined in this respect. (p. 49)

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4_9 He reported that the shortcomings in the recording technique made it difficult to get an exact measurement of the executives' use of time. Wolcott (1973) also was concerned with the use of any self-reporting technique when studying the school administrator's use of time. Administrators tend to be uneasy about the way they actually distribute their time, and, therefore, not completely dependable about selfreporting, for they cannot escape a nagging feeling that the way they do allocate their time is not the way they should allocate it. (p. xiii) Other data-gathering techniques, when used as the sole means of collection, have limitations. Interviews can produce a wealth of information but strongly reflect the informant's biases and percep-tions. Activity sampling (e.g., the researcher records the subject's activities at random time inter-vals) does not provide a continuous record of activity and can miss important events. The critical incidents technique (e.g., subjects record activities critical to the job and the researcher analyzes interprets the significance) requires the subject to judge which are the critical incidents and should be recorded. What may be considered a routine activity to the sub-ject may have significance to the researcher:

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50 consequently, vital information may never be recorded using this technique. Selection of Superintendents Five public school superintendents were selected as the subjects for study. The majority of the data.collection time was spent with two of the super-intendents and the majority of data was collected through the observation and interviewing of these two subjects. Additional and clarifying information was gathered through interviews with the other three superintendents. (A more complete description of the use of data from these three superintendents is presented later in this chapter.} The small sample size (two superintendents} used for the collection of the majority of data was necessary to be able to sufficient time with each subject to obtain the detail sought. Qualitative researchers usually work with smaller samples of people in fewer global settings than do survey researchers. Also, qualitative samples tend to be more purposive than random, partly because the initial definition of the universe is more limited . and partly because social processes have a logic and coherence that random sampling of events or treatments usually reduces to uninterpretable sawdust. (Miles & Huberman, 1984, p. 36}.

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51 Patton (1980) referred to "purposeful sampling" as a strategy which researchers use to think through what cases they could learn the most from, and those are the cases selected for the study. In this study, superintendents who had a record of success in their current superintendencies were candidates for selection. Success was a criterion because the purpose of this study was to describe work activities, content of work activities, and the use and management of time in the fulfillment of roles and responsibilities in the superintendency. Furthermore, it was the researcher's belief that more could be learned from studying the work of successful practitioners than from examining the work of novices or those whose performance was suspect. The measures of success were longevity in current positions and reputations among peers and others who were familiar with the superintendent's work. Other criteria include the following: 1. The subjects were employed in districts located along the front range in Colorado. Preference was given to superintendents who were members of the Denver Area School Superintendents' Council (DASSC).

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52 2. The districts of employment were involved in a significant issue or issues which impacted the superintendent's work activities. In this study, the subjects came from districts facing different issues. The researcher worked with his university advisor, who had recently served as a metropolitan Denver superintendent and was knowledgeable of the area's superintendents, to identify superintendents who met the selection criteria. From this list of potential subjects, the two who were considered to be the best subjects for observing and interviewing were contacted. Initial contact was made by letter from the advisor to his former colleagues inviting them to participate as subjects in the study. One of the superintendents originally selected accepted the invitation, but the other superintendent declined. Consequently, the researcher and his advisor contacted a third superintendent who accepted the invitation. Upon receiving notification of willingness to participate, the researcher scheduled appointments and met with each of the two superintendents. At the initial meeting, agreements were made about data collection procedures.

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53 1. The subjects agreed to allow the researcher to spend the equivalent of ten working days (and nights when appropriate) observing and gathering data, to observe all or most of the work activity, and to have access to mail, memos, printed material and other pertinent records or documents which would help explain the purpose and content of work activities. 2. The subjects were willing to keep a diary of work activities which occurred on weekends or nights when the researcher was not scheduled to observe. 3. The subjects agreed to be available for a minimum of two interviews: one prior to observation and one after all observations had been completed. 4. The subjects agreed to allow the researcher to interview their secretaries and one senior staff member. The initial interview time and dates for the first few observation days were also set at the first meeting. The subjects were given a questionnaire asking for general background information and were asked to sign the Informed Consent Letter at this meeting. (See Appendices D-2 and D-3 for copies of the Informed Consent Letter and Questionnaire, respectively.) Other matters concerning the

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54 researcher/subject relationship, which are discussed in the next section, were addressed during this initial meeting. The three superintendents interviewed for tri-angulation data and for verification of the preliminary data analysis were selected by the researcher based upon input from his advisor. The researcher contacted these superintendents by telephone and they all accepted the invitation to be interviewed. Inter-view dates were selected and appointments made during this telephone contact. Researcher/Subject Relationship Bogdan and Biklen (1982) pointed out that explaining one's research procedures and interests to the subjects is one of the most sensitive issues of qualitative research. They advised that the researcher be truthful but should not disclose full details. It is unwise to give details concerning your research and the precision with which notes will be taken. If they knew how closely they were going to be watched, most people would feel self-conscious in your presence or stage events for his or her [the researcher's] benefit. (p. 25)

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55 In keeping with this advice, the researcher entered this study with the intent to establish rapport with each subject and his or her staff and to give a clear, but general, description of the study and the methodology. Included in this description was an explanation of what the researcher would be doing, what was going to be done with the field notes, why the subject was chosen, and what the subject could expect to get from his or her participation (Bogdan & Biklen, 1982). It was emphasized that the researcher's purpose was to observe and record rather than to judge the subject's actions. Therefore, the researcher would not give ongoing feedback to the subject. A final poini in establishing the appropriate relationship with the subjects was developing a clear understanding concerning confidentiality. Subjects were informed that all identities would be kept confidential and pseudonyms would be used for the subjects, their school districts, and all other persons mentioned in the study. All proposed reports of the study would be made available for the subjects to review and requests for deletion of any portions would be given consideration.

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56 Data Collection The discussion of issues and limitations earlier in this chapter supports the conclusion that reliance on any single data collection method is undesirable. While each technique has its weaknesses, through the use of a combination of methods, the researcher can neutralize these weaknesses and take advantage of the strengths offered by each. The data collection methods for this study included a combination of structured observation, unstructured and structured interviews, participant self-reporting, and document review. Structured Observation The primary method of data collection for this study was first-hand structured observation done by the researcher. The structure for the observations was provided by the identification of work activity and work content categories, the development of raw data recording techniques, and the creation of record forms used for coding and grouping the raw data. The purpose of collecting observational data using a structured approach was to obtain data which were detailed, consistent in format, taken directly

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57 from the natural work setting, and, most importantly, comprehensive within and pertinent to the specific areas on which this research was focused. Patton listed several advantages of direct observation over other data collection methods. For this study of superintendents' work activities, three of these advantages were of particular importance. First, the researcher was able to see things of a routine nature which may have escaped the conscious awareness of the subjects. Participants in those routines take them so much for granted that they cease to be aware of the important nuances that are apparent only to an observer who has not become fully immersed in those routines. (Patton, 1980, p. 125) Secondly, the researcher was able to learn about things which the subjects may have been unwilling or neglected to talk about in interviews. Finally, observation allowed the researcher to understand the actions in the context of the natural settings where the actions occurred. Goetz and LeCompte (1984) pointed out that recording everything is not an attainable goal for field observers. Therefore, most researchers choose to record phenomena salient to the major aspects of the defined research topics. Morris (1979) con-

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58 tended that a useful description of work activity can be obtained from a small set of components such as the issues, actions, actors, and information sources. The raw data notes taken during observation sessions focused on the identification of participants, length, location, source of initiation, number of participants, the content or topic of each observed work activity, and whether the work activity was scheduied or unscheduled. The mail and other written communication to which the subjects gave any time or attention were also included in the recording of raw data. These data included the form, sender, and purpose of the written communication, and the attention given to and action taken toward each piece of communication. Access to mail and written com-munication was generally achieved by either sitting next to the superintendent's desk and the superintendent handing items to the researcher as he finished with them, or by arriving early at the superintendent's office and looking at items awaiting his attention. A final area of recorded data focused on the time management strategies and techniques used by the subjects. The specific strategies were recorded as

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59 they were observed and the identification of strategy categories emerged as the data were analyzed and coded. The data recorded during observation sessions in this study focused only on a limited amount of specific information about each work activity. The information recorded was that which was most pertinent to the research questions being investigated. As defined in Chapter I, a work activity was considered as beginning when there was a change in the basic participants andjor the media of the activity changed (i.e., face-to-face, telephone, or written forms of communication, or individual work activity). The recording of observations included all contacts, all business-like work, but excluded activities that were personal in nature. The identification of work activity and work content categories, the development of raw data recording techniques, and the creation of record forms used for coding and grouping the raw data occurred after the initial observation sessions and were used during subsequent sessions. As Mintzberg (1973) indicated, the specific categories in such recording forms are best developed during the observations. This

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60 allows the categories to emerge from the data rather than forcing the data into the categories. Because these data collection features were based on findings from initial observations and were developed as part of the early data collection steps, a description is presented as part of the discussion of findings in Chapter IV. Observations were scheduled to run concurrently at both sites. In other words, the on-site observations were interspersed with one another. Strauss (in McCall & simmons, 1969) suggested that this twosite approach allows the researcher to adapt observation strategies from one site to the other as new data emerge. It also avoids the risk of a new insight or need for data emerging after the conclusion of observation at one of the sites. Observations were scheduled to occur over a period of approximately 10 weeks (November 17, 1987 through January 28, 1988) rather than for ten consecutive work days. The days for observation were selected on the basis of which days would reflect the most accurate picture of a typical work day. This type of schedule gave a longer "time sampling" feature to the observation which Bogdan and Biklen (1982) indicated is needed to deal

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61 with the cyclical nature of a school year's activities. Role of the Observer Observing the behavior of subjects in qualita-tive.research involves more than simply showing up at the site to begin data collection. Prior to the com-mencement of observation the researcher must make some important decisions about the role that he or she will adopt during the observations. McCall and Simmons (1969) stated: The role which he ciaims--or to which he is assigned by the subjects--is perhaps the single most important determinant of what he will be able to learn. . The role assumed by the observer largely determines where he can go, whom he can interact with, what he can inquire about, what he can see, and what he can be told. (p. 29) Patton (1980) explained the need for the observer to assume a role which combines the role of participant and the role of the observer. The perspective of the observer is important in describing for others what is happening (role of reporter) and the perspective of the participant in events is crucial in develop-ing an insider's view and understanding of what is happening. It has been stated that the phrase "par-

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62 ticipant observation" has not been given a clear definition in the social sciences, but usually refers to research that involves a prolonged period of social interaction between the researcher and subjects in the milieu of the latter, during which time data, in the form of field notes, are unobtrusively and systematically collected (Bogdan & Biklen, 1982; Taylor & Bogdan, 1984). Gold (1958, 1969), Patton (1980), and Zelditch (1982) each identified four levels of participation in the use of the participant observer technique for data collection: complete participant, participant-as-observer, observer-as-participant, and observer. Goetz and LeCompte (1984) maintained that the complete observer role could only exist where activity was viewed from hidden cameras and recorders or through one-way mirrors. With these exceptions, they believed that interaction would be impossible to avoid in social situations. Wolcott (1973) adopted the participant-as-observer role in his ethnographic study of an elementary principal. He explained this role as one in which the observer is known to all and is present in the system as a scientific observer, participating by his presence but at the same time usually allowed to do what observers

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do rather than expected to perform as others perform. (p. 8) 63 Lutz and Iannaccone (1969) used only three categories in their description of participant observer roles: 1. "The participant as an observer." In this case the researcher already has group membership before undertaking a study and therefore the role of observer would be unknown to the subjects. 2. "The observer as a limited participant." The observer would join a group for the expressed purpose of studying it. The members would, perhaps more than likely, know of the researcher's intent in joining the group. 3. "The observer as a non-participant." The presence of the observer may not even be known to the group and if it were known, he or she would still be outside the group, that is, without group membership. The researcher adopted the role of "observer as a limited participant" for this study because member-ship in groups (the superintendents school districts) was only for the purpose of collecting data. Schwartz and Schwartz (1969) clarified further this role. They described the "passive" participant observer as

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64 one who interacts with the observed as little as possible. He conceives his sole function to be observation and attempts to carry it on in the same mode as an observer behind a one-way viewing screen. The investigator assumes that the more passive he is the less will he affect the situation and the greater will be his opportunity to observe events as they develop. (p. 96) In this study the subjects were made aware of the purpose of the project and the role of the obser-ver. Therefore, any type of covert information gathering was prohibited and appearances of such were avoided. As suggested by McCall and Simmons (1969), the researcher "taught" the subjects what the role of the researcher was. The researcher acquainted the subjects with: (1) the sorts of activities that this role involves (e.g., asking questions, reading old documents, looking over shoulders), with (2) the sorts of information that fall within the legitimate purview of his study, with (3) the uses to which this information will be put, and with (4) the manner in which he would like the subjects to aid him in his pursuits (e.g., to relate specific facts to him rather than vague generalizations and impressions, to guide him to pertinent resources, and to correct him when his assumptions and conclusions seem to be in error). In short he must teach the subjects the norms governing the ideal role between observer and subjects. (p. 43)

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65 Observer Effects "No matter how well integrated an observer becomes, we feel he is still an element with potential to bias the production of critical data substantially" (Webb et al., 1966, p. 113). Bogdan (1972), Weick (1985), Patton (1980), and Miles and Huberman (1984) also alerted the researcher to the effects which the observer's presence has on the behavior of subjects. A critical question in the objectivity of field data is to what degree the observer's sustained participa-tion and presence changed the statements and behavior of subjects. It is probable that observer influence can seldom, if ever be reduced to zero. Therefore, the problem becomes one of making it minimal, defining it, and keeping it as nearly constant as possible. (Reynolds, 1979, p. 35) Webb et al. (1966) suggested that early in the study the observer conduct himself or herself in such a way as to minimize "reactive effects." To do this, the observer should fit as comfortably as possible into the setting, establish a relationship character-ized by trust and a free and open exchange of infor-mation, and become one "whom the other participants take for granted as belonging, and whom they consider to be an 'insider' in a special nonthreatening role"

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66 (Bogdan, 1972, p. 21). Miles and Huberman (1984) advised that effects are minimized by staying as long as possible on a site, using unobtrusive measures whenever possible, making one's purpose clearly understood, and downplaying the role of the researcher (e.g., the researcher really is not such an important person in their lives) After the researcher has taken appropriate measures to minimize the reactive effects of being observed, he or she should assume that stable behavior means typical behavior, that stable behavior when the subject is being observed is equivalent to behavior when unobserved. In other words, the statement "people soon adapt to it" is equivalent to the statement "people act as they normally would even though the observer is present" (Weick, 1985, p. 586). For this study, the researcher made a decision, prior to the selection of subjects for observation, which was intended to reduce observer effects. Because of concern that prior association and familiarity between the researcher and a subject could cause the subject to act in a manner not entirely routine and natural, only those superintendents were considered as possible candidates with whom the

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67 researcher had no previous contact or association. This lack of familiarity allowed the researcher to more easily adopt the role of "observer as a limited participant." As familiarity between the researcher and subjects grew during the course of the observation period, it became increasingly difficult for the researcher to minimize the observer effects. Even though the role of the "observer as a limited participant" was explained prior to beginning observations, familiarity between researcher and subjects resulted in a natural increase of information and opinion exchange. The researcher attempted to keep such exchanges minimal throughout the observation period. However, complete elimination of interaction of this sort was not possible because of the negative impact it would have had on the positive relationships which had developed during the course of observation. One incident occurred which presented the researcher with a difficult decision concerning the role of observer. The researcher observed a conference between one of the superintendents, one of his school board members, and a third party from outside the district. The third party, in an attempt to

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68 influence the superintendent's opinion about a particular university-based program, provided the superintendent with inaccurate and misleading information. The researcher's work at the university allowed him to have substantial information about and insight into the program being discussed. The researcher, although offended by the inaccurate nature of the information and eager to present a more accurate picture to the superintendent, was compelled to fulfill the role of "observer as a limited participant." Consequently, the researcher made the difficult decision not to correct the misinformation during or after the conference. This was the only time that the role of the researcher as observer was seriously challenged during the study. This incident did, however, illustrate the need for researchers to be prepared for unexpected situations in which conscious decisions about the observer role and observer effects must be made. Interviews Interviews provided a considerable amount of data in this study. Interviewing is the research method most often used in conjunction with participant observation. Numerous authors, including Taylor.and

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69 Bogdan (1984) Bogdan and Biklen (1982), Patton (1980), Goetz and LeCompte (1984), and McCall and Simmons (1969) defined the purpose of interviewing as being the means by which the researcher could acquire data directed toward understanding informants' perspectives on their lives, experiences, actions, activities, or situations as expressed in their own words. Patton (1980) summarized the purpose of interviewing. The purpose in interviewing is to find out what is in and on someone else's mind. The purpose of open-ended interviewing is not to put things in someone's mind ... but rather to access the perspective of the person being interviewed. We interview people to find out from them those things we cannot directly observe. The issue is not whether observational data is more desirable, valid, or meaningful than self-report data. The fact of the matter is that we cannot observe everything. We cannot observe feelings, thoughts, and intentions. We cannot observe behaviors that took place at some previous point in time. We cannot observe situations that preclude the presence of an observer. (p. 196) Goetz and LeCompte (1984) described the variety of advice available for the construction of inter-views. They noted that massive amounts of literature exist with an overwhelming array of instructions, suggestions, protocol frames, and prescriptions con-cerning interview construction. They quickly added that there is little consistency in the suggestions given,

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70 consequently, researchers are best served by seeking and following guidelines for interview construction that are consistent with the goals and designs of particular research projects. (p. 124) Different types of interviews can be employed at different stages of the same study. At the beginning, a more unstructured, free-flowing, exploratory interview might be used to help acquire a general understanding of the setting and the subjects (Bogdan & Biklen, 1982). The initial interview in this study occurred before observation commenced. Both of the two subjects were interviewed concerning their personal, educational, and professional backgrounds. They were asked to discuss significant events in the district's history and present situation, the Board of Education's adopted performance goals for the superintendent, the Board's goals for the district, and the goals which the superintendent personally has for the district. Finally, the subjects were given the opportunity to share any other pertinent informa-tion concerning working conditions, boards of educa-tion, employees, the senior staff, educational or management philosophy, and the job itself. (See Appendix A-1 for a copy of the initial interview form.)

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71 The initial interview utilized general guiding questions but retained the features of open-endedness, flexibility, and non-standardization which are important to qualitative interviewing (Dean et al., 1969). Because the qualitative researcher is always interested in having themes and information emerge from the setting being studied, care must be taken not to ask leading questions which direct or restrict responses. This is especially important in early stages of the study.when "the :r:esearcher wants subjects to talk about what is on their minds, and what is of concern to them, not what the might think they are concerned about" (Bogdan, 1972, p. 38). Part of the field work technique in this study included holding brief conversational interviews throughout the observation period. These occurred when the subjects offered explanations or clarification of events, situations, or activities. They also were initiated by the researcher at times when such interactions minimally affected the natural course of activity. These occurred when driving to a meeting, during a break in the stream of activity, or at the beginning or end of a work day. The purpose of on-

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72 site conversational interviews was to access information which explained the context of situations, the purpose of activity, and the rationale for action taken. During the later stages of field work, the researcher often becomes more structured in the interviewing, attempting to ask more specific questions in order to get comparable data from more than one source or to focus on particular topics that emerged during the observation (Bogdan & Biklen, 1982). In these later stages this more specific type of questioning is much less likely to disturb the rapport than it would in earlier stages of research. "Also, if the researcher has done his job well, the subjects should be very open to him and willing to give information freely because of the trust he has developed" (Bogdan, 1972, p. 39). This study used focused, structured inter-views after completion of the observation phase. These interviews provided the opportunity to probe, to seek clarification and elaboration, and to ask for direct information on specific topics. These followup interviews were scheduled after initial analysis

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73 of observational data had been completed so that the subjects could react to the analysis. Specific questions for the follow-up interviews were generated during data analysis. (See Appendices A-2 and A-3 for copies of the follow-up interview forms.) Participant Self-Reporting Two types of data recording forms were developed as instruments which the subjects used for selfreporting or diary purposes. Because of the limitations inherent in self-reporting techniques, use of these instruments was limited to the collection of supplemental and verification information. The first form was used to gather data about weekend and evening work during selected portions of the observation period whEm the researcher was not present to conduct first-handobservation. The purpose of this part of self-reporting was to give a more comprehensive picture of the subject's work activities, not just those that occurred during normal working hours and days when the researcher was present. (See Appendix B-6 for a copy of the Self Report Activity. Form.) 'The second form was used to gather supplemental da.ta concerning the overall length of work days.

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74 Upon completion of the first-hand observation done by the researcher, subjects were asked to provide a oneor two-week self-report of total daily work time. This self-report information was compared to the total daily work time recorded by the researcher during first-hand observations. The self-report provided a means of collecting additional data through an alternative data collection technique. {See Appendix B-7 for a copy of the Superintendent's Work Activity Time Report.) Document Review The document review process in this study was not considered as a separate data source but was used to lend insight into organizational processes and the perspectives of the people who used and wrote them. Documents such as memos, records, appointment calendars, and mail, and other forms of written communication were examined for any information which helped the researcher understand the purpose and context of activities. As advised by Patton (1980), the access to these documents and records was negotiated during the selection of subjects phase of the study.

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75 Analysis The data collected in qualitative research requires analysis by the researcher so that a deeper understanding of what has been studied can be achieved. Data analysis is the process of systematically searching and arranging the interview transcripts, field notes, and other materials that you accumulate to increase your own understanding of them and to enable you to present what you have discovered to others. Analysis involves working with data, organizing it, breaking it into manageable units, synthesizing it, searching for patterns, discovering what is important and what is to be learned, and deciding what you will tell others. (Bogdan & Biklen, 1982, p. 145) Stevenson (1986) noted that the qualitative researcher is at a disadvantage when compared to those involved with quantitative research because of the absence of formal rules for data analysis. Patton (1980) cited the intellectual rigor, perseverance, creativity, and insight of the researcher as the intangibles needed to make sense out of the data. By returning to the data over and over again to search for categories, explanations, and interpretations which make sense, the researcher can achieve explanations which accur-ately reflect the nature of the phenomena studied.

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Analysis During Field Work Analysis of data began while gathering data in the field. The use of data recording forms was one way in which data were organized during field work. 76 As soon as possible after each data gathering session, the researcher completed a summary record for each type of activity gathered. The specific format and content of these summary records were developed as the analysis proceeded, and each contained information about the main issues or themes of the activity, information which pertained to the research questions, salient and illuminating aspects of the event, and any new questions which were generated from the event. This type of analysis during field work allowed the researcher to cycle back and forth between existing data and strategies for collecting new and often better quality data during subsequent data gathering opportunities. Analysis during field work forces the researcher to make decisions which help to narrow the study, enables the researcher to write observer comments during the course of observation, and helps in the reformulation and assessment of original research

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77 questions (Bogdan & Biklen, 1982). Lofland (1971) described this process as "analysis by default" because the researcher, while not being able to present everything in a description, begins the selection some things from a larger body of material. Data Review and Reduction Goetz and LeCompte (1984) suggested that, at the conclusion of data gathering, analysis continue by reviewing the original proposal to see if research has wandered from the original purpose. They also encouraged scanning of data to check for completeness (or gaps) and to reacquaint oneself with the territory covered. Because the goal of data gathering in qualitative research is detail and depth of description, the result is massive amounts of field notes, observation records, interview transcripts, and document review summaries. Data reduction is needed to put the raw data into manageable proportions. Data reduction is the "selecting, focusing, simplifying, abstracting, and transforming the 'raw' data that appear in written-up field notes" (Miles & Huberman, 1984, p. 21)

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Coding is one way of developing and refining interpretations of the data. 78 Codes are categories. They usually derive from research questions, hypotheses, key concepts, or important themes. They are retrieval and organizing devices that allow the analyst to spot quickly, pull out, then cluster all the segments relating to the particular question, hypothesis, concept, or theme. (Miles & Huberman, 1984, p. 56) Miles and Huberman (1984) suggested that developing codes prior to field work is helpful because it forces the researcher to tie research questions directly to the data. They cautioned, however, that the codes need to be adjusted when they look inapplicable, over-built, ill-fitting, or overly abstract. Another, more inductive approach is to suspend the development of codes until some data are collected and the researcher can see how the data more naturally can be grouped. The more inductive approach to coding was used for this study. Codes were developed after the initial observation sessions and reflected the focus of the research questions as well as the nature of the data gathered during early observation. These codes were used and -expanded during subsequent observation and interview sessions. The coding strategies presented by Bodan and Biklen (1982) were the

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framework for development of codes in this study. These strategies included the following: 1. Settingjcontext codes--directed at general information on setting, subjects, or location. 2. Activity codes--directed at regularly occurring kinds of activities. 3. Contact codes--directed at the individuals or groups with whom the subject had contact. 4. Content codes--directed at the topics or content addressed during work activities. 5. Strategy codes--directed at the tactics, methods, techniques, maneuvers, ploys, and other 79 conscious ways the subjects managed their activities and time. Taylor and Bogdan (1984) urged that all data be used in the coding process to be sure that codes are developed to fit the data rather than forcing data into codes. Miles and Huberman (1984) pointed out the tendency which people habitually have to overweight facts they believe in or depend on, to forget data not going in the direction of their reasoning, and to "see" confirming instances far more easily than disconfirming instances. (p. 216)

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80 They also cited the need to consider "outliers" (unusual or atypical events) in order to be able to identify that which is typical or usual. A good look at exceptions can test and strengthen the basic finding. It not only tests the generality of the finding, but protects against self-selecting biases. (Miles & Huberman, 1984, p. 237) Memoing Memoing, another data analysis strategy suggested by Miles and Huberman (1984) was used in this study. In discussing this strategy, they referred to Glaser's (1978) definition of memoing. [A memo is] the theorizing write-up of ideas about codes and their relationships as they strike the analyst while coding . it can be a sentence, a paragraph or a few pages . it exhausts the analyst's momentary ideation based on data with perhaps a little conceptual elaboration. (p. Memoing can be used to move the analyst from data to a conceptual level. It is a further refine-ment and expansion of codes which allows the develop-ment of key categories and relationships. Miles and Huberman (1984) advised that priority should always be given to memoing. Whenever ideas strike the researcher, he or she should stop whatever else is being done and write them down, even if they are "foggy" or "fuzzy." They further advised that memoing

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should begin as soon as the first field data are analyzed. Typological Analysis A final step in data analysis that was used in this study was the development of working typologies as defined by Goetz and LeCompte (1984). The coding of data enabled the researcher to manage the large quantities of data and the memoing techniques began the process of organizing the coded chunks of 81 data into related categories. The creation of working typologies allowed for the emergence of constructs which integrated coded data with the researcher's inductive structure which was generated through memo-ing. Ethnographers usually begin with a form of analytic induction. This strategy involves scanning the data for categories of phenomena and for relationships among such categories, developing working typologies and hypotheses upon an examination of initial cases, then modifying and refining them on the basis of subsequent cases. (Goetz & LeCompte, 1984, p. 180) Once the working typologies were created, coded chunks of data were compared to the typologies to discover patterns and relationships in the data. This is the process by which a researcher begins to build a baseline description of the social setting

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82 under study (Goetz & LeCompte, 1984). In this study the typologies which emerged from the data analysis were the basis upon which the school superintend_ent' s work activities and use of time are described in Chapters IV and v. Quality Issues Validity and Reliability A frequent objection to participant observation is the absence of standardized tests of validity and reliability. Cusick (1973) maintained that internal validity, the extent to which researchers actually observe or measure what they think they are observing or measuring, is strengthened by qualitative metho-dology. As one lives close to a situation, his description and explanation of it have a first-person quality which other methodologies lack. AS he continues to live close to and moves deeper into that situation his perceptions have a validity that is simply unapproachable by any so-called standardized method. Likewise, as his validity becomes better, so his reliability, which is an extension of his validity, becomes better. As the researcher is the actual instrument, as he becomes more aware, more valid, so he must of necessity become more reliable. (p. 231) Goetz and LeCompte (1984) also viewed the inter-nal validity as a strength of qualitative research.

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83 They asserted that internal validity is assured through the practice of collecting data over extended periods of time, conducting interviews with subjects and other informants, observing in natural settings which reflect most accurately the life experiences of subjects, and analyzing in a way which incorporates self-monitoring and disciplined subjectivity. This study attempted to achieve the close-ness described by Cusick. The research design also addressed the extended time frame for collecting data in the natural setting, the use of interviewing, and the self-monitoring as presented by Goetz and LeCompte. Webb et al. (1966) also identified consistency of the research instrument as a means to improve internal validity. As stated by Miles and Huberman (1984): Most qualitative researchers work alone in the field. Each is a one-person research machine: defining the problem, doing the sampling, designing the instruments, collecting the information, reducing the information, analyzing it, interpreting it, writing it up. A vertical monopoly. (p. 230) This study was no exception. The researcher was the sole instrument and consistency in performing his

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84 role addressed the internal validity issue of consis-tency of instrumentation. External validity refers to the extent that the results of one study may be generalized across popula-tions and settings (Goetz & LeCompte, 1984). A general criticism of the participant observer method is that since the subjects are usually limited in number and selected by chance, the resulting data, while interesting, are not transferable. cusick (1973) agreed that, on a superficial level, this might appear to be true. However, he stated: Those of us who undertake such studies feel that men are more alike than they are different, and what is reasonable behavior for one human being in a given situation will, at least in some way, be reasonable behavior for others given the same situation. Furthermore, a good description of the behavior of individuals in any situation can be intelligible to an individual regardless of the difference between that individual and the subjects. (p. 5) Therefore, external validity in this study was enhanced through the careful description of work activities, events, settings, and situations in which the subjects were observed. This allows readers of the study to compare their situations to those described and find a common ground of reference. This ability to compare, or comparability, is referred to by Goetz and LeCompte (1984) as one issue of

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external validity. This study also addressed the issue of translatability presented by the same authors. Translatability refers to: 85 the degree to which the researcher uses theoretical frames, definitions, and research techniques that are accessible to or understood by other researchers in the same or related disciplines. (p. 228) In this study the theoretical frames are described along with the research techniques. Because each data collection method has weaknesses when used alone, this study used multiple methods so that the researcher could build on the strengths of each while minimizing the weaknesses of any single method. A multiple methods approach to qualitative research increases both the validity and reliability of evaluation data. Applying these multiple methods at two research sites also served to improve the generalizability as described by Miles and Huberman (1984). Reliability, the extent to which studies can be replicated and researchers can obtain consistent results, is also a quality issue in qualitative research. In qualitative studies, researchers are concerned with the accuracy and comprehensiveness of their data. Qualitative researchers tend to view reliability as a fit between what they record as

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86 data and what actually occurs in the setting under study, rather than the literal consistency across different observations . two researchers studying a single setting may come up with different data and produce different findings. Both studies can be reliable. One would only question the reliability of one or both studies if they yielded contradictory or incomplete results. (Bogdan & Biklen, 1982, p. 44) In order to enhance the "fit of data with what actually occurs" from setting to setting, Webb sug-gested that the role of observer participant must be thoroughly described so readers could assume the same role as the original observer. The discussion of methodology for this study has given considerable attention to describing the selected participant observer role. Goetz and LeCompte (1984) also stressed the importance of a detailed description of the data collection methods because "replicability is impos-sible without precise identification and thorough description of strategies to collect data" (p. 217). The techniques of observation, interviews, self-reporting, and document review have been described. A final issue raised by Goetz and LeCompte (1984) is the identification of strategies for data analysis. They argued that only those accounts of qualitative research which specify data analysis steps in suffic-

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87 ient detail are replicable. Once again, the descrip-tion of this study has provided such an account. Triangulation In the literature on participant observation, the term triangulation means the combination of methods or sources of data in a single study. Although field notes based on first-hand experience in a setting provide the key data in participant observation, other methods and approaches can and should be used in conjunction with fieldwork. Triangulation is often thought of as a way of guarding against researcher bias and checking out accounts from different informants. (Taylor & Bogdan, 1984, p. 68) Triangulation is simply a way of supporting a finding by showing that independent measures of it agree with it, or at least do not contradict it (Miles & Huberman, 1984). According to Webb et al. (1966) who originally coined the term triangulation: Once a proposition has been confirmed by two or more independent measurement processes, the uncertainty of its interpretation is greatly reduced. The most persuasive evidence comes through a triangulation of measurement processes. If a proposition can survive the onslaught of a series of imperfect measures, with all their irrelevant error, confidence should be placed in it,. (p. 3) In this study, triangulation was achieved through the use of multiple data sources and multiple data collection methods. Observations, interviews, and self-reports with the two major subjects were the primary data collection methods. The two

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88 superintendents selected for observation, were the primary data sources. Secondary data sources and methods included (1) interviews with the other three subjects, (2) interviews with the superintendents' secretaries and one senior staff member from each district, and (3) document review. (See Appendices A-4 through A-8 for copies of the interview forms used for gathering triangulation information.) The interviews with the superintendents' secretaries and senior staff members provided other important information in addition to serving the triangulation function. Bogdan (1972), Taylor and Bogdan (1984), and Feilders (1982) promoted the use of this type of information gathering as a means by which a deeper understanding of the setting, the organization, context and background, clarification, and elaboration can be obtained from knowledgeable informants other than the primary subjects of the study. Interviews with the three other superintendent subjects and subordinates of the superintendents who were observed occurred after a preliminary data analysis was completed. This preliminary analysis consisted of coding and organizing the data which were

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89 collected from observations of and interviews with the two subject superintendents who were selected for observation. This analysis produced a description of the superintendents' use of time for work activities in terms of percentages of time spent in various activities while addressing specific topics or content. It also included a listing of time management techniques organized in descriptive categories. The other subject superintendents and the superintendents' subordinates were asked to respond to specific questions derived from this preliminary analysis. These questions asked them to respond to the accurateness of the descriptions based upon their personal experiences and perceptions, to offer their own perceptions of _why superintendents engage in these work activities, and to provide additional time management strategies to the list already compiled. Interviewees were also invited to add any comments they wished to make about the data analysis or the work activities of superintendents in general. (See Appendices A-4 through A-8 for specific interview questions.)

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90 Reaction to Data Analysis by the Subjects The purpose of this study was to describe the daily work activities of successful school superintendents and their use of time management strategies. To assess the degree to which this purpose was met, the researcher asked the subjects to react to the description and analysis of their behavior. Evaluators can learn a great deal about the accuracy, fairness, and validity of their data analysis by having the people described in that data analysis react to what is described. To the extent that participants in the study are unable to relate to the descriptions and analysis in a qualitative research report, it is appropriate to question the credibility of the report (Patton, 1980). Miles and Huberman .(1984) identified participant feedback as one of the most logical sources of corroboration because the subject is bound to know more than the researcher ever will about the realities under investigation. They also viewed this feedback as a quasi-ethical practice. Informants have a right to know what the researcher found.

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This study used participant feedback to ascertain the accuracy of the description of work activities and work content which was derived from 91 the preliminary data analysis. This feedback not only provided the participants own response to the accuracy of description but also gave them the opportunity to offer explanations for and elaboration on the nature of work activity itself and the content of work activities. (See Appendices A-2 and A-3 for copies of follow-up interview questions which were presented to participants.)

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CHAPTER IV FINDINGS This chapter begins with a description of the public school superintendents who were selected as subjects for this study. Professional preparation arid experience backgrounds are provided along with information about the districts in which they work. This background information provides context which helps in understanding the work activities of.the subject superintendents. Presented next is a description of the development of categories for types of work activities and content of work activities. These categories were identified during the -early stages of field work as they emerged from the field notes recorded during the first two days of observation with each of the superintendents. The chapter continues with the presentation of those findings which specifically address the research purposes of this study. Rather than attempting to provide a broad description of the work of a school superintendent, this study had the relatively narrow focus of describing the daily work

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93 activities of successful public school superintendents and the ways in which they control the use of their time. Findings are presented which describe overall work activities, specific types of work activities, and the content of work activities. The chapter con-eludes with the presentation of findings related to 6 the use of time management techniques and strategies. Description of Subjects Five Denver Metropolitan Area public school superintendents were subjects for this study. The majority of hard data was obtained through the use of two qualitative methods (observations and interviews) conducted with two of the superintendents (Adams and Brown). The other three superintendents (Cooper, Dodge, and Edwards) were interviewed for the purposes of triangulation, verification of the data collected from observation of and interviews with the first two superintendents, and collection of additional or clarifying data. superintendent Adams has been superintendent of the Apple School District for more than five years and was an assistant superintendent in the same district for more than five years prior to assuming the

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94 superintendency. His professional background includes four years of teaching and five years as an assistant principal and principal in other districts. He has an Ed.D. in school administration from a major Colorado university. The Apple School District enrolls over 10,000 students and has a population of approximately so,ooo residents. The district is large and its boundaries extend beyond the county lines in which the district is located. Within the district are major towns and numerous residential developments but little industry or manufacturing. While the district has a high state ranking in per capita income, the propery tax revenues come primarily from residences, small businesses, and ranch or farm land. Superintendent Adams works with a cabinet of four senior administrators and an administrative intern who also serves as the coordinator of public information. One of the secretaries who works directly with the superintendent is. both the secretary to the board of education and his secretary. There are 19 schools and over 1,000 employees in the district, including 49 administrators. The elementary principals are supervised directly by the superintendent and the secondary principals are supervised by an assistant

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superintendent. The district's annual general fund budget is approximately $36,000,000. 95 Continuing rapid growth and enrollment increases are major concerns for the district which has grown from 3,800 students in 1975 to over 10,000 students in 1987. Several new elementary schools are under con-struction or in the planning stage and it is anticipa-ted that the district will need to build one new school per year for the next ten years. In 1987, the district won voter approval of a general fund mill levy increase, but in 1986 was unsuccessful. Increasing enrollment and inadequate state support caused by the depressed economy place a strain on the general fund budget and the capital reserve budget. Adams described the challenge of a growing dis-trict. I like the dynamics of growth. . this has been a challenge, every single day is a challenge to me. The superintendency is a challenge in a nongrowth school district, but here you have all this energy, you've got all these problems you've got to deal with. It's pretty exciting. --superintendent Adams (I-1, p. 2) Superintendent Brown has been the superintendent of the Batesville School District for over ten years. His previous professional experience includes over 20 years as a teacher, principal, and central office administrator. He was associate superintendent in

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96 another district prior to coming to Batesville. He has an Ed.D. in curriculum from the same university as Superintendent Adams. Brown has done post doctoral study in school law, school finance, and negotiations, and serves as an adjunct professor of educational administration at two universities. Batesville School District enrolls less than 5,000 students and its and the city's boundaries are generally coterminous. This small city has a population of less than 35,000. Superintendent Brown provided the following description of the community and the residents' rela-tionship with the schools. our community is generally . a blue collar type of community. Residents generally do not have a lot of money. For many of them their jobs are not very high paying and we have a very high percentage of senior citizens . A good number of the senior citizens in this community grew up here, went to school here, stayed here and raised their families, their kids went to school here, their grandkids are often now in the schools. --superintendent Brown (I-2, p. 7) Brown's cabinet includes three central office administrators; his secretary is also the secretary to the board of education. There are nine schools and less than 500 employees in the district. The district has 18 administrators and the superintendent directly supervises the nine building principals. Each building principal and the two assistant principals in the

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97 district have second, district-wide assignments such as pupil services, health and safety, staff development, and strategic planning. These assignments help keep the size of central administration small and provide a rather flat administrative structure. The district's annual general fund budget is approximately $15,000,000. Unlike the Apple District, Batesville experienced significant enrollment decline until about four years ago. At one time it (enrollment) was right around 7,300 to 7,400 kids. And then it began to decline in enrollment and by. the time I came here it was right around 42 or 43 hundred kids. And it con-tinued to decline in enrollment until about four years ago when it began to reverse, we began to gain some enrollment, especially in kindergarten and the primary grades. --superintendent Brown (I-2, p. 1) As a result of this significant decline, Bates-ville has dealt with related issues such as providing early retirement incentives to avoid reduction-in-force proceedings, closing four elementary schools in the last ten years, and working to maintain community support. In spite of the enrollment decline, Batesville has been able to move forward with the establishment of an alternative high school, reassign-ment of the ninth grade to the high school, and introduction of middle level education in the 6th through

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98 8th grade middle schools. Improvement of instruction and strategic planning are current major areas of focus in the district. In addition, capital improvements are receiving considerable attention. One of the things that's right on the front burner is a facilities audit study that pulls together the facilities needs. . So that is shaping up to be a bond referendum. And there's the possibility that we will hold a bond referendum in May. Superintendent Brown (I-2, p. 9) Superintendent Cooper has been superintendent of the Clark School District for more than five years. He has a senior staff of five central office adminis-trators who work directly with him to manage the dis-trict's 15,000 students in 32 schools. Superintendent Dodge also works with a cabinet consisting of five central office administrators. The Drake School Dis-trict has over 25,000 students in 43 buildings. Dodge has served as the superintendent for less than five years but was in the district as associate superinten-dent for more than five years prior to assuming the superintendency. Superintendent Edwards has been the Evansville School District superintendent for more than five years. Serving on his cabinet are three central office administrators who assist him in the leadership of a district which enrolls more than 15,000 students in 22 schools.

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Work Activity and Content of Work Activity Categories 99 All observation and interview data were recorded in field notes and transcribed by the researcher as soon as possible after each observation or interview. Following procedures described in Chapter III, the field note data had to be reduced to some kind of organized and manageable form so that the data could be analyzed and findings developed. The creation of categorization systems for organization of raw data was a significant initial step in data reduction. Identification of categories Analyzing the recorded, descriptive data of routine work activities of school superintendents required the creation of some form of categorization system which would differentiate one type of activity from another. Also, a basic distinction between "work activity" and the "content" of work activity had to be Work activity categories were used to describe the who, when, and where of the activities while the content categories were specifically created to describe the what of the activities--the topics, issues, or problems addressed during the work activity.

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100 The researcher began observation of the subjects without predetermined categories of work activities or content identified for data recording. The first two days of observation with each subject were conducted before categories were identified. Field notes taken during these first four days of observation consisted of time, location, type, and content of each activity; who or what was involved in the activity; and who initiated the activity. After these first four days of observation, the researcher made several attempts to code and organize the field notes into major co1nmon groups of "work activity" and "content" of work activity. Data Record Excerpt 1 illustrates the categories finally developed from the field notes taken during the first half-day of observation_with Superintendent Adams. Major portions of the field notes are not included in the excerpt because Data Record Excerpts were created from the field notes to illustrate and clarify important findings. At this point, the researcher made some data recording decisions. First, the researcher decided to continue to take field notes using a recording form which incorporated the time, coding, and description of activities illustrated in Data Record Excerpt 1.

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101 This allowed notation of the time whenever an activity, an activity's participant(s), or the activity's content changed. The second decision was to continue to use the 18 categories developed from the analysis of the first two days of notes from both superintendents. Data Record Excerpt 1 shows five work activity and eight content categories and codes derived from Adams' field notes. When field notes from the remainder of the first two days of observation with Adams and from the first two observations with Brown were analyzed, two more work activity and three more content categories emerged. As a result, seven work activity and 11 content categories emerged and these were used in both the analysis of data and in recording field notes. These categories are defined later in this chapter as the findings are presented.

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Data Record Excerpt 1 Field Notes Summary Superintendent Adams -11/17/87 Time 8:00 8:01 8:03 8:06 8:10 8:12 8:15 8:30 8:35 8:40 Activity Code TL ow cc TL cc cc TR cc cc MT Content Code CE CE CE PE CE CE GC 0 102 Description of Activity* S arrives at office -places phone call -no answer S begins making written notes regarding election flier s asks researcher about election in home district S receives phone call from principal (contents of call described in field notes) Call ends S leaves office & talks to sec about employee -in sec's area s talks to AI about upcoming staff meeting regarding election and about attorney's interpretation of the use of private funds for campaign s leaves office building s arrives at elementary school -meets with principal in hallway & discusses upcoming meeting s visits with teachers and custodian as they assemble in library for meeting Principal begins meeting -s listens

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103 Data Record Excerpt 1 (Continued) Time 8:42 8:51 9:10 9:13 9:16 9:28 9:33 9:35 10:37 11:07 Activity Code MT MT cc cc TR TL TR MT MT Content Code CE CE CE PR GA BE CE Description of Activity* s begins election presentation (content of S's presentation described in field notes) s ends presentation and takes questions Bell rings and meeting ends -teacher approaches S and discusses election s leaves library -parent new to district approaches S in hallway and gives positive comments about the district s leaves elementary school s calls sec on car phone -rearranges calendar (content of phone call described in field notes) Call ends s arrives at office -goes to conference room for pre-board meeting meeting (content of meeting described in field notes) Group completes review of board agenda S asks group for suggestions on what to cover at election campaign kick off meeting (content of meeting described in field notes) s leaves office for personal business

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104 Data Record Excerpt 1 (Continued) Time 11:28 11:44 11:46 11:47 11:48 11:49 11:51 11:55 Activity Code* MT cc cc TR TL TL cc cc Content Code* CE BF CE GC 0 Codes and abbreviations Activity Codes TL -Telephone Contacts DW -Desk Work CC -Contacts & Conferences TR -Travel MT -Meetings Content Codes CE -Campaigning & Election PE -Personnel & Evaluation Description of Activity* s returns & rejoins meeting -group discussing possible responses to newspaper reporter's questions (content of meeting described in field notes) Meeting ends -s stands & has conversation with I about administrators' salaries for 1988 s goes to AI's office & discusses election flier S gets coat from ence room & leaves for lunch meeting s returns phone call from car phone -party not available s places another call from car phone -party not available S arrives at restaurant with researcher -s sees central office staff member at lunch with family -greets and visits with them s returns to table and first interview with researcher begins

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Data Record Excerpt 1 (Continued) Codes and Abbreviations (continued) GC -General Contact 0 Other PR -Public Relations & Community Affairs Content Codes GA -General Administration BE -Board of Education BF -Business & Finance Abbreviations s -Superintendent Adams sec -secretary AI -Administrative Intern I -Assistant Superintendent for Instruction 105 Work activity categories. The seven work activity categories are (1) Contacts and Conferences, (2) Meetings, (3) Telephone Contacts, (4) Desk Work, (5) Visitations and Observations, (6) Travel, and (7) Not all activities were "pure." For example, desk work sessions were usually interrupted by telephone calls and brief contacts. The researcher recorded these interruptions to desk .work in the appropriate activity categories and did not include them as part of desk work. Similarly, during miscellaneous activities, the superintendents were fre-quently having conversations with others in the same room and these activities were recorded in the contacts and conferences category rather than the miscellaneous category.

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106 Content categories. In the course of their dayto-day activities, the subjects were involved in work which covered a wide variety of topics, issues, and problems ranging from the mundane to the highly significant. It was often difficult to identify specific content areas as the superintendents' attention changed abruptly from one topic to another. For the purposes of this study, however, major content categories were identified as they emerged from the data and were used to record and analyze. the content of the superintendents' activities. The 11 content categories are (1) Board of Education, (2) Campaigning & Election, (3) Managing & Policy Implementation, (4) General Administration, (5) Instruction, Teaching, & curriculum, (6) Personnel & Evaluation, (7) Public Relations & Community Affairs, (8) Business & Finance, (9) Supervising Administrators (10) General Contacts, and (11) Other. The third decision was to develop several record forms to which data from field notes could be transferred as soon after observation sessions as possible. These record forms provided a structure for organizing data into categories of work activities. For example, when the field notes indicated that the superintendent was engaged in a contact or conference,

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107 the researcher would transfer all information from the field notes pertinent to that activity to a Contact Record Form. From this form the researcher was able to analyze who was involved in the contact, who initiated it, and the content or topic of that contact. Having all contacts and conferences recorded on a standard form allowed the researcher to conduct a comprehensive analysis of this activity category without searching through the field notes to find all activities which fell into this category. The Chronology Record Form was used to record times, types of activities, duration of activities, and content of activities. This was cross-referenced with four other record forms. The Chronology Record was also used to record the overall length of each work day. Data Record Excerpt 2 displays portions of a Chronology Record for Superintendent Brown. The reference column in the Chronology Record indicates the other record forms on which detailed descriptions of various activities were recorded. The other record forms included: 1. Activity Record Form (coded with an A and a number). This form was used to record details of meetings, desk work, and school visitations and observations.

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108 2. Phone record Form (coded PR). This form was used to record details of all business-related telephone contacts. 3. Contact Record Form (coded with a C and a number). This form was used to record all contacts and confer-ences. 4. Written Communication Record Form (coded with a W and a number). This form was used to record the format, sender, and purpose of all written communication, as well as the superintendents' attention and action given to the items. (See Appendices A-1 through A-5 for samples of Chronology, Activity, Phone, Contact, and Written Communication Record Forms.) Data Record Excerpt 2 Chronology Record Superintendent Brown -1/6/88 Begin work -6:45 a.m. End work -5:15 p.m. Total work time 10 hr. 30 min. Time 6:45 7:15 8:19 Type of Activity Reference s arrives at office A-52 -begins desk work S goes to board room A-53 for Key Communicators meeting Meeting ends S visits C-38 with 2 citizens after meeting Duration 30 m 54 m 11 m

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Chronology Record (Continued) Time 8:30 8:40 9:03 9:07 9:10 10:04 11:15 Type of Activity Visit ends S goes to I's office, s & I discuss biology textbook issue S goes to PS's office S & PS discuss last night's board meeting & proposed calendar & possible changes S returns to office PS enters to give information on teacher applicant PS leaves S checks information with sec s returns to office -begins desk work (interrupted by phone calls) Desk work ends -Central Office Administrators' Meeting begins Meeting ends -s leaves for lunch meeting Reference PR (23 m phone) A-55 (tape) 109 Duration 10 m 23 m 4 m 3 m 54 m 1 hr, 11 m Note: The above is a summary of a Chronology Record. The actual record contains more detailed descriptions of each activity. The record continues on throughout the day's activities until Superintendent Brown left his office at 5:15p.m. s (code for superintendent), I and PS (codes for cabinet members) are used throughout the records.

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110 Work Activity Findings The researcher observed Superintendents Adams and Brown over a period of ten weeks. Observations usually occurred as full day blocks which were spread throughout the ten weeks in an attempt to obtain a representative sample of regular work patterns and routines. During the days of observations, which included numerous night activities, the researcher generally was with Adams and Brown from the time they began the work day until they concluded their work for the day. The only exceptions occurred when they left their offices for personal business or requested time for personal or private phone calls and conferences. The researcher spent the equivalent of 20 1/2 work days with the superintendents, 10 days with Superintendent Adams and 10 1/2 days with Superintendent Brown. During this time they averaged 10 hours and 16 minutes per day on their jobs. When extended over a five-day period, the work week averaged 51 hours and 20 minutes. As stated in the background information, the Apple School District conducted a general fund mill levy election in 1987. The researcher spent 5 1/2 days observing superintendent Adams prior to the elec-tion, including election day, and 4 1/2 days after the election. The average work day before the election was

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111 10 hours and 42 minutes. After the election, Adams worked an average of 8 hours and 37 minutes per day. His overall average work day was 9 hours and 46 minutes. Other comparisons of before and after election activities are presented in this chapter, where appropriate. Superintendent Adams provided the researcher with a two-week self report of total time per work day. As discussed in Chapter III, the self report or diary method for data collection was found to be less accurate than second party observations. Therefore, for this study, the self reports were used only as a source of supplemental data and as a check on the accuracy of observational data. Adams reported an average work day of 10 hours and 24 minutes in his self report, or 38 minutes per day more than the observed work days. He also reported work time for two weekends. During one weekend the average work time per day was 2 hours and 45 minutes. The second weekend he worked 8 hours and 30 minutes on both Saturday and Sunday. This week-end included a class he felt would enhance his skills in school administration. The average work day for Superintendent Brown was 11 hours and 15 minutes. Brown provided a one-week self report with an average work time per day of 12 hours and 6 minutes, or 51 minutes per day more than

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112 the observed work days. The self report week included more night meetings than the observed work days and consequently, the average time per day was longer. The average time per day for the weekend included in the self report was one hour. In discussing the length of work days and weeks which are required of superintendents, Superintendent Dodge indicated that one thing he did not accurately anticipate when assuming the superintendency was the number of hours per week he would spend on the job. My time per week shot up to 60 to 70 hours on the job. Part of that was due, particularly the first year, to the fact that I was working very hard at visibility, both in-house and with the public and media. --superintendent Dodge (I-6, p. 1) Superintendent Adams attended numerous breakfast meetings and early morning staff meetings in the schools. This was primarily due to the frequent elec-tion presentations he gave to school staffs and com-munity groups prior to the election. When not attending an early morning meeting, Adams would arrive at his office between 7:45 and 8:30 a.m. Superin-tendent Brown attended early morning meetings less frequently and was regularly in his office by 7:00 a.m. each day. Superintendent Adams frequently had working lunch appointments with community members, government

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113 officials, members of the business community, service clubs, or members of his senior staff. Occasionally he would skip lunch or have lunch with a family member. Superintendent Brown regularly brought his lunch to the o!fice and ate at his desk while doing desk work. Occasionally he would be involved in lunch meetings with higher education colleagues, business community members, or chamber of commerce groups. When a night meeting was on his calendar, Superin Adams would usually leave the office to go home for dinner with his family. On one occasion he had dinner with the board president prior to the board meeting. Night meetings occurred on five of the ten days Adams was observed, and the range for ending times was from 7:45 to 11:40 p.m. On days when he did not have a night meeting he left the office anywhere between 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. Superintendent Brown usually worked in his office prior to a night meeting. He would bring something to eat for dinner while "catching up" on desk work or preparing for the meeting. On days when he did not have a night function, Brown generally left the office between 4:45 and 5:30 p.m. and went for a physical workout at his health club an average of two times per week. He attended three night meetings during the 10 1/2 days he was

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114 observed and the range of ending times was from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. For both superintendents arrival time at the office tended to be later than usual on the days following late night meetings. Time Distribution By Activity Category Understanding the findings regarding distribution of time among activity categories requires a definition of each category. 1. Contacts and Conferences --Those face-to-face contacts involving two, three, or four people, includ-ing the superintendent. 2. Meetings --Face-to-face contacts involving five or more people, including the superintendent. 3. Telephone Contacts --All business-related activity conducted over the telphone. 4. Desk Work --The activity which involved the super-intendent working at his desk while attending to ten communication, writing, reading, planning, and preparing. A desk work session began whenever the superintendent began working at his desk following a major activity, and ended when the superintendent began a new major activity. 5. Visitations and Observations --The activity in which the superintendent visited a school site for the

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115 specific purpose of touring the facility and observing the implementation of the instructional program. 6. Travel --Going from one location to another to be involved in business-related activities. 7. Miscellaneous --Included all activities that did not fit into one of the other categories, such as getting coffee or arranging furniture for a meeting. Time Distribution by Work Activities Categories More than one third of Adams' and Brown's combined time (36.2%) was spent in contacts and conferences. Percentages of their time spent in other activities were: meetings, 29.4%; desk work, 19.2%; telephone contacts, 7.3%; travel, 5.6%; miscellaneous, 1.6%; and visitations and observations, 0.7%. A composite of how the two superintendents spent their time does not provide as meaningful a description as does an examination of Adams and Brown individually. The distribution of Adams' time is presented in Figure 1. Face-to-face contacts, contacts and conferences combined with meetings, consumed 71.1% of Adams' time. With telephone contacs added, more than three fourths (77.9%) of his time was spent in verbal contact with

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Telephone ril Desk Work II Travel [) contacts/Conferences 1m Meetings 1B Miscellaneous 116 6.8% 11.2% 9.7% 34.3% 36.8% 1.2% Figure 1. Distribution of time by activity categories --Superintendent Adams. people. did not engage in any. visitations and observations during the observation period. Figures 2 and 3 show the distribution of Adams' time by activity category before and after the election, respectively. Before the election Adams spent three fourths of his time in face-to-face contacts, with the majority of that time (46.4%) in meetings. But, after the election face-to-face contacts dropped to 64.5% with the majority of that time (43.2%) in contacts and conferences. While the miscellaneous, travel, and telephone contacts categories were rela-tively unchanged, the desk work time increased from 6.1% before the election to 19.5% after the election.

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Telephone Work II Travel l:J Contacts/Conferences Iii Meetings EEl Miscellaneous 117 8.0% 6.1% 9.6% 28.9% 46.4% 1 .0% Figure 2. Distribution of time by activity categories --Superintendent Adams; before election. Telephone Work Travel l:J Contacts/Conferences fa Meetings EEl Miscellaneous 4 .9% 19.5% 9 .8% 43.2% 21.3% 1.3% Figure 3. Distribution of time by activity categories --Superintendent Adams; after election.

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118 Figure 4 is a graphic representation of time dis-tribution by activity category for Superintendent Brown. Telephone 7. 7% E:t Desk Work 25.9% B Travel 2.1% 1:1 Contacts/Conferences 37.8% II Visitations/Observations 1.2% lEI Meetings 23.3% Miscellaneous 2.0% Figure 4. Distribution of time by activity categories --Superintendent Brown. Face-to-face contacts {contacts and conferences, meetings, and visitations and observations) consumed the majority of Brown's time (62.3%). Desk work con-sumed more than one foUrth of activity time (25.9%), followed by telephonecontacts (7.7%), travel (2.1%), and miscellaneous (2.0%). The distributions of combined total time by work activity categories reveal that the superintendents spent almost three fourths (72.9%) of their time in face-to-face and contacts. remainder of their average 10 1/4 hour work days was spent doing

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119 desk work (19.2%): traveling to various locations to conduct their work (5.6%); visiting schools and observing the instructional program (0.7%): or involved in miscellaneous activities (1.6%). This description of general time distribution also suggests that Superintendent Adams' pattern of work activity was significantly affected by the election in his district. While this examination of total time distribution provides an interesting description of the superintendents' overall work day, examination of the who, what, where, how long, and why of specific activities within each of the work activity categories is more illuminating in understanding the superintendents' work day. As discussed in Chapter III, the use of qualitative research methodology can result in large amounts of raw data. The large amount of data gathered in this study could be presented in numerous ways by arranging the groupings of data in a variety of combinations. This chapter, however, presents only those findings selected by the researcher to address the original research purposes. Other findings which are equally informative and descriptive of the superintendents' work activities are not presented because they are not pertinent to the research focus.

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120 Contacts and Conferences Superintendents Adams and Brown engaged in 373 contacts and conferences during the period they were observed. Adams was involved in 147 contacts for an average of 14.7 per day. Brown was observed in 226 total contacts for an average of 21.5 per day. The number of Superintendent Adams' daily contacts and conferences ranged from a low of nine to a high of 23. He spent an average of over three hours (200 minutes) of his total 9 3/4 work hours per day in these contacts. Superintendent Brown's contacts and conferences ranged from nine per day to 35, for an average of over four hours (255 minutes) of his total 11 1/4 work hours per day. On the day he had 35 contacts, Brown spent almost six hours (348 minutes) in contacts and conferences. Contacts and conferences involving the superintendent and one, two, or three other people, consumed the greatest amount of Superintendent Brown's time and also Adams' after the election. Adams indicated that the time distribution after the election was more typical of his regular pattern. During interviews, several superintendents provided explanations for the amount of time spent in contacts and conferences. Their

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121 comments indicated that for one superintendent, face-to-face communication is seen as needed to get the job done, another superintendent viewed it as a learned part of his chosen leadership style, and yet another preferred to communicate in this way because he likes it. Superintendent Brown stressed the need for com-munication as a reason for frequent face-to-face contacts. So we work awfully hard on communications and helping people feel they have a foot in the door, always. My phone number is well known and that door is usually open. And that means I carry home quite a bit. --Superintendent Brown (I-2, p. 10) Superintendent Adams preferred working with small rather than large groups of people. The bigger groups are fine, but the bigger groups are more formal. The size of a group, the size of cabinet I like, to be able to sit around and share more. I prefer a meeting where there is sharing going on as opposed to a meeting where somebody does all the talking. --superintendent Adams (I-3, p. 3) Adams indicated that face-to-face contacts have become difficult as his district has become larger. The larger the size of the district, it becomes more difficult to manage on that person-to-person level in which I like to operate . I think you need to be a focal or a leader for the school district. But I think that personally my personal style, my preference has been to spend as much time with principals, teachers, and classified staff as possible. I haven't been able to do that as much as I used to, but to be a good

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122 leader you have to be in touch with the people you are leading. --Superintendent Adams (I-3, p. 1) Superintendent Cooper stated that face-to-face contact was his personal preference of how to spend his work time. I choose to spend my time in people contacts and delegate all the paper work I can. --Superintendent Cooper (I-5, p. 1) Superintendent Edwards described a change in values during his career which places a greater emphasis on contacts and conferences. I'm rarely in the office. That is a major change. My office time really is at horne, anymore, in the evenings. I think there's a shift in values. Early on you take some human relations for granted, in a career, only to discover that they're so fragile that they need attention. And so, as my career, at least, has moved along, I have invested far more time in the people-people side than I did early on. It was the technical side that was important. But that isn't so any more. --superintendent Edwards (I-7, p. 4) Edwards also shared his belief that face-to-face contact provides the best means of communication, especially in critical situations. But the best communication is face-to-face . If there's water on the deck, I want people to communicate. --Superintendent Edwards (I-7, p. 3) Subordinates of Adams and Brown also commented on the superintendents' preference for face-to-face con-tacts. When Adams' secretary was asked about the type

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123 of work activity he preferred to be involved in, she unhesitatingly responded, "What does he like best? Being out there at those schools, in touch with the people" (I-10, p. 2). One of Brown's cabinet members responded to a question about the superintendent's preference for written or verbal media in this way: He clearly likes the verbal . you can send him written notes but he wants the meeting. He wants to be able to ask the questions ... He'll usually ask a principal to come in and talk about a concern rather than to discuss it in detail over the phone ... He likes the face-to-face. --Senior Staff -Superintendent Brown (I-9, pp. 1, 2) Contact and Conferences -Who Participates For both Adams and Brown, over 85% of the observed contacts and conferences were with members of the school organization; almost 65% of the contacts and conferences were with district employees assigned to central administration. The superintendents' cabinet members (28.7%) and secretaries (28.5%) accounted for over half of all contacts and conferences. While con-tacts with secretaries were frequent, they were of short duration. For example, 28.6% of Superintendent Adams' contacts were with his secretaries but these only accounted for 12.1% of his total contact time. In the case of Superintendent Brown, 32.7% of all contacts

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124 were with his secretary, but these accounted for only 7.1% of his total contact time. Principals, on the other hand, were in contact with the superintendents on fewer occasions but for longer periods of time. Only 13.6% of Adams' contacts were with principals, but they took more than one fourth (25.5%) of his total contact time. For Brown, the contacts with principals constituted 14.2% of all contacts, but again, more than one fourth (25.3%) of total contact time was spent with them. Separate examinations of the contacts and conferences time spent with members of cabinets clearly showed that both superintendents spent significantly more time with some cabinet members than with others. For example, Superintendent Adams had more contacts (36.7%) with the coordinator of public information than with any other cabinet member. However, the majority of these contacts occurred prior to the election (83.3% before the election and 16.7% after) because this cabinet member was his chief assistant in running the election campaign. Contacts with individual members accounted for the following percentages of Adams' total number of cabinet contacts and total cabinet contact time.

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125 Coordinator of Public Information --36.7% of cabinet contacts and 16.5% of cabinet contact time. Assistant Superintendent for Auxiliary Services 26.5% of cabinet contacts and 36.9% of cabinet contact time. Assistant Superintendent for Instruction --22.4% of cabinet contacts and 24.6% of cabinet contact time. Executive Director for Personnel --8.2% of cabi-net contacts and 4.2% of cabinet contact time. Executive Director for Business Services --6.1% of cabinet contacts and 17.8% of cabinet contact time. Superintendent Brown had a greater percentage of contacts (40.4%) with the Executive Director of Person-nel Services than with either of the other two cabinet members. However, the greatest amount of Brown's time spent in contact with a member of his cabinet was with the Executive Director of Instruction (47.1%). Con-tacts with individual members accounted for the following percentages of Brown's total number of cabi-net contacts and total cabinet contact time: Executive Director of Instruction --37.1% of cabinet contacts and 47.1% of cabinet contact time. Executive Director of Personnel Services 40.4% of cabinet contacts and 33.9% of cabinet contact time.

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126 Executive Director of Business Services --22.5% of cabinet contacts and 19.0% of cabinet contact time. Contacts and conferences with cabinet members, secretaries, and principals accounted for 261 (70%) of the 373 observed contacts for the superintendents combined. Percentages of the remaining 112 contacts and conferences were spent with the following individual(s): central office staff, 6.9%; teachers, 4.7%; board president, 2.9%; classified employees, 2.9%; peers and other members of the educational community, 2.9%; community members, parents, and students, 2.5%; members of the business community, government officials, attorney for the district, and press, 2.5%; unidentified individuals, 2.0%; field and central office administrators (other than principals and cabinet members), 1.7%; and individual board mem-bers, 1.2%. (See Appendix c-1 for a complete listing of categories for individuals with whom the subjects had contact and the frequency of each.) Contacts and Conferences. -How Long Contacts and conferences were usually concluded in less than five minutes. The superintendents' contacts with their secretaries tended to account for this brevity. On the other hand, the more lengthy contacts with principals pushed the average length of

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127 each contact up to 14 minutes for Superintendent Adams and 12 minutes for Superintendent Brown. Table 1 displays the distribution by length of time for contacts and conferences. Table Length of Contacts and Conferences Time Combined Less than 5 min. 53.1% 5-10 min. 22.8% More than 10 min. 24.1% Contacts and Conferences -Who Initiates Adams Brown 49.7% 55.3% 21.8% 23.5% 28.6% 21.2% The superintendents initiated more contacts and conferences than did other participants. Superinten-dent Adams initiated nearly half (48.3%) of his con-tacts, 41.5% were initiated by others, 8.2% were initiated through mutual action, and 2.0% were routinely held on a reoccurring basis. Superin-tendent Brown initiated over half of his contacts (54.9%), others initiated 35.4%, mutual action accounted for 5.3%, and 4.4% were routinely held.

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Contacts and Conferences Where 128 Over half of the contacts and conferences were conducted in the superintendents' offices (37.8%), or in the secretaries' areas (17.3%). Almost 12% of con-tacts occurred in hallways and in central office coffee rooms. Another 11.4% occurred in the board of educa-tion rooms or conference rooms in the central adminis-tration buildings and 6.1% in subordinates' administration building offices. Combining the figures for these central office locations revealed that almost 85% of the superintendents contacts occurred in those build-ings. The remaining contacts occurred in principals' offices (4.5%), other locations in school buildings (7.2%), and outside the districts' facilities (4.0%). (See appendix C-2 for a complete listing of locations for contacts and conferences.) Data Record Excerpt 3 gives a short sample from a Chronology Record for Superintendent Adams. This record covers a 13-minute period of time in which Adams had seven contacts with five different people in four different locations. This record also illustrates how the transition from one major activity to another became a period of time generally filled with numerous, brief contacts. The pace of the superintendents' work during these

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129 Data Record Excerpt 3 Chronology Record Superintendent Adams -11/18/87 Time 11:02 11:04 11:05 11:06 11:07 11:08 11:09 11:10 11:15 Type of Activity s stands to leave conference room -end of meeting. AI shows s draft of election coalition document s heads for office -in hallwav outside Supt's office AS discusses revised numbers for a report I approaches S and discusses teacher's request for a lathe -in hallway At secretary's area S and secretary discuss set-up for tonight's election kick-off meeting PS approaches S and asks for clarification regarding today's classified council meeting -secretary's area S enters office to begin desk work -preparation for kick-off meeting AS enters office with additional figures for report and leaves Secretary enters office and continues planning details for kick-off meeting Secretary leaves and S returns to preparation for kick-off meeting Note: The reference and duration columns have been eliminated from this excerpt because they are not pertinent to the data being presented.

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periods was usually rapid, moving quickly from one topic to the next, and frequently appearing to be hectic. 130 The end of a scheduled meeting or contact fre-quently became the beginning of an unscheduled contact when subordinates would approach the superintendents in hallways or take the opportunity to enter their offices as soon as the doors opened. The superin-tendents also used the movement from one activity to another or back to their offices as a chance to go to a subordinate's office for an exchange of information or to request some type of action. Contacts and Conferences Size of Group A majority of all contacts and conferences (81.0%) included only the superintendent and one other individual. Occasionally (5.4% of the contacts), the size of the groups varied as the superintendents would engage in informal conversations as they walked through the halls of schools or visited with individuals before meetings started. Table 2 displays the group size percentages for Adams and Brown combined and indi-vidually.

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Table 2 Group Size for Contacts and Conferences Group size (including supt.) Combined 2 participants 81.0% 3 participants 9.7% 4 participants 4.0% Varied 5.4% Contacts and Conferences -Scheduled or Unscheduled Adams 85.0% 10.9% 2.0% 2.0% 131 Brown 78.3% 8.8% 5.3% 7.5% Typically, the superintendents' contacts and con-ferences were unscheduled (82.8%), meaning that they were not put on the calendar in advance. Of the 373 contacts observed, seven (1.9%) were requested by the superintendents on the same day they were held. While the superintendents rarely requested same-day confer-ences, the frequency with which they made unannounced visits to subordinates' offices substituted for requesting appointments. When the superintendents decided that the need existed for a same-day confer-ence they did not hesitate to request one. For example, on one particular day Brown needed information from a principal abo.ut a newspaper article that had just appeared. At 9:00 a.m. he

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132 contacted the principal by telephone to request a conference and at 4:00 p.m. that same day the conference was held. Table 3 displays the percentages of scheduled and unscheduled contacts and conferences for the two super-intendents combined and individually. Table 3 Scheduled and Unscheduled Contacts and Conferences Type of contact; Conference Scheduled Unscheduled Combined Adams 17.2% 12.9% 82.8% 87.1% Some of the scheduled contacts (3.5%) were Brown 19.9% 80.1% routinely held, which means they were put on the calen-dar at one time at the beginning of the year and were held at regular intervals on the same day of the week and time of day. Examples are the regular appointments that Superintendent Brown had scheduled with each of his three cabinet members at 8:30, 9:00, and 9:30 a.m. each Monday morning and which were cancelled or changed if other activities interfered or the superintendent felt there was no need to hold them. He also had a

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meeting with the three cabinet members as a group scheduled for every Wednesday morning. 133 The selection of times for routinely held contacts and conferences was not, in most cases, an arbitrary decision. Brown had specific reasons for holding these Monday and Wednesday contacts. The Monday morning individual contacts were held so that, among other things, Brown and each of his cabinet members could discuss the activities for the upcoming week and coordinate calendars as needed. This also gave them the opportunity to discuss items for board of education meetings which were held twice a month on Tuesday nights. The Wednesday morning meetings with the whole cabinet provided opportunities to discuss the previous night's board meeting (if one was held), plan for follow-up activities to board meetings, and plan agendas for future board meetings. Meetings Superintendent Adams was observed participating in 32 meetings and Superintendent Brown in 14 meetings for a combined total of 46 meetings. Adams averaged 3.2 meetings per day which consumed over 3 1/2 hours (216 minutes) of his average 9 3/4 hour work day. There was only one day when Adams did not have any

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134 meetings, and on one day he attended sevenmeetings which accounted for over 7 1/2 hours (457 minutes) of his total work time of 14 1/2 hours for that day. Adams was involved in 25 meetings during the 5 1/2 days of observation before the election and seven meetings after the election. At 11 of the 25 pre-election meetings, he was present for the primary purpose of giving a presentation about the election. Brown averaged 1.3 meetings per day for an average of approximately 2 1/2 hours per day of his 11 1/4 hour work day. The number of meetings ranged from zero on three days to two meetings on six days. The greatest amount of time he spent in meetings on any one day was approximately 5 1/2 hours (328 minutes) out of a 12 hour work day. As reported earlier in this chapter, night meetings occurred on five of the ten days that Adams was observed; no weekend meetings were part of the data record. The night meetings were all board of education meetings: two regular meetings, two executive sessions, and one special meeting to receive the election returns. Brown had three night meetings during the observation period including one regular board meeting, one executive session, and a "Town Hall" community meeting which the board sponsored. He was also

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135 observed in one special meeting of the board held in the late afternoon. No weekend meetings were part of the data record for Brown. The two superintendents combined spent more than one fourth of their time (29.4%) in meetings involving five or more participants. For Superintendent Adams, over the entire observation period meetings consumed more time (36.8%) than did any other activity category. Before the election, almost half (46.4%) of his time was spent in meetings, and after the election just over a fifth (21.3%). Superintendent Brown spent almost one fourth (23.3%) of his time in meetings. Interviews with Superintendents Dodge and Edwards provided insights into aspects of superinten-dents' work which explain the importance of being involved in meetings. -Dodge emphasized that his attendance at meetings helped fulfill his desire to be known to the public. When the superintendent has what you call a command performance, I'm there. In the past, under the past two superintendents in particular that I worked for, they probably would have delegated that to me or some other cabinet member. So I'm not saying I'm more dedicated, I work harder, I work longer, but I feel that people need to know who the superintendent of (name of district) Schools is more than they knew my predecessor, and I meant to be more public, and I've worked at doing that. If that means attending more public meetings, I'll do that. --Superintendent Dodge (I-6, p. 2)

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136 Superintendent Edwards pointed out that meetings with school staffs are very important to him. First of all, I've always been a superintendent who was out in the buildings. I spend a lot of time meeting with staffs, and never miss a meeting in buildings. I'll be at an elementary facility all af.ternoon today and conclude with a meeting with the staff, which is very typical of my visits. So I've always done that ... I feel deprived, I feel absent information, I feel like I've lost some relationships when I can't be out observing programs, being part of staff meetings, and visiting with staff, whether its custodians, or a secretary, or the department heads. --Superintendent Edwards (I-7, p. 1) Edwards also shared his opinion that the job of superintendent has changed to the extent that more time in meetings is unavoidable. In addition, when I started back in 1972, it was fairly common for a superintendent to make a goodly number of decisions on his or her own. There is very little of that going on today ... Today, and I do believe in it, I. believe in high degrees of collaboration, genuine involvement, opportunities, at least for genuine involvement of interested others. And so, now you take what might otherwise have been in 1972 or 1975, a 30 minute commitment to work through this problem. You could literally stretch that into days today. And sometimes I suspect the decision is superior and other times I'm thinking, I was there two weeks ago, in my room, all by myself, are all these meetings worth it? But this is worth it. It will have more durability, it will stand the test of time. --superintendent Edwards (I-7, pp.l, 2} Meetings -Who Participates The participants in meetings with the superinten-dents were most likely to be members of theschool organization and at any given meeting there were

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137 usually participants from more than one group or category. Members of the superintendents' cabinets attended more than half (56.5%) of the meetings in which Adams and Brown participated. This was because cabinet members generally attended meetings that the superintendents had with principals and with the board of education, including executive sessions. The board of education as a whole, or individual board members, were participants in more than one third (37.0%) of the meetings, as were principals (37.0%). The general public (including parents, students, and other community members) was involved in more than one fourth of the meetings (28.3%). Brown did not meet with any school staffs during the observation period but Adams had one fourth (eight) of his meetings with school staffs. Adams initiated all of these meetings when he told principals that he wanted to meet personally with all school staffs prior to the election, which he did. Teachers, as individuals or in groups, participated in seven (15.2%) of the 46 meetings attended by the superintendents, and administrators other than principals and cabinet members were in attendance at six (13.0%). Central office employees and classified employees were present at two (4.3%) of the meetings.

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138 Individuals and groups from outside the school district organization who attended meetings in which the superintendents were involved were: peers and other members of the educational community, 10.9% (five meetings); and members of the business community, government officials, and members of the press, 10.9% (five meetings). (See Appendix C-3 for a complete listing of meeting participants.) Meetings -How Long Almost two thirds (63.1%) of all meetings lasted more than an hour. All but one of Superintendent Brown's 14 meetings were more than an hour long and none lasted less than 30 minutes. Fourteen of Superintendent Adams' 32 meetings fell into the 30 to 60 minute range. Many of these were school staff election meetings which fit into that range of time because they were held during available before and after school hours. Sixteen (50%) of Adams' meetings were over an hour long and only two (4.3%) were less than 30 minutes. Table 4 displays the distribution of meetings into various time blocks for Adams and Brown combined and for each individually.

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139 Table 4 Length of Meetings Meeting Length Combined Adams Brown Less than 30 min. 4.3% 6.2% 0.0% (2) (2) (0) 30 60 min. 32.6% 43.8% 7.1% (15) (14) (1) More than 60 min. 63.1% 50.0% 92.9% (29) (16) (13) Note: The numbers of meetings in each category are given in parentheses following the percentages. Meetings -Who Initiates Many meetings occurred on a regularly scheduled basis; over one third (34.4%) of Adams' meetings were in this category. One half of his meetings were initiated by him, but this was due primarily to his request that he have an opportunity to meet with each school and department staff to discuss the election. He made himself available to community and business groups as well. Other participants initiated only two (6.3%) of Adams' 32 meetings and three (9.4%) were held as the result of mutual action. Six (42.9%) of Superintendent Brown's meetings were regularly scheduled; he initiated another 21.4%,

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140 other participants initiated 28.6%, and 8.7% occurred as the result of mutual action. Some meetings that were regularly scheduled were originally initiated by the superintendents. For example, Brown was the initiator for the regularly scheduled meetings with the administrative council (principals and cabinet members) every Thursday morning. Adams was the initiator of the pre-board meeting meetings held on Tuesday mornings before board meetings, and the post-board meeting meetings held on Wednesday mornings after board meetings. Still other meetings were scheduled according to board policy, such as board of education meetings and district accountability committee meetings. Table 5 displays the distribution of meetings according to the source of initiation for Adams and Brown combined and for each individually. The degree and type of participation of the superintendents varied from meeting to meeting, and to a certain extent depended upon whether the superintendent was the initiator or a participant. In one meeting in which Superintendent Brown was a participant, and not the initiator, over a period of 46 minutes he spent 39 1/2 minutes listening and 6 1/2 minutes speaking. On the other hand, at meetings such as

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141 Table 5 Source of Meeting Initiation Source of Initiation Combined Adams Brown Superintendent 41.3% 50.0% 21.4% (19) (16) (3) Other Participants 13.0% 6.3% 28.6% (6) (2) (4) Regularly Scheduled 37.0% 34.4% 42.9% (17) (11) (6) Mutual Action 8.7% 9.4% 7.1% (4) (3) (1) Note: The number of meetings in each category are given in parentheses following the percentages. the administrative council, Brown did a considerable amount of talking and.was clearly in charge of the meeting. Meetings -Scheduled or Unscheduled All 46 of the meetings observed were scheduled and most were scheduled well in advance of the meeting time. Meetings must be scheduled when there will be five or more busy people attending and the time com-mitment will generally be more than one hour.

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142 Telephone Contacts The superintendents were involved in 249 telephone contacts during the 20 1/2 observation days. Telephone contacts included both incoming and outgoing calls. They averaged 12.1 calls per day for an average time of 46 minutes per day. Superintendent Adams had 112 telephone contacts for an average of 11.2 per day and these accounted for approximately 40 minutes or 6.8% of his average daily work time. Brown had 137 tele phone contacts which averaged 13 calls per day and accounted for 52 minutes (7.7%) of his average daily work time. The number of calls per day ranged from zero to 23 for Adams and from two to 26 for Brown. Adams' range of time per day was from zero to 81 minutes; Brown's range was from nirie to 110 minutes per day. Of the 249 calls observed, the superintendents placed 193 (77.5%). Over two-fifths of the calls they placed resulted in no answer, or a busy signal, or with the superintendents leaving messages on a recorder or with a third party. The uncompleted calls accounted for 37.6% of the calls placed by Superintendent Adams and almost half (48.1%) of the calls placed by Superintendent Brown. The uncompleted calls were occupational nuisances. They

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143 consumed only about 11% of the superintendents' total telephone time, but not being able to complete calls did become frustrating at times. Data Record Excerpt 4, from a Phone Record for Superintendent Adams, illustrates that frustration. Data Record Excerpt 4 Phone Record Superintendent Adams -11/17/87 PR Time 11:48 11:50 12:42 12:44 12:45 Description of Call S places two calls from car phone -parties not available Calling ends s places call on car phone to principal -out of office -s leaves message for call back on car phone Call ends S places call on car phone to principal -out of office -s leaves message for call back on car phone Call ends (Superintendent Adams comments that unavailability of principals for phone calls gets frustrating at times but he prefers them out of their offices and in classrooms.) The researcher usually was not able to identify the persons whom the superintendents were calling when the calls were not completed or messages were left. Uncompleted calls could not be recorded in content

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144 categories because there was no content covered in these calls. Also, uncompleted calls were always brief. Because of these factors, the uncompleted calls w.ere not used in the analysis of who the superintendent talked to, how long the calls lasted, or what the con-tent was of telephone contacts. The remainder of the findings pertaining to telephone contacts presented in this section, therefore, will be based only on those calls that were completed. Telephone Contacts -Who Participates The superintendents' contacts with principals accounted for almost one third (29.7%) of their total completed telephone contacts. In the Apple School District, where there are more schools and greater distances between schools than in Batesville, Adams telephone contacts with principals accounted for 36.3% of his total calls. This compared to 21.2% of Brown's total completed telephone contacts. Following principals, the superint.endents were in most frequent telephone contact (14.6% of completed telephone calls) with peers and other individuals from the educational community who were outside the school district organizations. Field administrators, other than principals and central office administrators,

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145 were involved in 8.2% of the calls. Other individuals in telephone contact with the superintendents were: members of the business community, government officials, attorney for the district, and press mem-bers, 6.3%; cabinet members, 5.7%; the board presi-dent, 5.7%; other individual board members, 5.7%; secretary, 4.4%; parents, students, and other community members, 3.8%; and teachers, 2.5%. Individuals who did not fit into these categories or who could not be identified by the researcher accounted for 13.3% of the completed calls. (See Appendix C-4 for a complete listing of telephone contact participants.) Telephone Contacts -How Long A third of the superintendents' completed calls lasted less than three minutes and more than two thirds I (68.5%) were completed in five minutes or less. Only 9.7% of the calls lasted over ten minutes. Table 6 displays the distribution of completed telephone contacts in various time blocks for Adams and Brown combined and for each individually. Telephone Contacts -Who Initiates The superintendents initiated almost two thirds (64.8%) of the completed telephone contacts in which they were involved. These contacts included calls

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146 Table 6 Length of TeleJ2hone Contacts Length of Call Combined Adams Brown Less than 3 min. 33.3% 35.0% 31.8% 3 -5 min. 35.2% 42.5% 28.2% 6 10 min. 21.8% 15.0% 28.2% More than 10 min. 9.7% 7.5% 11.8% which they placed and calls which they requested be returned to them. Superintendent Adams was responsible for 68.8% of his telephone contacts and Superintendent Brown for 61.2% of his contacts. Tele}2hone Contacts Where Superintendent Brown was observed to place or receive all of his telephone contacts from his office. Superintendent Adams was observed to conduct much of his telephone work from his car phone. The researcher was not with Adams in his vehicle each time he traveled from one location to another. On those occasions when the researcher followed in his own car, Adams could be seen using his car phone. Of the 671 minutes he spent traveling during the observation periods, 104 minutes or 15.5% of the time could be verified as spent on the car phone. A more accurate reflection of the extent

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147 to which the car phone was used occurred on two days when the researcher rode with Adams to his various activities and appointments. On one day he spent 50 minutes of the 211 minutes of travel time (23. 7%) on the car phone, and the second day he spent 49 out of 96 minutes (51. 0%) on the car phone. The frequency of use of the car phone was affected by the researcher's presence. Informal conversation and conversational interviews usually took place when the researcher traveled with Superintendent Adams. Consequently, Adams was using the car phone less frequently than he would have if he had been alone in his car. Desk Work Superintendents Adams and Brown were involved in 59 desk work sessions during the observation period. Brown's 34 desk work sessions averaged 3.2 sessions and almost three hours (175 minutes) per day. About a fourth (25.9%) of his total work time was spent at desk work and his desk work sessions ranged from two to six per day. Adams worked at his desk on 25 different occasions for an average of 2.5 sessions per day. His average time per day at his desk was just over one hour

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148 (66 minutes) and accounted for 11.2% of his total work time. His desk work sessions ranged from one to four per day. The before and after election comparison for Adams showed that he spent only 6.1% of his time at desk work prior to the election; that went up to 19!5% after the election. Desk Work -How Long Desk work sessions were always interrupted by telephone calls or contacts and conferences. Data Record Excerpt 5 is taken from an Activity Record for Superintendent Brown and demonstrates the types of interruptions that occurred during one of his desk work sessions. It also illustrates how time at the desk (17 minutes) was reduced to much less (5 minutes) actual time at desk work. . The superintendents themselves would interrupt desk work to place a call or leave the office to get information from a secretary or a cabinet member. the self-initiated interruptions would per-tain to the desk work being done at the time, but frequently they would have no relevance to it. Data Record Excerpt 6, taken from a Chronology for Superintend.ent Adams, shows how some of the interrup-tions were self-initated.

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Data Record Excerpt 5 Activity Record Superintendent Adams -1/20/88 -A-60 Time Description of Activity 149 8:38 S begins desk work -sorting through items on desk 8:41 PS enters to give S information on progress of search for new BOCES director 8:42 PS leaves and s gets out board meeting notebook 8:43 Secretary enters and asks S about student representatives attending board meeting 8:44 Secretary leaves and S places call to board member to respond to three items 8:52 Call ends S prepares to leave for meeting 8:53 s receives call from a computer company representative regarding a class 8:55 Call ends S leaves office for a third quarter visit to a school Summary: 17 minutes at desk 2 interruptions for contacts and conferences -2 min. 1 phone call placed -8 min. 1 phone call received -2 min. Total desk work time -5 min.

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150 Data Record Excerpt 6 Chronology Record Superintendent Adams -11/18/87 -p. 4 Time Description of Activity 11:55 s at desk preparing for election kick-off meeting. S tells sec he's not going to lunch -needs to work (comments to researcher about lack of think time) s asks receptionist to hold calls except for emergencies -closes door to begin desk work 12:06 S goes to AI's office to ask opinion regarding election meeting presentation 12:11 s returns to office -calls BS for information for presentation 12:14 Call ends -s calls AS to get budget figures 12:16 Call ends S goes to I's office to ask for test score information for presentation 12:18 S returns to office -continues work on presentation Summary: 23 minute period 2 visits to subordinates' offices -7 min. 2 phone calls -5 min. Total desk work time -11 min. (4 self-initiated interruptions to desk work) Examination of the length of desk work sessions revealed a broad range. One fourth (25.4%) of the sessions were less than ten minutes but almost one fourth (22.0%) were over an hour. A separate examina-

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151 tion for each superintendent shows that Adams had a tendency toward shorter sessions of desk work than did Brown. Table 7 displays the distribution of desk work sessions in various time blocks. Table 7 Length of Desk Work Sessions Length of Session Combined Adams Less than 10 min. 25.4% 36.0% (15) (9) 10-30 min. 37.3% 52.0% (22) (13) 31-60 min. 15.3% 0.0% (9) (0) More than 60 min. 22.0% 12.0% (13) (3) Note: The numbers of.desk work sessions in each category are given in parentheses following the percentages. Brown 17.6% (6) 26.5% (9) 26.5% (9) 29.4% ( 10) Superintendent Adams confirmed his tendency to minimize desk work through this response to an inter-view question. I can't think of really any strict component of my job that I really dislike. Some things I like, like I like to talk to people. I like to spend time with them one-on-one and in groups and I enjoy that. I don't like paper work. I'm not someone who enjoys sitting down for a half a day, or a couple hours, certainly not a full day doing

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152 paper work. I can be easily distracted from that, by myself or by other people. --Superintendent Adams (I-1, pp. 5, 6) Desk Work -Mail and Written Communication A significant portion of desk work time was spent dealing with the volume of mail and other written corn-rnunication which was sent to the superintendents. A separate written communication record form which tracked the volume and nature of written communication enabled the researcher to document the action and attention given to written communication by the super-intendents. Data Record Excerpts 7 and 8 give sample summaries of Written Communication Records. It can be seen from these examples that superintendent Brown handled more written communication than.did Superintendent Adams. In addition, Brown usually went through all mail and written communication received at least once daily. Adams gave daily atten-tion only to the most important items which had been placed on his desk. He had instructed his secretaries to place personal and important mail and written corn-rnunication there; the remainder of written communica-tation was placed on the credenza in his office

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153 Data Record Excerpt 7 Superintendent Adams -Written Communication Summary Date No. of Pieces Action Taken 11/18 21 6 -discard 7 -hold folder 4 -action folder 3 -pending pile 1 -approved 11/25 25 no action 12/8 12 no action 1/14 12 9 -discard 1 -filed 1 -to notebook 1 -forwarded l/21 54 31 -discard (accumulated) 5 -forwarded 2 -filed 1 -future reading pile 4 -signed 2 -no action 9 -future attention pile 1/22 12 10 -discard 1 -filed 1 -future attention pile and received periodic attention. Some items from the previous day or week were usually still on the credenza when more pieces were added. No in-basket or out-basket was used in Superintendent Adams' office. He commented that he discards approximately 90% of the mail that gets to him.

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154 Data Record Excerpt 8 Superintendent Brown -Written Communication Summary Date 12/14 12/15 1/5 1/18 1/25 No of Pieces Action Taken 46 5 -discard 10 14 45 53 10 -filed for future meetings/ confs. 22 -forwarded to cabinet members 5 -to secretary 4 -future reading pile 3 -discard 1 -filed 3 -future attention pile 3 -to secretary 5 -discard 1 -to secretary 2 -forwarded to cabinet members 4 -filed for future meetings/ confs 2 -future reading pile 24 -forwarded to cabinet members 11 -filed 2 -to secretary 2 -to outgoing mail 2 -future attention pile 4 -discard 9 -discard 27 -forwarded to cabinet members 3 -future consideration pile 4 -future reading pile 10 -filed Superintendent Brown used an in-basket located on his secretary's desk for incoming items and an out-basket on his desk for outgoing items. Brown commented that he probably should have his secretary go through

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155 mail and screen it more thoroughly. He also commented on how fast his in-basket always seemed to fill up. Visitations and Observations This activity category was created based on a school visit that superintendent Brown made during the first day of observation. In addition, both superintendents commented during initial interviews that they attempted to spend a significant amount of time in schools. Both superintendents spent time in schools during the observation sessions, but they generally spent this time in meetings or in conferences with principals, rather than conducting visitations to or observations in classrooms. Superintendent Adams did not engage in any visitations or observations during the observation periods because of the impact that the election had on the time available to him. Superintendent Brown conducted two visitations and observations to elementary schools during the observation periods. These accounted for only 1.2% of his total work time. Based on conversations and interviews with the superintendents, it can be assumed that visitations and observations over the course of an entire school year receive a significant proportion of time.

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156 Examination of the superintendents' calendars from the beginning of the school year until the time observations began (November) supported this assumption. Summary of Work Activities The distribution of time in work activity categories.was not consistent from day to day. Examination of the distribution over an extended period of time, however,.yielded a description of the superintendents' work activities which allowed the researcher to see patterns of activities and generalize about the typical or average distribution of time. It was apparent from the findings that face-to-face contacts and meetings accounted for almost two thirds of the superintendents' activities and usually involved members of the school organization. The superintendents initiated the majority of their contacts and conferences, the majority of telephone contacts, and many of their meetings --indications of the degree to which the superintendents could choose how to spend their time and with whom. Describing the types of work activities in which the superintendents engaged and the amount of time consumed by each activity did not provide about what topic(s) they focused on during the

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157 activities. To provide a more comprehensive description of their work, the next presents findings related to the content or topics of work activities. Content of Work Activity Findings Eleven major content categories of work activities were identified following the first four days of observation with the two superintendents. These categories emerged from the data and were used to record and code the content of the superintendents' work activities. Content categories were used to describe the what of activities while work activity categories were used to describe the who, when, and where of the superintendents' work. The superintendents addressed each of the 11 content areas through more than one type of work activity. For example, board of education business was the major content area during some contacts and conferences, meetings, telephone contacts, and desk work sessions. The various combinations of ways in which work activities could be matched with work content for presentation and analysis are numerous. The presentation which follows does not attempt to address the content of

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158 each separate work activity but only deals with the overall frequency of work content categories. Definitions of Content Categories A brief definition of each content category will make the findings more meaningful. 1. Board of Education --All board of education related activity and communication. 2. Campaigning and Election --Presentations, meetings, and discussions related to election activity. 3. Managing and Policy Implementation --Management of the school district and implementation of board policies. 4. General Administration --Includes work with mail, written communication, general administrative details, operations, maintenance, grounds, and miscellaneous administrative work. 5. Instruction, Teaching. and Curriculum --supervision of the instructional program, the improvement of teaching, and curriculum planning and evaluation. 6. Personnel and Evaluation --Hiring, reprimanding, dismissing, and evaluating personnel. 7. Public Relations and Community Affairs --Work with the news media, press releases, newsletters, public hearings, and special community meetings.

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8. Business and Finance --Budget development, budget administration, insurance programs, capital reserve projects, and approval of resource expenditures. 9. Administrators -Monitoring and evaluating administrator's performance. 10. General Contacts --Informal contacts with 159 district employees and the general public which are social in nature and do not address specific topics. 11. Other --Includes higher education matters, Colorado Partnership for Educational Renewal, Colorado Principals Center, community service group work activities, and other miscellaneous work activi-ties external to the school district organization. Time Distribution by Content Categories Table 8 displays the distribution of time in content categories for superintendent Adams and Superin-tendeht Brown .. The fact that superintendents work for boards of education was made abundantly clear when the distribu-tion of time in each content category was examined. For Adams and Brown combined, over one fourth (27.5%) of time in work activities was spent dealing with board-related content. It should be noted that this

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Table 8 Distribution of Time in Content Categories Content Category Codes BE -Board of Education CE -Campaigning & Election MP -Managing & Policy Implementation GA -General Administration IT -Instruction, Teaching, & curriculum PE -Personnel & Evaluation PR -Public Relations & Community Affairs BF -Business & Finance SA -Supervising Administrators GC -General Contacts o Other Supt. Adams Supt. Brown Before Election After Election CE -54.0% GA -16.2% BE -36.6% BE -18.2% SA -11.8% MP -10.0% BF -5.8% BE -11.8% PE -9.9% MP -4.8% 0 -11.6% IT -9.8% 0 -4.2% MP -10.9% GA -8.0% GA 3.7% IT -10.6% PR -8.0% PE -3.2% PE -7.2% 0 -6.7% IT -2.7% BF -7.0% BF -5.0% GC -2.5% PR 6. 9% SA -4.2% PR -0.9% CE -4.4% GC -1.8% SA -0.0% GC -1.5% CE -0.0% 160 category included everything in which the board was directly involved. For example, at board of education meetings, a wide variety of content was regularly addressed including business and finance, personnel, instruction, and.district policy, to name just a few. For the purposes of this study, the board meetings

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161 were coded only in the Board of Education category, even though the board was dealing with other specific content categories throughout the meetings. The same approach to coding was used when analyzing the superintendents' time spent responding to board requests and questions, time spent in pre-and post-board meeting meetings, and time spent preparing for special community meetings requested by the board. The next highest content category was Campaigning and Election (14.9%). Only Superintendent Adams engaged in activities that fell into this content category. Because of the strong influence that the election played on the content of work activities for Adams, the combined findings are not as meaningful as the individual findings. (See Table 8 for distribution of content categories for each superintendent individually, and for Adams before and after the election.) After the election the distribution of time in various content areas for Superintendent Adams was more evenly spread than before the election. In the "After Election" column, following General Administration (16.2%), the next eight categories were within a range of five percentage Public Relations and Community Affairs (6.9%) to Supervising

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162 Administrators and Board of Education (both at 11.8%). Some content areas which received little attention prior to the election received a much greater amount of time after the election. For example, the super-vising of administrators was not observed before the election but received 11.8% of Adams time after the election. Likewise, public relations and community affairs went from 0.9% before to 6.9% after the election. Board of Education was the content category for over one third (36.6%) of Superintendent Brown's activities. After that, similar to the distribution of time for Adams, the next eight categories were evenly spread and within a range of six percentage points--from .Supervising Administrators (4.2%) to Managing and Policy Implementation (10.0%). In summary, with the exception of one content category which received a disproportionate amount of each superintendent's attention, they both appeared to distribute their time similarly among the major content areas of their jobs. Board of Education Activity and Communication The Board of Education category was considerably higher than any other category for Superintendent Brown

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163 and relatively high for Superintendent Adams if the influence that the election played on the use of his time is removed. The superintendents were observed dealing with board of education matters through a variety of activities. Both superintendents attended and participated in board meetings. Five of Adams' 32 meetings and three of Brown's 14 meetings were board of education meetings, and these accounted for much of the superintendents' time addressing board matters. In addition, many of the superintendents' contacts with individual cabinet members and with their cabinets as a whole were focused on the preparation for and follow-up to board meetings. Contacts with secretaries also frequently dealt with the preparation of board meeting agendas, minutes, and background materials; and with written communication to the boards. Desk work often focused on the preparation for board meetings, planning.for the implementation or accomplishment of board goals, or on the development or revision of board-adopted policies. Likewise, the telephone was frequently used to communicate with the board presidents and individual board members, and to conduct other business related to boards' activities. Interviews with the superintendents, secretaries, and senior staff members provided information which

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164 explains the importance of work activity related to the board of education. When asked about Superinten-dent Brown's priorities, his senior staff member responded that the board of education hastop priority. Question: Are there specific roles and responsibilities which you observe the superintendent making a deliberate and focused effort to perform as superintendent? Response: The Board. Making sure that it goes right in the board, trying to prevent conflict between board members, trying to get them to go the direction he wants them to go. I think an awful lot of time goes to the board. --senior Staff Member -Superintendent Brown (I-9, p. 1) Superintendent Brown's secretary was very aware of his commitment to spending time on board matters because she participates in-these matters as the board's secretary, and she observes his work activity in this area. Well, one of the big things with him is that he really keeps on top of what is going on, every place. And he'll keep asking principals for information or other administrators for information until he feels he has what he. needs. And he keeps the board informed of everything. It's rather embarrassing if a board member calls him and says, what about this, and he doesn't know anything about it. Which can happen once in a while, but he tries not to let that happen. --secretary -superintendent Brown (I-ll, p. 1) Superintendent Adams' secretary pointed out that responsibilities related to the board of education are not delegated to subordinates.

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165 Well, he of course, directs, or is in charge of, or takes on, anything that concerns the board of education. The board agenda, special study sessions, those kinds of things. All boardrelated activities. He takes personal responsibility for accomplishment of the board's goals. --Secretary -Superintendent Adams (I-10, p. 1) Though attending to board-related matters is important to Superintendent Brown, preparing for board activities is not necessarily a favorite part of his work. Board meetings are twice a month, ordinarily, the first and third Tuesdays of the month. Occasion ally they have an extra meeting for special purposes. Those take quite a bit of time, that's not my favorite part of the job, planning for those. I kind of-enjoy the meetings but it's kind of an onerous routine to prepare for them. --superintendent Brown (I-2, p. 12) One special event held in the Batesville School District contributed heavily to the amount of time spent on board activities by Superintendent Brown. The board held a successful "Town Hall"-community meeting in the fall and decided to hold another in January. The format for this event required many hours of planning by Brown and other members of his administrative staff. The event was sponsored by the board and board members-themselves put in a signifi-cant amount of preparation time. The Town Hall meeting was a success due to good preparation and planning, and it served as an example of the additional time

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166 commitment needed from the superintendent when this type of board activity is undertaken. Superintendent Brown commented on the need to occasionally caution the board about work loads of administrative staff members. Sometimes now and then we (board of education and superintendent) talk about work load for staff generally. Sometimes they ask about mine specifically. And my typical response is that we have a staff, and certainly I'm part of that commitment, that's prepared to spend a very generous amount of time on their jobs. We're very dedicated people by and large. So it isn't a matter of our looking for ways to spend less time, overall, it's a matter of looking for ways to spend that time more efficiently, more effectively. . and so, sometimes we talk a little about, well, that's another commitment. Are there other things then that we ought to back away from? And, of course, that's usually tough because there's been a commitment to those things to begin with .. --superintendent Brown (I-4, p. 4) Superintendent Cooper also reflected on the need to deal with the board on time commitment issues. Question: Do you need to work with them (board of education) to keep their expectations reasonable in terms of things they want the district to be doing or involved in? Response: Yes, but never in a public setting. They're very good about reminding themselves that just asking an innocent question of something that they are a little bit curious about, and not understanding that it may take 20 hours of staff time to pull that together . And they're pretty good in public about saying, why don't you take a look at this and tell us what it would take to accomplish this . The other thing that has really helped is that our board is committed to our strategic plan. They're committed

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167 to their priorities, and that you don't change those every time somebody has a hot flash. --superintendent Cooper (I-5, p. 6) The findings clearly revealed that dealing with the board, board activities, and individual board members took a considerable amount of time. While it was also found that the superintendents occasionally talk to their boards about time commitment, the general attitude of the superintendents is expressed well in this statement: But if it's personal, I don't expect any quarter from the board, in terms of ease up because I'm killing myself with time. If it takes me 60 hours a week during certain seasons of the year to do what I need to do, then that's what it is. --superintendent Cooper (I-5, p. 6) Two superintendents shared the importance they place on keeping their boards well informed and one offered his perception that the role of boards has changed, resulting in the need for more of the super-intendent's attention. Superintendent Dodge shared his perception that the board of education is his most important public group. And I still focus on, you know, the most important public I have is the seven-member board of education, and keeping them fed and nurtured and communicated with and organized and all of that. --superintendent Dodge (I-6, p. 2) Keeping the board well informed was also stressed by Superintendent Cooper.

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168 They're the best informed board in the state of Colorado, as a board. There are just no mysteries. They forget, because it's not their job to know the whole structure of the district and what's going on every day. So they forget. So, just keep an open forum. Give them everything they want and then they know they can ask for more. --superintendent Cooper (I-5, p. 6) Superintendent Edwards pointed out that the level of the board's involvement has changed over the years that he has been in the superintendency. The boards. of education early on were perfectly pleased with one meeting a month and hopefully not more than three hours. And today, boards of education are far more educated, better educated, want to realize the thrill of changing things, to bean active partner. And r see that as really good, and yet, at the same time, of course, when you talk about time, you're talking about a good deal more time in arranging and attending special meetings We average somewhere between three to four, I think about 3.4 meetings per month. --superintendent Edwards (I-7, p. 2) Supervising Administrators Both superintendents were directly responsible for the supervision and evaluation of cabinet level administrators and field administrators. The two assistant superintendents, administrative assistant, executive director of personnel, and the 14 elementary principals were directly supervised by superintendent Adams. He worked with each one of these subordinates in the establishment of annual performance objectives and goals for their schools or departments. He was

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169 most frequently involved in the supervision and evaluation process through one-to-one conferences with subordinates. At these conferences he asked the individuals to update him on progress toward accomplishment of goals and objectives, he gave suggestions and input based on observations, and he offered assistance that was needed toward achieving the agreed-upon individual and school plans. When the definition of this category is strictly applied, Adams was not observed in the supervision of administrators prior to the election. He worked with his subordinates in a supervisory capacity but the primary focus was on the election campaign and not on the administrators' objectives. Activities focusing on the supervision of administrators went up to 11.8% of Adams' time after the election. Superintendent Brown spent 4.2% of his total work time involved in the supervision of the three executive directors in his cabinet and the nine building principals. He consulted with these individuals to establish MBOR (management by objectives and results) plans and held conferences with them throughout the year to discuss progress toward the accomplishment of these plans. He also made scheduled, quarterly visits to schools for the specific purpose of observing the instructional

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170 programs and to look for evidence of progress. Two of these visits were observed by the researcher. Instruction. Teaching. and Curriculum For each superintendent the instruction, teaching, and curriculum category was the primary focus of approximately 10% of activities. Ways in which this content area was addressed were numerous and included textbook selection, review of a challenged library book, conducting an evaluation session on new curricu-lum with principals, promoting the use of effective seatwork with primary grade students, and planning for gifted education programs. Both superintendents stated that the improvement of instruction was an area of primary emphasis for them personally and for their districts. They also indicated that having more time to devote to this area was desirable. Brown made a consistent effort to conduct visits to schools and conduct first-hand observations of the instructional programs. On one particularly busy day he commented that he was tempted to call a principal to cancel a scheduled school visit because of unfinished work in his office. He noted, however, that he needed to be careful not to give into this temptation because he felt that involvement in the

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171 instructional program was much more important than the routine office work. After he made that statement he set aside his work and went to his school visit. Adams' time in the instruction area increased from 2.7% before to 10.6% after the election and primarily focused on monitoring the implementation of new programs throughout the district. He also took personal interest in a new teacher mentor program designed for the improvement of instruction. Personnel and Evaluation Approximately 10% of Superintendent Brown's activities focused on personnel matters and were characterized by a relatively direct involvement in personnel functions. Along with the director of personnel and principals, he attended conferences at which the first semester evaluations of each of the district's non-tenured teachers were discussed. He took a personal interest in knowing the performance levels of these teachers and became involved in planning for remediation, reassignment, or dismissal where appropriate. He also gave input to the personnel director regarding the selection of candidates for teaching positions. Adams' time in personnel matters after the election consumed 7.2% of his time, up from 3.2% before

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172 the election. His involvement was more general in nature--working on evaluation policies, consulting with other administrators about personnel needs and problems, and becoming directly involved in cases of serious misconduct. Public Relations and Community Affairs Superintendent Adams had frequent contact with a local newspaper reporter prior to the election but these contacts were recorded in the campaigning and election category. The same was true for the community meetings he attended for the purpose of making an elec-tion presentation. Therefore, his recorded public relations time was less than one percent before the election. This increased to 6.9% after the election. His public relations activities after the election were primarily conducted with the assistance of his administrative intern who served as the coordinator of public information. Superintendent Brown's district did not have a public relations person on the staff. A community member was hired part-time to organize monthly com-munity newsletters, district informational brochures, and the annual accountability report to _the community. Brown spent eight percent of his time in the public

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173 relations area as he wrote many of the items for the newsletters and gave his input on matters such as the photographs to include in.these publications. During the observation period he began to prepare for a public hearing on a proposed smoking policy change and dealt with a community concern regarding the proposed expansion of a major street within the district's boundaries. Business and Finance Both Adams and Brown relied on cabinet-level business administrators to deal with details of the districts' budgets and financial affairs. Consequently, their time in this area was relatively low. Adams' attention to this area consumed almost six percent of his time before the election and was primarily concerned with the budget implications of salary negotiations with employee groups and restructuring of the budget if the election were successful. The postelection time remained about the same (7.0%) and focused on the final stages of salary negotiations, the proposed change in the state's school finance structure, and the allocation of additional teachers to reduce class size as the result of the successful election.

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174 Managing and Policy Implementation This category of work content for both superintendents included activities dealing primarily with implementing and enforcing the districts' policies and the boards' decisions. Almost 11% of Adams' time in postelection activities (4.8% before the election) and 10% of Brown's time focused on this area. Because of the amount of growth in the Apple District, Adams typically dealt with issues concerning attendance boundaries, the placement of new schools, alternative school-year calendars, and future enrollment projections. Superintendent Brown's management activities had a much broader scope and involved the implementation of policies spanning a wide range of topics. General Administration This content category concerned the day-to-day operation of the districts. It included all the details, often referred to as "administrivia," which needed attention to assure the districts' smooth operation. Also included was the superintendents' work with mail and other written communication which did not fit into other content categories and activities pertaining to the districts support services such as transportation, food services, maintenance, grounds, and custodial services.

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175 Superintendent Adams was able to only give a small amount of his time (3.7%) to this category before the election, but was involved in catching up on this type of work (16.2%) after the election. This dramatic change is indicative of the kind of work that was set aside in order to create time for election and campaigning activities. Brown's time in this area was eight percent of his total work time during the observation period. General Contacts Both superintendents made deliberate attempts to make contact with a variety of people during the course of their work. Both in their central administration buildings and in the schools they had contact with employees and patrons, exchanging greetings and having informal conversations on non-business-related topics. Both commented on the importance of these contacts to staff morale and to their personal need to be in touch with the people they lead and serve. Adams had more opportunities for these contacts before the election (2.5% of his time), when he was campaigning throughout the district, than he did after the election (1.5%) when he was traveling less from site to site. Brown's general contacts with people occurred on a regular daily basis throughout the

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176 observation period and consumed 1.8% of his time. General contacts were always brief, primarily because the superintendents' conversations began to focus on some other content category after only a minute or two of general conversation. When this shift occurred, the researcher immediately coded the contact into the appropriate content category. Other As previously defined, this category included miscellaneous work content external to the school district organizations such as service club functions, work related to the preparation of teachers and administrators, and work with professional associations. Both superintendents demonstrated their involvement in these external functions; 6.7% of Brown's time, 4.2% of Adams' time before the election, and 11.6% after the election fell into this category. Campaigning and Election Illustrations of the impact which the election had on Adams' time and work activities are present throughout this chapter. The influence of the election was observed in all of his activities including the amount of traveling he did to make presentations. Before the election 54% of his time was focused on

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177 election activities. Some of Adams' activities were in this content area even after the election (4.4% of his time) as he wrote personal thank you cards to supporters and had conferences with principals in which the campaign strategy was analyzed. Summary The superintendents' work did not always fit cleanly into the content categories. The researcher was frequently required to identify the major content category when the superintendents' work activities simultaneously included more than one content area. Their work content often moved rapidly from one category to another, requiring the researcher to identify numerous categories within a single, brief activity. The overall distribution of time in content categories gives an indication of the priorities within the districts and also reflects the need to give attention to all the major responsibilities which fall within the role of the superintendent of schools. As illustrated by the findings of Adams' use of time before and after the election, those content areas which received little attention before the election received considerably more time after the election as Adams was in the posture of catching up on some of his work.

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Time Management Techniques and Strategies 178 One part of the research problem which this study addressed was to identify the ways in which successful public school superintendents control the use of their time through time management techniques and strategies. To gather data for this part of the study, the researcher documented each type of observed time management technique and strategy and asked the sub-jects to elaborate on the use of these strategies dur-ing interview sessions. The superintendents' secre-taries and senior staff members also provided perspec-tives pertinent to this area of investigation. The goal in documentation of these techniques was to be descriptive. Therefore, data recording did not include enumeration on frequency of use. The remainder of this chapter presents a narrative discussion of these techniques and strategies. Use of Secretaries The assistance of competent secretaries emerged as a significant time management resource for superin-tendents. Interviews revealed that at the foundation of an effective working partnership between the super-intendent and his secretary are sensitivity to one another, clearly defined roles, and a helping attitude.

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179 Superintendent Adams' secretary indicated that making him look good was important to her. You have to know how to help him do his job and make him look good. Free him up so he can do what's important that only he can do. When I get those letters that need an answer, that I can draft, I do that. That takes some time off of him. --secretary -Superintendent Adams (I-10, p. 3) Superintendent Cooper stressed the importance of his secretary developing a sensitivity to what he wants and needs. If I were just coming in here new and walked in and had a little session with (name of secretary), or whoever was there, and said I want my calls screened, and lay out a bunch of categories, I think it would be real artificial and probably wouldn't work. It's a matter of getting sensitive to what I want and what I don't want to come in here. --superintendent Cooper (I-5, p. 7) Developing an understanding between his secretary and himself was described as a necessity by Superinten-dent Edwards. I think it's necessary to have a clear, crisp understanding with your secretary. Because (name of secretary) schedules me . She knows that we're going to batch our phone calls that we're going to return during a certain time of day, she knows when the mail works best in our schedule because I'm going to get back at such and such time, and she'll try to have all my mail there before I start to get involved in something else. --Superintendent Edwards (I-7, pp. 4, 5) Scheduling and blocking time. The superinten-dent's reliance on his secretary to control his calendar was a common observation and appeared to be an

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180 effective time management tool. Superintendent Dodge pointed out the importance of controlling his calendar. In terms of time management, I've also learned that I have to control the calendar with (name of secretary) ... And I think once you get the subtle art of controlling the calendar it helps you be more efficient. Because if you can't control your calendar, people just eat up your whole day, every day, five days a week. --superintendent Dodge (I-6, p. 7) Superintendent Adams discussed the need to have some predetermined calendar guidelines for his secre-taries to follow. Well, a lot of my day's not controlled. I mean, a lot of it's controlled by other people to a certain point. But, I've set some general guidelines for the secretaries in balancing out my days ... We've tried, this year pretty much, to keep Fridays free so I can, kind of, clean up ... My general week is planned like Monday's in the office, and Friday is an open day. And that's kind of a catch up day. And the technique is such that I have , and (two secretaries and administrative intern) on Mondays and we go over what the week's like. --Superintendent Adams (I-3, pp. 4, 5) Both Adams and Brown used scheduling and blocking time on their calendars as time management tools. Adams had a regular schedule of times throughout the month for important activities. These included the following: 1. Board agenda items due eight days prior to a board meeting. 2. A meeting with the superintendent's advisory cabinet the third Thursday of each month.

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181 3. A breakfast meeting with the board president on the morning of board meetings. 4. Pre-board meeting meetings with staff at 9:00 a.m. on board meeting days. 5. Post-board meeting meetings with staff at 9:00 a.m. on days after board meetings. 6. Quarterly meetings with principals as a group. 7. Meetings with secretaries and administrative intern every Monday morning. superintendent Brown made extensive use of his personal calendar for blocking time to perform individual tasks. These times were placed in between appointments, conferences, and meetings. one week's schedule taken from his calendar and displayed in Data Record Excerpt 9 illustrates this time management technique. Of the 33 items on his calendar, 15 items indicate the times at which Superintendent Brown planned to engage in individual tasks. These tasks could be, and often were, replaced by other items as the week progressed. Nonetheless, Brown used this technique as a way to control his use of time. Dictating. Superintendent Brown was observed to use dictation far more extensively than did Superintendent Adams. The dictating done by Adams given directly to his secretary, but Brown generally dictated

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182 Data Record Excerpt 9 Sample Week from Superintendent Brown's Calendar Monday -*8:30 -Conference with BS *9:00 -Conference with PS *9:30 -Conference with I (*Regular Monday morning conferences with cabinet members) Tuesday Wednesday -Thursday -Friday -1:15 -Meeting with board members to plan legislative network 7:00 -Breakfast meeting 8:30 Work on smoking policy (individual task) 10:00 -Technology meeting 7:30 -Board meeting 7:15 8:30 8:45 9:00 10:00 11:30 2:15 3:00 9:00 12:00 2:00 2:15 2:45 3:15 3:45 7:00 7:30 9:00 Key Communicators meeting -Board meeting follow-up work (individual task) -Review agenda for administrative council meeting (individual task). -Telephone calls (individual task) -Central office meeting Lunch meeting Work on 1/19 board agenda (individual task) -Central office meeting -Meeting away from district -Lunch meeting Phone calls (individual task) Plan 1/19 board agenda (individual task) -Miscellaneous calls to parents (individual task) Work on packet of miscellaneous information to board (individual task) -Dictation (individual task) -Meeting with district's attorney -Meeting with district's attorney, principal, and PS BOCES Executive Committee meeting

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183 Data Record Excerpt 9 (Continued 10:45 Work on board agenda (individual task) 11:00 -Miscellaneous calls to parents (individual task) 11:15 -Call to FL (individual task) 1:30 -Meeting with principals to plan Town Hall meeting 2:30 -Conference with principal 4:00 -Dictation (individual task) 4:15 -Call board members regarding lobby remodeling project (individual task) using a recording device. He used dictation to his secretary for correspondence and general instructions. His secretary frequently found a tape of dictated instructions in her basket when she arrived in the morning. She transcribed the instructions and by the end of the day gave Brown a progress report. An example of the secretary's responses (Data Record Excerpt 10) iilustrates the type of dictated instruc-tions given to her. Screening mail. Earlier in this chapter a description of the volume of mail received by the superintendents offices was given. Secretaries viewed one of their critical roles as being that of screening the mail and other written communication in order to direct the superintendents to those items most needing their attention.

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Data Record Excerpt 10 Secretary's Responses to Dictated Instructions Superintendent Brown 1. Question on appointment time Yes 2. Change of appointment on calendar OK 3. Change appointment OK 4. Request to include item in newsletter OK 184 5. Inform parties regarding agenda for meeting later in week OK 6. Item on completion of a questionnaire -date completed and mailed 7. Questions regarding city council information -(secretary listed answers) 8. Question regarding memos to principals Yes Superintendent Adams' secretary commented on her use of judgment and familiarity with the superinten-dent's preferences to make decisions about screening the mail. I know what he wants to see, but also, if there's any kind of communication from an employee of the school district or a board member, he sees it. If it's in a sealed envelope, I don't open it, whether it says personal or not. They wanted it sealed so he gets it sealed . I can usually figure out what other administrators should have it depending on the topic or the subject. And again, it's a judgment call. I know that by channeling it to them they'll let him know what it is if they need to. --Secretary -Superintendent Adams (I-10, p. 1) Superintendent Brown's secretary also controlled the mail the superintendent would see. I screen a lot of mail out on a regular basis. Every day any mail that comes in on asbestos or that kind of thing, I just, as soon as I open the envelope, I put ____ (initials of property service administrator) on it and just distribute it as I

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185 go down for coffee or something. Some mail gets discarded, not a whole lot. Some days it's worse than others. But most of it I'll give to other departments and let them throw it away. --secretary -Superintendent Brown (I-ll, p. 3) Superintendent Adams' secretary also commented on the superintendent's skill of handling a piece of mail a minimum number of times. He (Superintendent Adams) tries to handle a phone message or a piece of correspondence once. He really is good at that, to the point where I've had to dig things out of the trash. --secretary -Superintendent Adams (I-10, p. 3) Screening visitors. Both Adams and Brown depended on their secretaries' skills at controlling the number of visitors who entered their offices. Both office areas were arranged so the superintendent and his secretary could be in voice contact without leaving their desks and without using the telephone. By taking a few steps from their desks they were also in visual contact with one another. On the other hand, while all five superintendents wanted to demonstrate an image of availability and an "open door policy," they were concerned about being located in a high visibility setting that could result in an excessive number of visitors. Superintendent Edwards commented on the expecta-tions which had been established in his district's central office.

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186 The way we arrange this office, you see, that people cannot walk by and see if I'm in .. We have a standard that people don't stick their heads in and say, hi (name of superinten-dent), are you busy? Because we make an assumption that everyone is busy, and that we value time so don't abuse it by stepping in and saying, can I interrupt you? You already have. Can I interrupt you for a minute? It's never a minute. Get precise. How much of my time do you need? All those things help elevate our consciousness in the whole building about interruptions. --superintendent Edwards (I-7, p. 5) Superintendent Dodge reflected on the dilemma of having an open door policy and the need for control of visitors. First of all, stylistically, I try to be an open door superintendent. So, one time management thing is to have and ____ (names of secre-taries) who are in the outer office, control who wanders in without calling to see if I'm available. And I only have two or three people on the staff who have a bad habit of just rolling in here, walking right by the secretaries, and into my office no matter what I'm doing. That's why I sometimes do something real simple, shut that door. --superintendent Dodge (I-6, p. 6) Mutual benefits. The secretaries revealed that the superintendents efforts to utilize better time management in their working relationships frequently resulted in a mutually beneficial situation. Not only did the superintendents control their own time better but also enhanced the secretaries control of time. Two statements from the secretaries illustrate this.

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187 It used to be that every morning, first thing, I would go into his office, and he would give me all these things. And then he started putting them on tape and especially with the word processor, I just run them on there and then I just write the responses on the paper and that way he has a record of it and he knows what's done and what isn't ... It works pretty good. It saves time because he can do the dictating like the night before, or first thing, he comes in earlier than I do, and so the tapes are usually in the tray first thing in the morning for me. And that helps me because I can get right to it. --secretary -Superintendent Brown (I-11, p. 2) The Monday morning meeting time is a wonderful thing and it is a big time saver. He's pretty good, without realizing it, at blocking his time a little bit . Another thing he does that helped me was, he started from the very first week that I was there, that I went to meetings with him, and taking notes for him helped him, but it sure helped me to know what was going on and what he did with it. --secretary -Superintendent Adams (I-10, p. 3) Car Phone A time management tool which has been incredible has been the phone in the car. That is unbelievable. I missed it so when I waited about three or four weeks in the transition from one car to the other. --Superintendent Adams (I-3, p. 5) Superintendent Adams works in a geographically large district. He spent almost 10% of his working time traveling in his car in addition to the 30 minutes it took him to travel between his home and office each day. He handled the majority of phone messages from his car. He frequently called his office from his car phone and was given whatever messages were waiting for

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188 him. He then placed those calls from his car and was able to discard most of the messages when he returned to his office. Until recently the Apple School District had provided Adams and his two assistants with district-owned vehicles and car phones. The board decided to discontinue providing vehicles in the aftermath of the 1986 mill levy election defeat and criticism of administrative costs which surfaced at that time. The board insisted, however, that the car phones would continue at district expense. When Superintendent Adams purchased a new vehicle to replace the district-owned car, he spent three to four weeks without his car phone, which is what he referred to in the preceding statement. Not all superintendents interviewed felt as strongly about the value of the car phone. Superintendent Dodge had a car phone but was usually on the road for periods of time that he felt were too brief to warrant making telephone contacts. In addition, "when I'm on the phone I like to take a few notes" (Superintendent Dodge, I-6, p. 7). Consequently, his use of the car phone was generally limited to communication regarding emergency or urgent situations. None of the

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189 other three superintendents interviewed had a car phone in their vehicles. computers Superintendent Dodge had a computer in his office which he used regularly. Two superintendents (Adams and Cooper) were enrolled in the same computer class and were learning to use a computer in their daily work. Superintendent Brown had considered enrolling in this class but decided he did not have the time. Superintendent Edwards did not use a computer. Superintendent Dodge not only expressed his opin-ion about the value of the computer as a time manage-ment tool but also commented on his desire to expand its use. Another time saver that's really helped a lot is finally getting to this computer, because I can do things on that so much faster and I can also record what I call the "to do" list items, and keep them punched in there in memory I suppose in another few months I'm going to order another clone to this computer, a duplicate, and get it in my home But I'm becoming a real fan of computers. --Superintendent Dodge (I-6, pp. 5, 6) Superintendent Cooper, on the other hand, indi-cated that he was just beginning to realize the poten-tial of the computer as a time management tool. I've just now become convinced that that (computer) will save me time rather than just take an investment with no pay off. And I have no reason to do any spread sheet on that, and I have no

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190 reason to do any word processing. At this point, I'm using it now to manage time and get to my phone numbers quicker, and take little notes about messages, so there is a permanent record of who I've contacted, and what we talked about, that kind of thing ... And I'm getting some benefit from it rather than just investing, invest, invest, invest, invest. --Superintendent Cooper (I-5, p. 5) Simultaneous Activity Lunch time was generally a working time for both Adams and Brown. Adams would usually eat lunch away from the office, but they were most often working lunches with members of the senior staff, secretarial staff, community or business leaders, government officials, and occasionally board members. Superinten-dent Brown ate lunch at his desk a majority of the time while he read through mail and other written com-munication. Both superintendents were observed sorting through items on their desks, reading mail, writing, and work-ing on their calendars while listening to someone on the telephone. On one occasion, Brown processed a large stack of mail while in a meeting where evalu-ations of non-tenure teachers were being discussed. He appeared to be completely aware of the discussions around him as evidenced by the questions asked and comments made. As already discussed, Adams frequently

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191 engaged in the simultaneous activities of traveling and using the car phone. Files Both Adams and Brown used filing systems to help process and track written communication and to deal with items in a timely manner. Superintendent Adams kept a "hold" folder and an "action" folder on his desk. He put items into these folders depending on the urgency of the items and worked on their contents as time permitted. superintendent Brown had a more elaborate filing system. He had a calendar file into which he placed items that he wanted to have surface at the appropriate time for an upcoming event. He had a file for each of the cabinet members, each school, board of education meetings, board communication, district committees, and working files for various projects. He placed mail and written communication in these files on a daily basis. He also took extensive self-notes throughout the day and placed them in the appropriate files. These notes were often reminders to himself of things he wanted to discuss with various members of the school organization. When he met with a cabinet member or principal he took out the appropriate folder and used the contents to guide his discussion. This

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192 allowed him to cover a variety and large number of items in a relatively short period of time. An excerpt from a Contact Record is displayed in Data Record Excerpt 11. This contact with a cabinet member illustrates the number of topics covered in a nine minute period of time. Data Record Excerpt 11 Contact Record Superintendent Brown -12/15/87 C-21 Time 3:18 3:27 Description of Activity BS enters office for scheduled conference S asks if BS still.screens items sent to printer from the schools. s tells BS he will receive some bills from CASB conference. s indicates that (name of individual) feels there will not be a state recission. s tells BS about district's withdrawal from asbestos class action suit. s asks if BS feels the board meeting item on lunch prices is self explanatory or will need any explanation. S asks BS if any questions are being raised on salary and benefits package. s asks BS if he's seen the bus accident report. S asks BS if the funds for enrollment increase over 3% level are what he expected. s asks BS if that distribution affects the future mill levy. S and BS review a document with mill levies for all funds which will be presented at tonight's board meeting. S and BS conclude discussion of all mill levies.

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193 Filing systems appeared to be unique to the indi-vidual superintendents and usually involved their secretaries. All had some type of file or folder into which they or their secretaries placed items which could be given attention at a later time. Superintendent Dodge commented on his use of the filing system to direct him to those items most needing immediate attention. I have to be a good manager of my time and I have to make decisions on how to accomplish that. Which is why we have a file system procedure which the secretary and I use where if it's an action item, it's got to be taken care of fairly soon, if not today, this week. If it's information, I can let that folder sit and get six inches thick, it's just information. And (name of secretary) is really good, we've worked together now since I came to (name of district). And I would say she rarely makes a judgment call that's in error in terms of this needs to go in the action file as opposed to information. --Superintendent Dodge (I-6, p. 4) Delegation A time management strategy that was observed being used extensively by Adams and Brown was delegation of responsibilities. Each of the superintendents described delegation to secretaries and senior staff members as one of the most critical strategies for having control of time and for creating any significant amounts of discretionary time which could be used for priority activities. All five superintendents

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194 commented on the quality of their staffs. Phrases such as "top flight" and "the best in the state" were offered as descriptions of their cabinets. "I'm very, very blessed. I think I probably have the best cabinet of any superintendent that I know of" (Superintendent Dodge, I-6, p. This statement would be descriptive of the attitude of any of the five superintendents interviewed. Summary This chapter presented the findings resulting from observations of two subjects (Superintendents Adams and Brown) who are successful superintendents. Also presented are findings from interviews conducted with these two superintendents, with three additional superintendents (Cooper, Dodge, and Edwards), with the secretaries of Adams and Brown, and with a senior staff member from the cabinets of Adams and Brown. These findings revealed the characteristics and content of the superintendents' daily work activities. The chapter concluded with a presentation of time management techniques, tools, and strategies that were observed andjor discussed during interview sessions.

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CHAPTER V DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS The purpose of this study was to describe the work activities of successful public school superintendents, the content of their work activities, and the ways in which they controlled the use of their time. Two qualitative research methodologies were used to gather data: observation and interviews. Two superintendents in Denver Metropolitan Area districts were observed and interviewed; their secretaries and one of their senior cabinet-level staff members were also interviewed. Three additional superintendents from the metropolitan area were also interviewed for supplemental information and to react to the preliminary data analysis. Chapter I presented the rationale for conducting this type of study, stated the research problem, discussed the purpose and value of the study, defined terms, and identified the study's limitations. Chapter II reviewed the literature which describes the superintendency with the on those studies which describe the structure, content, and frequency of daily

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196 work activities. This chapter also explored some of the variations of qualitative methodology which have been used to conduct such research. Chapter III explained the justification for and appropriateness of using .qualitative methodology for conducting this study. The characteristics of qualitative research were presented, including a discussion of limitations and the means by which weaknesses in the methodology were minimized. The chapter concluded with a comprehensive description of the methodological procedures and features which were selected for this study. Chapter IV began with a description of the study's subjects and an explanation of how record forms and categories of work activities and work content emerged from the initial observational data. Findings related to the study's research problem were presented in each of the activity and content categories. The chapter concluded with a presentation of the time management techniques and strategies that were observed. This chapter discusses the findings presented in Chapter IV, compares these findings with those found in the literature, offers recommendations and implications for practitioners, and concludes with recommendations for future research.

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197 Discussion of Findings The findings presented in the previous chapter provide an inside look at the work of successful public school superintendents as seen through the eyes of a passive participant observer. Many of these findings, however, require additional discussion and elaboration so a deeper understanding of the nature of superintendents' work can be achieved. This section examines the significance of some of these findings and compares them to the findings of similar studies. Overall Work Activities Superintendents Adams and Brown were observed to work an average of 10 hours and 16 minutes per day, or 51 hours and 20 minutes per five-day week. When weekend work time was added, a total work week of approximately 53 1/2 hours was obtained. This figure is consistent with the 54.8 hours per week average reported in the 1982 AASA survey report on the superintendency (Cunningham & Hentges, 1982) Face-to-face interactions consumed 65.6% of the superintendents' time. With the addition of telephone time, the superintendents spent 72.9% of their time in direct interaction with people. This percentage is less than the 82.5% reported by Mintzberg (1973) and

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198 the 80% reported by Pitner (1978), but higher than the 60% reported by Morris (1979), and 70% reported by Duignan (1980). Observed desk work consumed 19% of the superintendents' time as compared to 15% reported by both Mintzberg (1973) and Pitner (1978), and 32% reported by Morris (1979). A significant portion of desk work time was used to process, read, and skim through mail and other written communication directed to the superintendents' offices. Most mail received was unsolicited and received minimal attention. Both superintendents' secretaries sorted and screened the mail before it got to the superintendents. Even with the screening, 53 pieces were received by Superintendent Brown in one observation day. Board of Education Activities A significant amount of the superintendents' time focused on board.of education-related activities and communications. Over a third of one superintendent's time was spent on such activities. Similar findings were reported by Mintzberg (1973), Pitner (1978), and PROBE (1979). These activities involved keeping the board informed regarding the ongoing affairs of the school

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199 system, helping the board perceive the dimensions of problems, giving the board expert advice and counsel, initiating the consideration and discussion of policy concerns, and leading the board in policy development. The superintendents worked with the boards to establish the district's mission, set priorities, and adopt goals. In summary, these findings and observations indi-cate that spending a significant amount of time and energy dealing with board of education-related activi-ties and communications is inevitable in the superin-tendency. As Dykes (1965) so succinctly stated, "In the final analysis, the superintendent's job is what he and the board perceive it to be" (p. 67). If the board perceives the superintendent's job to involve much work activity concerning board activities, then that is what the job will be. Mintzberg (1973) offered an explanation of the superintendent-board relationship which helps in under-standing why so much time goes into board-related mat-ters. Mintzberg noted that the superintendent's work is characterized by: relatively frequent contact with the organization's directors (board of education) ... It would appear that the role of the director in overseeing activity and relating it to the wishes of member groups is somewhat more significant in the public organization . The municipal

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200 politicians, the parents, state government officials, and a variety of others, all looked carefully over the (superintendent's) shoulder. . The school committee (board of education) attempted to reflect the diverse and pronounced concerns of these groups; therefore the school committee interacted more frequently with the chief executive. (Mintzberg, 1973, pp. 263-264) Mintzberg also noted that the influence of special interest groups plays a role in how public organiza-tions operate. Decisions taken in public organizations are more sensitive politically; hence there is a need to weigh more carefully the concerns of special interest groups and to be more careful about legitimizing the actions taken. (Mintzberg, 1973, p. 108) The findings from this study supported Mintzberg's conclusions about the factors which cause superinten-dents to spend a significant amount of time on board-related matters. The superintendency appears as a unique role when compared to the chief executive position in the private sector. Due to the closeness of the superintendent to the board of education and the frequent communication which does and should occur between them, the superintendent is placed in the following roles: (1) a liaison between the board and the organization's members (i.e., employees and stu-dents), (2) a liaison betweeti the board and the general public, (3) a spokesman for the board, (4) a negotiator for the board and with the board, and (5) most

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201 importantly, the board's employee. All these roles combined mean that the superintendent cannot avoid being heavily involved in board activity and cannot delegate much of the board-related work. Focus on Personal Contacts More than one third of the superintendents time was spent in contacts and conferences which involved two, three, or four people including the superintendent. Why do superintendents prefer verbal media and face-to-face contacts with small numbers of people? A combination of findings help answer this question. Pitner and Ogawa (1981) reported that communication was the superintendents' major activity and that almost half the superintendents' time was spent with subordinates. In this study, 85% of contacts were with members of the school organization and 65% were with personnel assigned to the central administration building. Contacts with cabinet members and secretaries each accounted for 29% of the superintendents total contacts. Therefore, over half (58%) of their contacts were with the people they rely on most for assistance, information, performance of assigned and delegated responsibilities, and, to a great extent, their success. The superintendents' short, unscheduled office exchanges with senior staff members and

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202 secretaries often occurred in rapid succession and were generally initiated by the superintendents themselves. The discussions were conducted quickly and efficiently and it was not uncommon for the superintendent or a cabinet member to bring an agenda to the conference and check off items as they proceeded. Most of the items were routine in nature dealing with administrative detail. Seldom were the items of a crisis or emergency nature. Data Record Excerpt 12 presents a portion of a Contact Record describing a conference involving Superintendent Brown and a high school principal. Brown used a file folder which contained items he wanted to discuss with the principal and he quickly went through the folder, bringing up a variety of topics. This excerpt illustrates the rapid succession of topics discussed in a relatively short period (33 minutes) of time. Superintendents Adams and Brown relied on their cabinet members to assist in the leadership and management of their districts. The number and types of contacts they had with cabinet members were needed to implement an administrative team approach. Redfern (1972) stated that general agreement exists that running a school system is a team operation. He cautioned, however, that there is more rhetoric than reality

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203 Data Record Excerpt 12 Contact Record Superintendent Brown -l/8/88 -C-36 Time 2:44 3:17 Description of Activity Issue #1 -Shortened school day at high school and coordination with the area vocational school schedule #2 -Schools Without Drugs publication #3 -Food Services program survey results #4 -Status of computer use in library #5 -Concerns about spring musical production #6 -Problems with a particular family #7 -Plans for outside graduation #8 -Proposed changes in spring conference format #9 -Assistant principal's districtwide assignment #10 -Status of Athlete and Scholar of Month programs #11 -Proposed changes in attendance policies and procedures #12 -Grade card availability and computer system problems Conference ends regarding the administrative team. Merely professing commitment to the team approach is not sufficient. The actual practice of collaborative administration is needed to improve the management and leadership of school districts. Adams and Brown were observed practicing collaborative administration, not just talk-ing about it.

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204 Likert (1961) also dealt specifically with leader-ship functions in effective work groups. He charac-terized the leader of such groups as one who does not try to make all the decisions but who, instead, develops the group into a unit which makes better decisions when appropriate. The effective leader at all times shares communication with the group. He avoids dealing with issues in the group when they do not affect the entire group, resulting in the need for more frequent one-to-one contacts and conferences. The rapid, short, and unscheduled office exchanges with cabinet members can take their toll on the super-intendent, as Feilders pointed out. Except for the satisfaction they give him in interacting with his staff, meetings of this kind after several hours frustrate the superintendent. He refers to the.most mundane of the sessions as "administrivia," complains-of the tedium, and criticizes himself for not spending more time in the district's schools working on education matters . striving for accomplishment or to clear his agenda for "real work." (Feilders, 1982, p. 95) Another factor contributing to the amount of time superintendents spend in contacts and conferences is the desire to maintain a people-oriented Adams and Brown demonstrated a strong desire to main-tain personal contact with employees of the district. Both were remarkable in their abilities to remember the names of many of the districts employees and,

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205 especially in the case of teachers, to know something about their performance levels or about any personal or professional problems they were experiencing. They made a deliberate effort to have general contact with custodians, secretaries, cooks, aides, and teachers when in the schools. On the way to principals' offices for scheduled appointments, it was not unusual for the superintendents to have half a dozen brief conversa-tions with district employees. A senior staff member from the Apple School District stated that one responsibility that Superintendent Adams made a special effort to perform was "to make people feel good about their work in the district and their value to the dis-trict and to themselves" (Senior Staff Member Superintendent Adams, I-8, p. 1). Superintendent Edwards described another reason for the importance of contacts. I think that you can delegate a lot of things, but one thing that is absolutely not delegatable is that of human relations. You cannot delegate human relations. And as hard as you try, you cannot tell an outstanding subordinate, I want you to go out and repair some damage that I did out at site c. The truth is that there is only one person who can do that. And that's also true in terms of building solid relationships. You cannot delegate that. --superintendent Edwards (I-7, p. 2) The desire to maintain a people-oriented operation extends beyond the district's employees to establishing

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206 and maintaining good relationships with the general public as well. Some of the superintendents observed and interviewed were in districts that had experienced or were experiencing rapid growth. They had lived through periods of going from a small operation where everyone knew everyone else to a big business opera-tion. The desire to maintain the human orientation was stated by Superintendent Cooper in this way: I bet I get to say it 50 times a year. Folks, we're big business here, and we have to run efficiently and we have to put our resources where it's most important, and there's not enough money and there never will be . On the other hand, we're big business and we're going to run efficiently, but we're going to stay small on a human scale. --superintendent Cooper (I-5, p. 3) Cooper went on to point out that, even though they are very important to him, there needs to be a limit to the face-to-face contacts he has with "customers." When I walk through the lobby, those people in that lobby are our customers, our clients, and if I see somebody sitting in that lobby that I don't know, if I happen to walk down the hall ... and when I come back they're still sitting there, I go ask them if somebody's helping them ... But then you can't spend all your time doing that stuff because then you're avoiding the places where your impact has a lot of influence on the organization. --superintendent Cooper (I-5, pp. 3,4) A final explanation concerning the preference for face-to-face contacts concerns the superintendent's need to receive and transmit information quickly.

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207 Mintzberg (1973) observed that all managers, and in particular the superintendent in his study, maintained a complex network of relationships with people within tbeir organizations for the purpose of receiving timely and accurate information and advice. The conjecture was that superintendents can use these relationships as needed and can control this type of communication more readily than through more formal channels. Superintendent Adams was observed to use his "kitchen cabinet" to obtain additional advice on important mat-ters after he had already consulted with his senior staff. His information and advisory network extended beyond the walls of the central administration building and included field administrators, teachers, and other district employees. The Superintendent and Information Exchanges of information were observed in all of the superintendents' daily activities. Adams and Brown received more information than they gave. They made more phone calls than they received but the calls were usually placed to request information. They received more mail and other written communications than they sent. They initiated most of their contacts and con-ferences and usually for the purpose of obtaining

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208 information. Requesting information, receiving infor-mation, and giving information were common actions of the superintendents throughout their activities in the quest to keep abreast of the latest events, issues, and The preference for verbal communication as the means to obtain and transmit timely and accurate infor-mation was also reported by Mintzberg. To summarize, the manager demonstrates a strong preference for the verbal media of communication. He seems to dislike using the mail, and consequently it is used primarily for formal correspondence and for lengthy documents. The informal means of communication (the telephone call and the unscheduled meeting) are used to transmit pressing information and to deliver informal requests. Scheduled meetings are used for formal delivery of information and requests, and for time-consuming events that involve a number of people, notably events concerned with ceremony, strategy-making, and negotiation. (Mintzberg, 1973, p. 44) Pitner (1978) described the superintendent as an information manager who operates within the social system of which his school district is a part. Using the term manager connotes that the superin-tendent has a level of control over the acquisition, retention, and dissemination of information. To a certain extent it is true that the superintendent does exercise control over whom he sees, calls, and comes in contact with. But the superintendents observed and interviewed were cautious about the over-screening of

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209 calls and contacts which could result in not receiving some important information. The superintendent constantly struggles with the desire and need to be well-informed and the risk of spending an excessive amount of time listening and reading in order to obtain relatively small amounts of routine data. In some cases, superintendents exercise their authority and require regular exchanges of infer-mation. But I value, and in fact force, weekly sessions, what we call "monkey feeding sessions" with my immediate staff, one hour a week, scheduled on Thursday mornings, for each one of them. And at that point they're to update me in terms of all of their projects, major projects, what's the status of any problems. So we force it. --Superintendent Edwards (I-7, p. 3) On the other hand, the superintendent also wants to be careful about the amount of detail which is included in the information received. I think you want to be careful, as a superintendent, what you pick up. If you put it in your briefcase you're going to feel compelled or guilty to kind of scan it or read it and. so on. And we place a lot of emphasis on the executive summary, a one page executive summary. If you have five pages or more it's a requirement, and maybe it ought to be even less, frankly. And, sometimes a staff member does an outstanding job of directing my eyes right to what I really need. --superintendent Edwards (I-7, p. 3) Superintendents Adams and Brown did not rely only on the information offered to them; they made numerous requests for information and actively pursued the

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210 information they needed. Both were effective in the skill of leading through questioning. By asking the right kinds of questions, they received the infor.ma-tion needed and wanted and were able to direct the activity of their subordinates. At times they would request action from a subordinate by giving a directive, but frequently the superintendents' questions were the only cues needed for subordinates to take action. An excerpt from an Activity Record (Data Record Excerpt 13) gives an example of Superintendent Adams using questioning in a pre-board meeting meeting with his cabinet. Why does the superintendent need and desire so much information? Why does more information flow into the superintendent's office than out? What does the superintendent do with the information? Superintendents see themselves in a position that is unique within the organization. The superinten-dent's office serves as a collection point for infor-mation from a variety of sources. I think that so much of making a decision and establishing direction has to come from input from a variety of sources. The collective wisdom out there is certainly greater than any one person's independent wisdom, usually. --Superintendent Brown (I-4, p. 6)

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211 Data Record Excerpt 13 Activity Record Superintendent Adams -11/17/87 A-2 Time 10:37 10:50 10:57 10:59 11:00 11:01 11:02 11:03 11:04 11:07 Description of Activity "That's a good question, what do you think? "Anybody else have any thoughts? "OK, so we got that, what else?" "I want to ask the question again. What else should be done besides the presentation?" "What do you think __ (name of cabinet member)?" "Do you feel comfortable with me making the presentation, taking questions, and wrapping up?" "OK, any other suggestions?" "Do principals want to get together with their groups?" "How do you feel about that __ (name of a cabinet member)?" Superintendent thanks cabinet members for their ideas, suggestions, -and information. "I'll give it some thought for a couple of hours." Note: All quotations are attributable to Superintendent Adams. Mintzberg (1973) pointed out that the super-intendent's position is one of a generalist who processes information gathered from specialists within the organization. As a generalist working with individuals assigned to specific areas in the organization, the has a unique view of the entire district.

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212 I'll hear something from a board member, I'll see something in a school newsletter, (name of assistant superintendent) will say something to me, (name of another assistant superintendent) will say something to me, and they're all isolated bits of information. But suddenly, it's a picture. But that's my job. All they saw was a piece. It doesn't mean anything, they thought maybe I ought to know about it, or I just accumulate it. So in that respect, I've got a picture of the district that nobody else has, nobody. And it's just the way the organization functions. --superintendent Cooper (I-5, p. 7) cunningham and Hentges (1982) cited access to and control of information as becoming increasingly impor-tant in modern societies. They noted that the super-intendent's access to information about the organiza-tion and its environment is tantamount to power, par-ticularly when that information is unique and needed as a basis for decision making. Feilders (1982) also viewed information as providing the superintendent with the power to be a change agent. He stated that within reasonable constraints, the superintendent designs and introduces what he wants. He conceives projects that include several departments and decides when to introduce them to the administration and ultimately to the board. (Feilders, 1982, p. 65) In summary, Adams and Brown appeared to fulfill Sergiovanni and Carver's (1980) "broker role." In that role the superintendent puts available pieces of information together to adjust conflicting claims, to persuade others to accept his decisions, to impose

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213 decisions when necessary, to protect territory or objectives, and as a tactic for increasing influence. Also in the role of broker, the superintendent uses information to bring together the organization's professional goal of offering better service and its bureaucratic goal of maintaining itself. Another way the superintendent uses information is to respond when: there is no cut-and-dried method for handling the problem because it hasn't arisen before, or because its precise nature and structure are elusive or complex, or because it is so important that it deserves a custom-tailored treatment. (Mintzberg, 1973, p. 13) The Superintendent and Pace of Work Activities Thus the work of managing an organization may be described as taxing. The quantity of work to be done, or that the manager chooses to do, during the day is substantial and the pace is unrelenting. After hours, the chief executive (and probably many other managers as well) appears to be able to escape neither from an environment that recognizes the power and status of his position nor from his own mind, which has been trained to search continually for new information. (Mintzberg, 1973, p. 30) This study of superintendents' work activities found that Adams and Brown usually maintained a hectic pace during their working hours. While there were few breaks in the constant stream of work activities, there were periods when the superintendents dealt with mat-ters of considerable importance mixed with periods

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214 dealing with routine matters; throughout it all the pace remained hectic. Observations from this study suggest that the work of the superintendent is unlike the tedious, unrelenting pace that a factory worker doing .Piece work might experience when performing the same function over and over. The unrelenting pace in the superintendency comes from the constant action which surrounds the superintendent. This hectic pace combined with constant variety makes the superintendency a far from boring job. Mintzberg (1973) suggested that one reason managers adopt a hectic pace and a heavy workload is the open-ended nature of the job. Because the manager feels he is responsible for the success of the organization and because there are no tangible mileposts which tell him when his work is finished, he chooses to assume an unrelenting pace in his work. This brought Mintzberg to the conclusion that the pace and open-ended nature of the job lead to work activities that "are characterized by brevity, variety, and fragmentation" and "the prime occupational hazard of managers is superficiality" (Mintzberg, 1973, p. 5). Observations from this study Mintzberg's conclusions that brevity, variety, and fragmentation

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215 are characteristics of the superintendent's work. But this was only true some of the time for Adams and Brown and was not observed to be detrimental to their effec-tiveness. At times they were able to create situations where their attention was focused on one topic for a significant period of time and they dealt with a prob-lem, issue, or strategy in depth. The constant exchange of small pieces of information, which was typical of the observed work activities, can create an appearance of brevity and fragmentation when viewed in isolation. When looked at over a longer period of time, however, the superintendents' work appeared to be very thorough rather than superficial. The accumu-lation of small pieces of information gave Adams and Brown solid data bases on which to direct and lead their organizations. The superintendents indicated in responses to interview questions that they felt their decisions and actions were usually based on complete and accurate information. Only occasionally did they feel they needed to act based on incomplete or uncer-tain information. One of the superintendents interviewed recognized the hectic pace of his work and the negative effect it could have in his immediate environment. I think one can become addicted to frenetic pace. I think you need to be careful, because as you're

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216 becoming addicted, others with whom you work may not be, and they might see a gap I just think pacing, pretty soon a person just becomes numbed to it and if others aren't experiencing the same thing, you've got a bit of a problem. --superintendent Edwards (I-7, p. 4) Superintendents Adams and Brown appeared to accept the hectic pace as part of the job. More than the pace, the constancy of interruptions and dealing the unexpected created some frustration for them. Once in a while I get frustrated if it gets really intense, like if you get a lot of interruptions in a row, or people are really asking you things which somebody else could have taken care of. --Superintendent Adams (I-3, p. 4) On the other hand, sometimes I think frustration comes from what's unexpected. --Superintendent Brown (I-4, p. 4) You never know what the hell is going to happen that day. You've got an agenda all laid out and bang, zoom, as soon as you get there in the morning something happens and your agenda is wiped out. --superintendent Adams (I-1, pp. 2, 3) Wilson (1960) addressed the unexpected nature of the job, describing the typical day of the superintendent as "harum-scarum" and "chaotic pyrotechnics" and asserting that the "most typical characteristic of the superintendent's day is its dissimilarity to the day before" (p. 40). Mintzberg (1973) asserted that managers, although frustrated by interruptions, chose not to free them-selves of them. The superintendents in this study

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confirmed that conclusion. Anyway you just, in this role, expect to be interrupted. And, to a degree, you allow it. 217 And you may encourage it. As you know, my door is open most of the time . I try to help people feel there is ready access, community, board, staff. So you create some of that interruption for yourself. Larger tasks, ones that take more preparation, more thought, usually involve some work at home or kind of during off hours. --Superintendent Brown (I-4, pp. 4, 5) Because the majority of contacts and conferences, telephone and meetings were with their sub-ordinates or with district employees, and because they initiated most of the contacts, Adams and Brown were in a position to control the number and length of interruptions. They not only exercised very little of this type of control, they frequently interrupted their own desk work by placing telephone calls, going to the offices of subordinates, or requesting that subordi-nates come to see them. The superintendents were aware that they often invited and created interruptions. They also indicated an awareness that the need and desire to communicate with others resulted in trading solitude for accessibility and sustained activity for brevity. Both Adams and Brown felt the sacrifice was essential for fulfilling the role of chief executive of the school district and that the attainment of instant communication is worth the sacrifice of uninterrupted time.

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218 The superintendents days were characterized by numerous brief episodes in which important and unimpor-tant matters were interspersed. Some of the activities were mundane and inconsequential and never approached the lofty goals and ideals of leadership. On some occasions they spent time on superficial matters, dis-cussed minor details such as where to put the coffee and whether or not to have cookies for a meeting, made trivial decisions, attended meetings with agendas unimportant to their priorities, and responded to little irritants that occur in organizational life. Mintzberg (1973) also observed the important inter-woven with the unimportant . Most surprising, the significant activity is interspersed with the trivial in no particular pattern. Hence the manager must be prepared to shift moods quickly and frequently. (Mintzberg, 1973, p. 31) The demand on superintendents to .shift moods quickly can create frustration. You have to be careful that you don't get short with people. And at times like that it's virtually, not impossible, but unproductive to pick up something that requires concentration and thought . There are probably two kinds of times when I get most frustrated. one would be when there are bigger issues on your mind and they have a high level of importance in your mind. And then some of the routine kinds of things, things that seem relatively unimportant, impinge upon that. I do have to count ten sometimes over things that I think are so petty, and so minuscule

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219 in their importance. And yet some people shake them like a pup with a slipper. That's hard to tolerate sometimes, because those things can really interfere with things that are far more important. --Superintendent Brown (I-4, pp. 5, 6) Adams and Brown were able to recognize and analyze their own frustration levels. Maintaining an even demeanor in the face of frustration was important to them so that their subordinates would know what to expect from them. Of equal importance was the value of modelling. The superintendents wanted to model self-control for their subordinates, they wanted principals to model that for teachers, and teachers to model that for students. Another way of handling frustrations caused by the hectic pace, interruptions, and trivial .matters was to take breaks. Superintendents ar.e not super-human, they need to remove themselves from time to time. You definitely have to create time to do creative thinking . The autmobile is good, but a lot of times I just use travel time as therapy. And I'll put on.my tavorite rock'n roll tapes and I'li just listen. --superintendent Dodge (I-6, p. 4) Brown pointed out that just leaving his office for a short break was often all he needed. But that does finally get to you to the point that you think you need to walk down the hall and get a cup of coffee, wander into somebody's office

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220 and chat a minute, or take a little break away from the immediate scene of your office. --Superintendent Brown (I-4, p. 5) Adams' secretary was sensitive to his need to get away at times, but knew how to contact him if necessary. I can find him (superintendent) most anywhere. I his habits and he makes himself easily found. I also know when he wants, when he needs to drop out. You know, because he's always accessible, six o'clock in the morning, ten o'clock at night, any day of the week. If he needs to drop out at night, or morning, or weekend, I know that too. He'll just say, I need to do it. Then the house better be on fire. But that's ok, he's just so clear about telling me what he wants. -Secretary -. Superintendent Adams (I-10, p. 3) The Superintendent and Time Management The preceding sections discussed the inevitability of interruptions and a hectic in the superinten-dency. In this study both-Adams and Brown frequently delegated responsibilities and duties, and made good use of their secretaries for screening and protecting them from intrusions; and yet the number of interrup-tions remained very high. In the face of this reality, the skill of effective time management most certainly must be in the superintendent's repertoire. The demand for time management skills is confirmed by the number of time management workshops and seminars that are offered either separately or as part of conventions and conferences. The use of time management techniques

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221 and skills is necessary if the superintendent wants to be free to do the kinds of things that are important and meaningful. In other words, it's a matter of trying to get things organized in your own schedule and your own energy distributed in a way that causes important things to happen that affect kids. --superintendent Brown, (I-2, p. 14) Clabaugh (1966) suggested that the first step in controlling the use of time is to recognize time as a tyrant and to determine what's important. To the administrator, time is a tyrant. It controls the scope of his administrative performance. One of his first steps in managing time is to recognize the existence of its tyranny. In order to achieve a balance in the allocation of time to the conflicting demands of work and people, the administrator must first look within himself to find the value judgments that will give him guidance. He must ask what is truly important in this enterprise? (Clabaugh, 1966, p. 230) Through the management and scheduling of time, the superintendent announces to the organization that cer-tain issues and activities are important and that others, because they receive little or none of his time, are inconsequential. Feilders (1982) stated that the superintendent has to manage his time and his staff's time so that they can concentrate on curricu-lum and instruction rather than just glancing off these while attending to other areas. He went on to empha-size that the superintendent must maximize his time

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222 allotment to the schools and classrooms so he can systematically monitor the district's teaching and learning activities. and Ballinger (1980) also affirmed the need for superintendents to generate the time needed to be personally and actively involved in those technical core activities which are evident in instructionally effective school districts. One of the superintendents interviewed in this study pointed out the need for improving time manage-ment just for survival purposes. I think that its impossible to estimate up front the amount of time spent in meetings and in communications. There is just no end to it. After nearly 16 years in the superintendency, each year I think, now this year is going to be better. It will be, we will be able to do it better. And, in fact, I think we have. But the amount of information, the responsibilities, the expectations continue to escalate, and consequently, I think that if wedidn't do things better every single year, we would be buried. --Superintendent Edwards (I-7, p. 1) A component of effective time management that each of the five superintendents emphasized was the ability to set priorities and to organize work based on those priorities. Gross (1958) pointed out that ineffective leadership displayed by some superinten-dents is undoubtedly related in part to their inability to identify priority functions and their inability to spend energy and time doing what they consider these priority functions to be. Mintzberg

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pointed out that establishing priorities would bring more consistency to the manager's schedule. By bringing more consistency to the manager's schedule, by relieving him of the need to 223 schedule his own work, and by using systematic analysis to design his schedule in accordance with his needs and those of his own organization, the management scientist can achieve considerable gains in efficiency. (Mintzberg, 1973, p. 146) To a certain extent, the superintendent's priori-ties are established through board of education action. The adoption of a mission and goals statement, goals for the school year, a five-year plan, performance objectives for the superintendent, and a budget, are actions which help determine priorities. Decisions about how the superintendent allocates time and attention are primary clues not only about what the superintendent values, but also. about the role that has been negotiated between the superintendent and the board of education. Superintendent Dodge provided an example of a board action which set a priority for the use of some of his time. The other thing that's eaten up a lot of my time, both then and now, is litigation Every school district has a lot of litigation, but we, the board had a lot of foresight in the earlier part of this decade in making a determination that they were going to sue the insurance company over (names an incident concerning con-struction of a school), and they were going to sue all the asbestos manufacturers . But that takes time though, all that takes time. I spent

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224 one full day last month sitting in an attorney's office with the board president while they negotiated a settlement with us, with an asbestos manufacturer. But it was a, if I told you how much we netted in that one day, you'd say it was time well-spent. --Superintendent Dodge (I-4, p. 3) Priorities also come from the level of commitment that the superintendent and board have for the adopted mis-sion of the district. Superintendent Brown described the strong commitment which he and the board in Batesville have for the central purpose of providing the best possible educational experiences for students, and the need to handle the pressures which cause them to lose sight of that commitment. And I feel strongly that if we're not careful in our various roles, certainly in the superintendencies, we can get caught up with the pressure of, pressures of many kinds, for time and energy, that almost make it easy, it's almost an invitation to back away from that commitment, and tend to be peripheral, nitty gritty, high intensity, rather momentary demands, and not continue the determination to work on the central driving force that we ought to be faced with . If we allow ourselves to succumb to that temptation, it could even become a pattern. And then we are just in the mode of reacting to whatever comes along, instead of really determining the sense of direction and trying to shape our own destiny . . And there are times that I'm a little uncomfortable too that I don't spend as much time on some detailed kinds of things as I might like to. But, again, if I did, I wouldn't get to the bigger issues. And sometimes it's more comfort ing to know that you've taken care of all the details, and every piece is nicely in place. But while you're achieving that kind of comfort, something else more important could very well be neglected. --Superintendent Brown (I-4, pp. 1-3)

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225 Prioritizing time use is not always a simple matter. Confusion or uncertainty over roles and responsibilities can complicate matters. I'm concious of how I use my time, and make decisions about how I use it, and whether I use it effectively or not is another story. But I make conscious decisions about how I use my time . It's hard to tell where your duties begin and end. Sitting on some community board that takes a night meeting, or gets you to a meeting at 6:30 or quarter till seven in the morning. It's hard to. tell, but they're part of the job. --Superintendent Cooper (I-5, p. 5) Setting priorities does not automatically mean a reduction of time spent in work activities. It may only mean that the use of time is rearranged so the most important things are done first. Identifying priority items helps us separate out what's got to be done now, and that stays in front of me on the desk in plain view, and what can go into the "to do" file, which means you've got to do it, but it's not a rush job, it's not a biggie. And I can carry that thing around for a month and it doesn't bother me. I'll check it every now and then. I have one file that says check weekly, and I do to make sure that whoops, I've got one here, a letter of recommendation or. something I need to write and I've got a deadline on it And there are times when, face it, you just get behind and you have to admit you've gotten behind. I have two briefcases, you see in the corner. One is a fairly small one and the other one's the suitcase. Sometimes when I get behind I take the suitcase home and take it all with me and get it done that night. --superintendent Dodge (I-6, p. 7) Superintendent Brown offered that one time manage-ment technique which helps the prioritization process is that of establishing routines for the "mechanical

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226 daily operating things." By routinizing the regular administrative details so that they pretty well take care of themselves, time can be cleared to move ahead, prioritize action and activity, "and deal with cutting edge things and things that do make a difference in terms of our mission" (Superintendent Brown, I-2, p. 14). He described the routinization of administrative activities and being able to perform the routines spontaneously as being like driving a car. "If you have to stop to figure out how to shift gears every time you start out from a stop sign, you're in trouble" (Superintendent Brown, I-4, p. 7). Another time management technique that all the superintendents cited as a critical element in successful leadership was the appropriate and effective use of delegation. They spoke not only of assigning specific tasks or projects to subordinates, but also of giving them full responsibility for broad areas of the organization's operation. At a conference concerning the superintendency held in 1968 at Lehigh University, John Fisher, President of the Teachers College at Columbia University, addressed the conference on the topic "What's Ahead for the Superintendent?" In his remarks, Fisher commented that the superintendent of the future will only incidentally be an

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227 administrator. The administrative duties of the dis-trict would be delegated to others. The superintendent would have to be supported by a staff superior in quality and size to most that were in existence at that time. He asserted that delegation would allow the superintendent to take on the primary business of being "a student of his community, one of its central leaders and an architect of educational and social policy" (Fisher, 1968, p. 9). Superintendent Cooper realized that he is a generalist. He indicated that he could not deal with the details and specifics of certain areas of adminis-tration in the same way a subordinate who specializes in that area could. I didn't get trained as a secondary school teacher . I came out of a generalist background as an elementary school teacher where you taught everything. I wrote too many curriculum guides when I was a teacher and a principal to not have a strong interest in instruction. I have some other areas where I don't have the expertise and I'm not as interested. I'm not as interested in understanding all the fine print in errors and omissions insurance. I have to be sure that there is somebody who is and then I have to know enough about it that I can verify it. --Superintendent Cooper (I-5, p. 4) Delegation was used as a flexible technique to gain more time when needed. From time to time, you delegate some more maybe than you usually had to, but, again, in order to stay with those things that you think are most

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important, sometimes you have to do more delegating. 228 --Superintendent Brown, (I-4, p. 7) This study revealed that the presence of a high level of trust is a critical element of the skill of delegation. It was observed that delegating without trusting did not free up as much time for the super-intendant as did delegating with trust. In those situ-ations where the superintendent displayed a low trust level concerning a subordinate's ability to do a competent job with a delegated task or responsibility, the superintendent spent as much time making the assignment and conducting excessive numbers of progress checks as he would have spent if he had done the task himself. When delegation and a high trust level were present in tandem, the superintendent was able to create more discretionary time for himself. The evi-dence that a high trust level existed was the fewer number of times the superintendent felt compelled to make progress checks. The presence of a high trust level meant that the subordinate brought information to the superintendent about the delegated assignment whenever the subordinate felt he or she needed to communicate. The presence of a low trust level meant the superintendent would regularly and frequently request progress reports.

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229 Superintendent Adams described his attitude about delegation and trust in this way: First of all, you have to have the people to delegate to. But, I think, sometimes whether you've got it or not, if you're not of the personality that you can trust people, and you feel that you've got to do everything all the time, it doesn't help. The odds are, the numbers of times I give things to people . I really feel that they do as good or better than I would. --superintendent Adams (I-3, p. 6) When the high trust factor is present, the subordinates appear to respond accordingly. I like working with (name of superin-tendent) because he is so trusting and he gives you a lot of latitude. He feels that if you're in that job, you can do that job, and go ahead and do it . The number one job, the number one task on my job description says, I need to work to make the superintendent look good. That has to be the number one thing I need to do. If he looks good, then I'm all right. --senior Staff Member -Superintendent Adams (I-3, p. 6) Adams' secretary commented on the value of feeling trusted and knowing what is expected of her. He trusts you more than you do, that you can do this, more than I do sometimes. And he lets you know when he gives you this task what outcome he wants, so you can get there. Then he leaves you alone unless you ask for help. --Secretary -Superintendent Adams (I-10, p. 2) The superintendents in this study identified the creation of "think time" as one of the reasons for the use of time management techniques and strate-gies. Mintzberg (1972) also noted the lack.of time for reflective planning or think time.

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230 With few exceptions, managerial activities in my study concerned specific rather than general issues. During working hours it was rare to see a chief executive participating in abstract discussion or carrying out general planning . Clearly, the classic view of the manager as planner is not in accord with reality . The pressure of the managerial environment does not encourage the development of reflective planners. The job breeds adaptive information manipulators who prefer the live, concrete situation. The manager works in an environment of stimulusresponse, and he develops in his work a clear preference for live action. (Mintzberg, 1973, p. 37) The following excerpts from interview transcripts describe various ways that two of the subjects created the think time they felt was important. Superintendent Cooper had identified certain times during the day when he knew his time would have fewer interruptions. He also used weekends and evenings for think time. I don't get frustrated with interruptions any more. It's here. No, they don't raise my blood pressure or my tension level. It's here. I work around it. I wouldn't even attempt to come in here in the morning and set out an hour's writing task, which is what usually takes a big block of time. I just schedule that for some other time and avoid. certain times I know there are going to be interruptions ... I don't have a car phone and I wouldn't want one. I think when I drive. I don't want to be receiving calls and making calls . At the times I come down here on weekends or at night, I put things aside that I know it's going to be more productive to have an hour or two down here to see something through. I know what it's going to be like here in the mornings ... But typically, I'm here during the lunch hour. I prefer to be. It's not because I feel so pressured. The switchboard takes messages, no calls are coming in here, everybody leaves the building, and I just sit in here and do some stuff that needs to be done and there's

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231 no pressure. On the other hand, I spend four or five hours down here while the facility is closed. If it's on the weekend, that's fine, or I'll come down here a couple of evenings. And I prefer it that way. I don't take any work horne, oh if I'm getting ready for a board meeting I'll take a few things horne to read and edit, but I really don't take that much horne. --superintendent cooper (I-5, pp. 5, 6, 8) Superintendent Dodge also used evenings and week-ends for think time but also found early mornings to be productive times. The other time management system is, if it's what I call a "think piece," then I schedule time to get it done away from this office. Now if it has to be done today during office hours, then I either shut the door or I go somewhere, to another office, to a conference room that's not in use where nobody's going to think I'm there .. The other think time will generally come in the evening or on the weekend .. And you're not supposed to work seven days a week, and I try to make sure I don't do too much on Sunday, other than in the morning. But that's where some of my best time comes, that's where I do my professional reading, that's where I carne up with the idea that I've got to send my people to Pittsburgh and find out how the superintendent did what he did because that's what I'm trying to do here ... So that's quality time. I don't want to do any think pieces at night, because I can crack them out so much faster in the morning when I'm fresher. If I come in the office at seven, I can get more done that first half hour than I can get done in two hours in the evening . . And it took me a while to know thyself. When I would do a piece at night, take it in the next morning, I'd think, this isn't any good. I've got to do it again. --superintendent Dodge (I-6, pp. 5, 6, 7) A final aspect about the management of time that needs to be discussed is that of using time as a resource. Typically, time management means battling

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232 against time and finding ways to do things more quickly and efficiently. This study showed that time, in and of itself, can be used as a valuable tool. The super-intendents demonstrated that time is a resource that need not be constraining. Rather, it can be a fluid entity. The superintendent is not bound, as teachers are, to rigid time periods, bells, schedules, and aca-demic year. When time is viewed as fluid it becomes something the superintendent can manipulate to pursue managerial activities. Superintendent Adams indicated that learning to use time as a resource was not easy at first but has been a useful tool for him. When you first take the position (superintendency), or when I first took the position, there seemed to be more of an urgency about things. Things had to be done more quickly. The previous superintendent told me time and time again, you know, just cool it for a couple of days. Let things sit for awhile and a lot of times they work themselves out. And I didn't always do that. But I agree more and more with that philosophy and now, not that I don't want to work on things, but you can react too quickly, I think, and you can over-manage, so to speak. You try to manage things too quickly when time and a few other things sometimes help solve the problem. --Superintendent Adams (I-3, p. 3) Superintendent Adams was observed using time as a resource on a number of occasions. Descriptions of two situations during an advisory council meeting illustrate how he used this technique. The first

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233 situation was the discussion of an administrator retreat for next summer. After asking for input on the advisability and the potential negative public reaction to holding an out-of-town retreat, he went around the table and specifically asked each of the dozen or so participants for their personal recommendations. He then stated that he had enough input, he thanked the group for the input, and that he would think about it for a couple of days and then make a decision. He added that he would take full responsibility for the decision. The second situation involved the discussion of a bus issue and regulation. The assistant superintendent for auxiliary services was leading the discussion and after a few minutes Superintendent Adams asked for the assistant's decision on the matter. After a few more minutes of discussion, Adams told the assistant he had 30 more seconds on this item and then a decision was needed. When the decision was not made in the 30 seconds, Adams told the assistant to take 24 hours to think about it and then to put out a memo with his decision. In both of these situations, time was used to reflect on the input that was received before translating that input into a decision. Rather than make a

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234 hasty decision when immediate action was not needed, time was used as a resource to weigh the input and the options. In both cases the decisions were made and announced with no observable negative reactions. The Impact of Events and Issues on Work Activities The impact of major events and significant issues on Adams' and Brown's work activities and use of time was evident throughout the course of this study. A major event was defined as an important occurrence in the school district which was scheduled, planned and prepared for, and conducted. There was deliberate action taken to allow the event to occur and most of the conditions which accompanied the event were anticipated. A significant issue was a point, matter, or dispute, the decision of which was of special or public importance. The major event observed during the course of this study was the mill levy election in the Apple School District. The findings presented in Chapter IV demonstrated the impact that this event had on Superintendent Adams' work activities. The election was a major influence in determining how he spent his time, with whom, what topics were addressed, and how much time he had to put into his job. It should be clear

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235 to any superintendent or board of education contemplating an election that the work activity of the superintendent and many other administrators will be significantly affected by the decision to hold such an event. Superintendent Adams made the decision to conduct the election campaign himself and to be deeply involved in all aspects of the preparation, planning, and events leading up to the election. He met with most of the schools' staffs, made presentations to numerous school and community groups, drafted and approved publications, met with business groups and leaders, established a support coalition, and conducted unscheduled and unannounced visits to principals to monitor the progress of the campaign at the local schools. Throughout the campaign process he played a significant leadership role and watchdog role. He looked for anything being done in the schools which could have created controversy, confusion, or inhibited the chance of a successful election. He also warned of complacency. In almost every presentation to a school staff or a known supportive group, he stated that complacency was the one thing which could bring defeat when the support for a positive vote obviously existed. He also spent many

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236 additional hours with the board keeping its members informed concerning the campaign issues and progress. on two days during the heaviest campaign period, he was at work despite being ill. The impact on activities did not disappear completely after the election. The day of the election, with a high level of optimism that the election would be successful, Superintendent Adams met with his cabinet to discuss how the additional funds would be used to reduce class size, which was the number one priority. Subsequent meetings were held to adjust the 1988 budget, discuss negotiations strategy in light of the increased revenue, analyze the election and campaign process, and to begin discussing the possible need for a future bond election. Writing personal thank you notes to strong supporters was postelection activity. The distribution of Superintendent Adams' time in the content categories showed that some routine responsibilities were given minimal time before the election so that time would be available for running the campaign. Immediately after the election was over, Adams' average daily work time dropped for a short period of time as he recovered from the numerous night meetings and long hours involved in the campaign

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237 process. While he took a well-deserved break by reducing his work hours, the work that was given little or no attention the campaign still needed to be done. Consequently, the shorter work days did not last very long and he was soon back to longer days in order to catch up on postponed work. Two issues surfaced during the pre-election period which needed special consideration. Each of the issues was examined to determine the best way to address them and to minimize any possible negative influence on the election. One issue concerned a sensitive personnel matter and the other dealt with the selection of the site for a new elementary school. Either one of these issues, if handled incorrectly, dealt with too hastily, or publicized through the media in an unfavorable way, could have delivered a serious blow to the chance of a successful election. Superintendent Adams, his staff, and the board handled the issues a bit more cautiously due to the presence of an important election. Once again, this is an example of the pervasive influence that a major event such as an election can have on the superintendent's work activities. In the Batesville School District two significant issues emerged during the observation period. The

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238 first was a proposed smoking policy for the district which would, if adopted, prohibit all smoking on school property and in buildings. The presentation of this policy to the board for study resulted in more public interest than originally anticipated. The impact on Superintendent Brown's work activities was caused by the decision to hold a public hearing on the proposed policy, the board's request for a survey of students and staff about the policy, and the media attention which this issue attracted. The second issue involved a newspaper article in which a school board member was misquoted and misrepresented. The article also inaccurately described a situation at one of the schools and tried to make it sound more serious and controversial than it really was. The article angered the board of education and particularly the member who was misrepresented. Despite repeated warnings from Superintendent Brown that they be careful not to put "more fuel on the fire" by overreacting, the board felt it was necessary to hold at least two special meetings on the issue. Preparation for these special meetings resulted in numerous hours of additional and unanticipated work activity for Brown and his staff.

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239 The emergence of this issue prompted Brown to make the comment that working on an issue like this was like cutting open a golf ball and having the rubber bands continually unwind. It is what Duignan (1980) called the ''chain reaction phenomenon." This phenomenon occurs when one incident triggers a whole series of contacts, telephone calls, meetings, and other work which was unanticipated. The phenomenon created by a single incident can last for an hour or up to a full day or more of almost continuous activity related to the incident. While this phenomenon is occurring, other matters, many of which are more important, are not attended to. Wilson (1960) stated that the work activities which a superintendent performs depend on (1) size of the school system, (2) the superintendent's relationship with the board (especially the confidence it has in his ability and judgment), (3) the superintendent's specialized skills, (4) the superintendent's primary interests, and (5) the superintendent's nature and administrative philosophy. Results of this study indicate that another item should be added: (6) the events and issues peculiar to the district and community.

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240 Summary As we move into the 1980's, a superintendent is expected to provide increased leadership in the learning process, become even more student oriented, face taxpayers' revolts which directly conflict with the first two goals, deal with mandated funding reforms, declining enrollments and test scores, new mandates for the handicapped, full-scale involvement of the courts in school governance, competency-based testing, "back to basics," women's rights and Title IX, even collective bargaining by members of the management team. In short, the duties of the superintendent of schools continue to become more complex, more challenging, more exhausting, more diversified, and more precarious as society and our schools head quickly toward the 21st century. (Selecting a Superintendent, 1980, p. 3) The superintendents in this study knew very well what the current .and future demands of the superinten-dency are. Each was successful in his job because he had developed skills in using time, talents, abilities, personal initiative, and the initiative of others to manage and lead effective school operations. They had learned to live in a sea of unfinished tasks, maintain-ing a delicate balance between devoting themselves to a specific problem and, at the same time, keeping several others moving toward a solution. They could not divide their days into neat compartments, as physi-cians handling office calls, with each compartment devoted to a specific task. Many of the things they had planned to do they never got to at all. They had the ability to cope with and even thrive on constant

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241 interruptions and a flow of work which ranged from intense and important one minute to trivial but still usually hectic the next. They had developed a high tolerance for They had effectively merged the separate leadership types identified by Cuban (1976) and clearly demonstrated some of the charac-teristics from the teacher-scholar role, the chief administrator role, and the negotiator-statesman role. But most importantly, Adams and Brown were and are successful school superintendents and much can be learned from studying their work activities, their use of time, and their skills in management of time. Recommendations Recommendations and Implications for Practitioners Generalizing from qualitative research must be done with caution. However, this study has revealed findings which are consistent with findings from simi-lar studies. The findings have been affirmed by the five superintendents who were observed and inteviewed as descriptive of superintendents' work activities. Practitioners should be able to find some common threads between what is described in this report and their own situations. The value of this study for the practitioners, however, may not lie in finding an exact

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242 match between themselves and the subjects, but in considering what it is that successful superinten-dents do on a day-to-day basis and how they manage and control the use of their time. Little has been written about effective time management that is specifically tailored to the public school superintendent's work. The training in the skill of time management has been left up to the con-sultants who travel the circuit from convention to convention.or offer periodic workshops in regions of the country. Research, writing, and teaching on this topic are lacking. Practitioners should request that this important skill area be included in programs for recertification, self renewal, or skill improvement purposes. Recommendations for Future Research 1. Investigate the utilization of time manage-ment strategies by successful school superintendents. The need for effective strategies pertaining to the use and control of time emerged as an important aspect of the superintendent's work. Determining what these strategies should be and how to apply them is a skill that can be taught to prospective superintendents who already possess traits of good judgment and

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243 decisiveness. However, more research is needed and management researchers need to give more attention to this area before the claim can be made that we know how and what to teach to enable school administrators to be better time managers. As early as 1966, Clabaugh offered "guidelines for a solution to the problem of managing time." Even though the superintendent may, by choice and physical stamina, be able to invest many hours in his job, he may find that it continues to outdistance him. He is faced with the fact that long hours cause him to reach a point of diminishing returns. His problem is that what people and circumstances demand that he do does not always square with what he realizes must be accomplished. 1. He must attempt to devote himself to what no one else in his organization can do. 2. He must develop priorities for his tasks. 3. He must learn to drive through to a decision and to action or completion. 4. He must develop incisiveness without creating an atmosphere of tension. 5. He must develop a work plan which fits his application to his task. His schedule should provide him with an opportunity for extended periods of work and study relatively free from interruption. 6. He should, within reasonable limits, arrange his schedule so that he can apply himself to his work whenever he is fresh and rested and so that he can escape from it whenever it becomes onerous. (Clabaugh, 1966, p. 230) Similar lists of suggestions and ideals can be found in the literature. But what is lacking is the research base and the application strategies that will help the prospective superintendent or the practitioner

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244 develop the skills needed to reach these ideals. Consequently, the need for further research exists. 2. Investigate the specific strategy of delegation. We tend to delgate to others in the way we were to, whether it was effective or not. Effective delegation is another skill which can be taught but first we need to know how effective managers do it. Further investigation into this skill area should provide the specific strategies which will help the.practitioner develop effective delegation skills and procedures. 3. Investigate the acquisition and utilization of information for decision making in educational leadership. The exchange of information emerged as an important aspect of the superintendent's work. Except for a relatively minimal amount of use by one of the subjects, the computer has not yet found its way into the superintendent's office. This is not to say that superintendents do not rely on the computer for assistance in the exchange of information. Many secretaries and subordinates use the computer. But the superintendents in this study still relied heavily on face-to-face communication with subordinates to receive the information coming from computer-assisted management. Further investigation into the use of

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245 technology for the exchange of information and as a time management strategy for superintendents is needed.

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REFERENCES American Association of School Administrators. (1980). Evaluating the superintendent. Arlington, VA: American Association of School Administrators. American Association of School Administrators and National School Boards Association. (1984). Principles of effective school district governance and administration. Arlington, VA: American Association of School Administrators. American Association of School Administrators and National School Boards Association. (1980). Roles and relationships: School boards and superintendents. Arlington, VA: American Association of School Administrators. American Association of School Administrators and National School Boards Association. (1979). Selecting a superintendent. Arlington, VA: American Association of School Administrators. Arnez., N. L. ( 19 81) -=T.:.:h:.::e::.....::b...,e=s=-=1=' tendent: A case study of school superintendent-school board relations in Washington. D. c .. 1973-1975. Washington, DC: University Press of America. Blumberg, A. (1985). The school superintendent. Living with conflict. New York: Teachers College Press, Columbia University. Bogdan, R. c., & Biklen, s. K. (1982). Qualitative research for education: An introduction to theory and methods. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Boyd, W. L. (1976). The public, the professionals, and educational policy making: Who governs? Teachers College Record, 77, 539-577.

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247 Bridges, c. L. (1982). A field study of the work activity of five school superintendents. Dissertation Abstracts International, 43, 3l63A. (University Microfilms No. 83-04845) Bruyn, s. T. (1966). The human perspective in socioloav: The methodology of participant observation. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Callahan, R. E. (1966). The superintendent of schools: An historical analysis. Washington, DC: United States Office of Education. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 010 140) Campbell, R. F., Cunningham, L. L., & McPhee, R. F. (1965). The organization and control of American schools. Columbus, OH: Charles E. Merrill. Carlson, R. o. (1972). School superintendents: Careers and performance. Columbus, OH: Charles E. Merrill. Carlson, s. (1951). Executive behaviour: A studv of the work load and the working methods of managing directors. Stockholm: Strombergs. Chand K. ( 19 8 3 ) description of United States. Author. (ERIC ED 239 364) The current trend of the job school superintendents in the Report. of a study. Anchorage, AK: Document Reproduction service No. Clabaugh, R. E. (1966). School superintendent's auide: Principles and practices for effective administration. West Nyack, NY: Parker Publishing Company, Inc. Clinton, B. (1987). Speaking ofleadership. Denver: Education Commission of the States. Colorado Revised Statutes, 1973. Volume 9 -Education Cuban, L. (1984). Transforming the frog into a prince: Effective schools research, policy, and practice at the district level. Harvard Educational Review, 54, 129-151.

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248 Cuban, L. (1976). Urban school chiefs under fire. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. cunningham, L. L., & Hentges, J. T. (1982). The American school. superintendency, 1982: A summarv report. Arlington, VA: American Association of School Administrators. Cusick, P. A. (1973). Inside hiah school: The student's world. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. Dean; J. P., Eichhorn, R. L., & Dean, L. R. (1969). Limitations and advantages of unstructured methods. In G. J. McCall & J. L. Simmons (Eds.), Issues in participant observation: A text and reader. Reading, MA: Duea, J., & Bishop, W. L. (1980). PROBE examines time management, iob priorities, and among public school superintendents. Cedar Falls, IA: Practical Research into Organizational Behavior and Effectiveness. (ERIC Document Reproduction service No. 197 420) Duignan, P. (1980). Administration behavior of school superintendents: A descriptive study. The Journal of Educational Administration, 28, 5-26. Dykes, A. (1965). School board and superintendent: Their effective working relationships. Danville, IL: The Interstate Printers and Publishers. Educational Policies Commission. (1965). role of the superintendent of schools. DC: National Education Association. The unique Washington, Feilders, J. F. (1982). Profile: The role of the chief superintendent of schools. Belmont, CA: Pitman Learning, Inc. Fisher, J. H. (1968). What's ahead for the superintendent? In L. w. Ashby (Ed.), Man in the middle? The superintendent of schools. Danville, IL: Interstate Printers & Publishers, Inc.

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249 Gallaher, A., Jr. (1973). The view from anthropology: A prospective on culture. In J. Culbertson (Ed.), Content for preparing educational leaders. Columbus, OH: Charles E. Merrill. Getzels, J. w., Lipham, J. M., & Campbell, R. F. (1968). Educational administration as a social process -theory. research, practice. New York: Harper and Row. Goetz, J. P., & LeCompte, M. D. (1984). Ethnography and qualitative design in educational research. Orlando: Academic press. Gold, R. L. (1958). Roles in sociological field observations. Social Forces, 36, 217-222. Gold, R. L. (1969). Roles in sociological field observations. In G. J. McCall & J. L. Simmons (Eds.), Issues in participant observation: A text and reader . Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. Griffiths, D. E. (1966). The school superintendent. New York: The Center for Applied Research in Education. Gross, N. (1958). Who runs our schools? New York: John Wiley and Sons. Hemphill, J. K. (1958). Administration as problem solving.. In A. w. Halpin (Ed.), Administrative New York: The Macmillan Company. Institute School for Educational Leadership. (1986). boards: Strengthening grass-roots leader-ship. tional Washington, DC: The Institute for EducaLeadership. Kerlinger, F. N. (1965). research. New York: Foundations of behavioral Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. Knezevich, s. education: management Harper and J. (1984). Administration of public A sourcebook for the leadership and of educational institutions. New York: Row.

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250 Krajewski, R. (1980). Believe it or not: here's how a superintendent spends his day. American School Board Journal, 167(5), 25-26. Likert, R. (1961). New patterns of management. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company. Lofland, J. (1971). Analyzing social settings: A guide to qualitative observation and analysis. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing. Lutz, F. w., & Iannaccone, L. (1969). Understanding educational organizations: A field study approach. Columbus, OH: Charles E. Merrill. McCall, G. J., & Simmons, J. L. (1969) Issues in participant observation: A text and reader. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. Merrow, J., Foster, R., & Estes, N. (1974). The urban school superintendent of the future. Durant, OK: Southeastern Foundation. Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A.M. (1984). Qualitative data analysis: A sourcebook of new methods. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications. Mintzberg, H. (1973). The nature of managerial work. New York: Harper and Row. Morris, J. R. (1979). Job(s) of the superintendency. Research Quarterly, Murphy, J., & Ballinger, P. (1980). The superintendent as instructional leader: Findings from effective school districts. The Journal of Educational Administration, 24, 213-236. New York State Office of Education Performance Review. (1974). The superintendent of schools: His role, background. and salary. Albany, NY: New York State Office of Education Performance. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 093-071) Patton, M. Q. (1980). Beverly Hills, CA: Qualitative evaluation methods. Sage Publications

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251 Peterson, K. D., & Finn, c. E., Jr. (1985). Principals, superintendents, and the administrator's art. The Public Interest, 79, 42-62. Pitner, N.J. (1978). Descriptive study of the everyday activities of suburban school superintendents: The management of information. Dissertation Abstracts International, 39, 6448A-6449A. (University Microfilms No. 79-08199) Pitner, N.J., & Ogawa, R. T. (1981). Organizational leadership: The case of the school superintendent. Educational Administration Quarterly, 17, 45-65. Redfern, G. (1972). School management: Administrator union or management team. Arlington, VA: American Association of School Administrators. Reynolds, M. E. (1979). The superintendent as the leader of the administrative team. Dissertation Abstracts International, 40, 4337A-4338A. (University Microfilms No. 80-03828). Schwartz, M. s., &. Schwartz, c. G. (1969). Problems in participant observation. In G. J. McCall & J. L. Simmons (Eds.), vation: A text and reader. Reading, MA: AddisonWesley. Sergiovanni, T. J., & Carver, F. (1980). The new school executive: A theory of administration. New York; Dodd Mead. Spindler, G. D. (1963). The role of the school administrator. In G. D. Spindler (Ed.), Education and culture: Anthropological approaches. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. Stevenson, c. M. (1986). An investigation into the rewards in teaching for high-performing elementary school teachers. Dissertation Abstracts International, (Not yet listed) (University Microfilms No. 87-00394) Taylor, s. J., & Bogdan, R. c. (1984). Introduction to aualitative research methods: The search for meanings (2nd ed.). New York: John Wiley and Sons.

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252 Webb, E. J., Campbell, D. T., Schwartz, R. D., & Sechrest, L. (1966). Unobtrusive measures: Nonreactive research in the social sciences. Chicago: Rand McNally. Weick, K. E. (1985). Systematic observational methods. In G. Lindzey & E. Aronson (Eds.), The handbook of social psychology. New York: Random House. Wilson, R. E. (1979). Successful school superintendents ... and why. The Administrator, 1-35. Wilson, S. (1977). The useof ethnographic techniques in educational research. Review of Educational Research, 47, 245-265. Wolcott, H. F. (1970). An ethnographic approach to the study of school administrators. Human Organization, 29, 115-122. Wolcott, H. F. (1979). The elementary school principal: Notes on a field study. In R. Barnhardt, J. Chilcott, & H. F. Wolcott (Eds.), Anthropology and educational administration. Tucson, AZ: Impresora Sahuaro. Wolcott, H. F. (1973). The man in the principal's office: An ethnography. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. Zeigler, H., Kehoe, E., & Reisman, J. (1985). City managers and school superintendents. New York: Praeger Publishers. Zelditch, M., Jr. (1982). Some methodological problems of field studies. The American Journal of Sociology, 67, 566-576.

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APPENDICES

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APPENDIX A INTERVIEW GUIDES A-1 -Interview I -Superintendents Adams and Brown A-2 -Interview II -Superintendent Adams A-3 -Interview II -Superintendent Brown A-4 -Interview with Secretary -Superintendent A-5 -Interview with Secretary -Superintendent A-6 -Interview with Senior Staff Member -Superintendent Adams A-7 -Interview with Senior Staff Member -Superintendent Brown Adams Brown A-8 -Interview with Superintendents -Superintendents Cooper, Dodge, and Edwards

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255 Appendix A-1 INTERVIEW I SUPERINTENDENTS ADAMS AND BROWN 1. What events or issues in your district have had a pronounced effect on the district and briefly explain whether the effect was positive or negative. (Examples: enrollment increase or decline, negotiations, budget, AIDS issues, school board dissention,. community issues). 2. What are the current issues your district is facing? 3. What are three goals that you personally have for your districi? Do you think you will see these goals accomplished during your tenure as superintendent? 4. What aspects of being superintendent do you enjoy most? 5. What aspects of being superintendent do you enjoy least? 6. In your opinion, what is the most important function of the superintendent? 7. What do you consider to be the least important (but still necessary) role of the superintendent? 8. Please describe you management organizational structure. 9. How are responsibilities distributed among the senior administrative staff? 10. How would you describe your managerial style? 11. How would you describe the working conditions for you as the superintendent in your school district?

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12. What factors are helps or the performance of your role? Board of Education: Senior Staff: Employees: Community: Media: 256 hindrances to you in Please comment on:

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257 Appendix A-2 INTERVIEW II SUPERINTENDENT ADAMS 1. Is the position of superintendent as you expected it to be? 2. Has the job of superintendent changed since you first took this superintendency? 3. Are there specific roles and responsibilities which you make a deliberate and focused effort to perform as superintendent? 4. Do you perceive any inconsistencies in how you perceive the role of superintendent and what others expect of you? Teachers. Principals. Board of Education. Community Members. 5. Are there specific activities in which you make a deliberate effort to be involved or to personally perform related to instruction, teaching, and curriculum? 6. Do you have a preference for written or verbal media for receiving information from your subordinates? 7. I am analyzing the superintendent's use of time in contacts and conferences (2-4 people), meetings (5 or more people), telephone contact, desk work, and visitations and observations. Do you have a preference to be involved in any of these activities over other activities? Are any of these activities least desirable to you or least liked? Think in terms of a five point scale from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree. Strongly Disagree would be #1 on the scale, Agree would be #3, and Strongly Agree would be #5. Moderately Disagree and Moderately Agree would be #'s 2 and 4 respectively. Use this scale to respond to the following statements and elaborate whenever you wish.

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8. I am an effective manager and user of time. 9. I know what my responsibilities and roles as superintendent are. 10. I have just the right amount of work to do. 11. I have enough time to complete my work. 258 12. My work patterns and have changed during my superintendency as I have become a better manager of time. 13. The Board of Education is sensitive to my work load. 14. I know which decisions I can make and which must be taken to the Board. 15. I am told how well I am doing my job. 16. I have to work under vague directions and orders. 17. My work is frequently interrupted. 18. The pace of my work varies throughout the day. 19. The pace of my work varies from day to day. 20. The pace and variety of my work occasionally frustrates me. 21. I sometimes need to take breaks from my work. 22. I have observed that there is an almost constant exchange of information between The superintendent and his subordinates throughout each day. Please respond to this statement, I receive more information than I give. 23. I have complete information before I must act or make decisions. 24. I have capable senior staff members to whom I can freely delegate wdrk and responsibilities.

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259 25. I have capable secretarial support. 26. I depend on the assistance of those I delegate responsibility to. 27. Are there specific time management techniques you use on a regular basis to have more control over the use of time? 28. When there is a time crunch, how do you usually respond? What items or activities get put on hold? What emergency time saving techniques do you use? 29. Time management techniques which I have observed you use are (comment on any of these items if you want to): Car phone Use of your secretaries Office arrangement Material and information exchange Mail and written document screening No in-basket or out-basket -places for mail and messages depending on their importance Call screening Delegation -high trust level Regularly scheduleA contacts and meetings Pre and post board meeting meetings Simultaneous activity Meeting/contact leadership Direct approach to concluding contacts/meetings Filing system Hold file Attention file 30. What kind of person do you think can be a good superintendent? 31. (Present a copy of the preliminary data analysis to interviewee.) This is a draft copy of the preliminary data analysis of your work activities and the content of work activities. As I explain this analysis, please comment on the accuracy of this description from your perspective. Please offer any additional comments you wish to make about this analysis or the work activities of superintendents in general.

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260 Appendix A-3 INTERVIEW II SUPERINTENDENT BROWN 1. Is the position of superintendent as you expected it to be? 2. Has the job of superintendent changed since you first took this superintendency? 3. Are there specific roles and responsibilities which you make a deliberate and focused effort to perform as superintendent? 4. Do you perceive any inconsistencies in how you perceive the role of superintendent and what others expect of you? Teachers. Principals. Board of Education. Community Members. 5. Are there specific activities in which you make a deliberate effort to be involved or to personally perform related to instruction, teaching, and curriculum? 6. Do you have a preference for written or verbal media for receiving information from your subordinates? 7. I am analyzing the superintendent's use of time in contacts and conferences (2-4 people), meetings (5 or more people), telephone contact, desk work, and visitations and observations. Do you have a preference to be involved in any of these activities over other activities? Are any of these activities least desirable to you or least liked? Think in terms of a five point scale from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree. Strongly Disagree would be #1 on the scale, Agree would be #3, and Strongly Agree would be #5. Moderately Disagree and Moderately Agree would be #'s 2 and 4 respectively. Use this scale to respond to the following statements and elaborate whenever you wish.

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8. I am an effective manager and user of time. 9. I know what my responsibilities and roles as superintendent are. 10. I have just the right amount of work to do. 11. I have enough time to complete my work. 261 12. My work patterns and activities have changed during my superintendency as I have become a better manager of time. 13. The Board of Education is sensitive to my work load. 14. I know which decisions I can make and which must be taken to the Board. 15. I am told how well I am doing my job. 16. I have to work under vague directions and orders. 17. My work is frequently interrupted. 18. The pace of my work varies throughout the day. 19. The pace of my work varies from day to day. 20. The pace and variety of my work occasionally frustrates me. 21. I sometimes need to take breaks from my work. 22. I have observed that there is an almost constant exchange of information between The superintendent and his subordinates throughout each day. Please respond to this statement, I receive more information than I give. 23. I have complete information before I must act or make decisions. 24. I have capable senior staff members to whom I can freely delegate work and responsibilities.

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262 25. I have capable secretarial support. 26. I depend on the assistance of those I responsibility to. 27. Are there specific time management techniques you use on a regular basis to have more control over the use of time? 28. When there is a time crunch, how do you usually respond? What items or activities get put on hold? What emergency time saving techniques do you use? 29. Time management techniques which I have observed you use are (comment on any of these items if you want to): Dictating -correspondence and instructions, questions, requests Filing system -calendar subordinates schools committees board correspondence board meetings working files Regularly scheduled activities, contacts, and meetings Monday morning meetings with Central Office Administrators Administrative Council Use of secretary Office arrangement Material and information exchange Call screening Tracking charts Self notes Delegation Simultaneous activity Blocking time on calendars Meeting and contact leadership 30. What kind of person do you think can be a good superintendent?

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263 31. (Present a copy of the preliminary data analysis to interviewee.) This is a draft copy of the preliminary data analysis of your work activities and the content of work activities. As I explain this analysis, please comment on the accuracy of this description from your perspective. Please offer any additional comments you wish to make about this analysis or the work activities of superintendents in general.

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264 Appendix A-4 INTERVIEW WITH SECRETARY SUPERINTENDENT ADAMS 1. How long have you been in your current position? 2. What was your previous position? 3. You appear to have an effective working relationship with the superintendent. Has the way in which the superintendent uses your assistance changed since you first began working with him? 4. Are there specific roles and responsibilities which you observe the superintendent making a deliberate and focused effort to perform as superintendent? 5. Does the superintendent have a preference for verbal or written media for the exchange of information? 6. I am analyzing the superintendent's use of time in contacts and conferences (2-4 people), meetings (5 or more people), telephone contact, desk work, and visitations and observations. Do you think the superintendent prefers to be involved in any of these activities over other activities? Do you think the superintendent finds any of these activities to be least desirable or least liked? Think in terms of a five point scale from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree. Strongly Disagree would be #1 on the scale, Agree would be #3, and Strongly Agree would be #5. Moderately Disagree and Moderately Agree would be #'s 2 and 4 respectively. Use this scale to respond to the following statements and elaborate whenever you wish. 7. I know what my responsibilities and roles as superintendent's secretary are. 8. I know what the superintendent expects of me. 9. I am told how well I am doing my job.

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265 10. I know what decisions I can make and which must be taken to the superintendent. The superintendent is sensitive to my work load. 12. I am delegated an appropriate amount and type of responsibilities and tasks. 13. The superintendent places an appropriate level of trust on my ability to perform delegated responsibilities and tasks. 14. I provide more information to the superintendent than I receive from him. 15. I know in what ways I can help the superintendent be a more effective leader. 16. I know in what ways I can help the superintendent make effective use of his limited time. 17. The superintendent is generally available when I need to communicate with him. 18. Are there any time management techniques the superintendent uses which you have observed? I have observed the superintendent using the following time management techniques: Car phone Use of secretaries Office arrangement Material and information exchange Mail and written document screening No in-basket or out-basket -places for mail and messages depending on their importance Call screening Delegation -high trust level Regularly scheduled meetings and contacts Pre and post board meeting meetings Simultaneous activity Meeting and contact leadership Direct approach to concluding contacts and meetings

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Filing system Hold file Attention file 266 19. How do you deal with the large volume of mail and other written documents to assist the superintendent in use of his time? 20. (Present a copy of the preliminary data analysis to interviewee.) This is a draft copy of the preliminary data analysis for the work activities and the content of work activities for Superintendent Adams. As I explain this analysis, please comment on the accurary of this description from your perspective as his secretary. Please offer any additional comments you wish to make about this analysis or the work activities of Superintendent Adams in general.

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267 Appendix A-5 INTERVIEW WITH SECRETARY SUPERINTENDENT BROWN I. How long have you been in your current position? 2. What was your previous position? 3. You appear to have an effective working relationship with the superintendent. Has the way in which the superintendent uses your assistance changed since you first began working with him? 4. Are there specific roles and responsibilities which you observe the superintendent making a deliberate and focused effort to perform as superintendent? 5. Does the superintendent have a preference for verbal or written media for the exchange of information? 6. I am analyzing the superintendent's use of time in contacts and conferences (2-4 people), meetings (5 or more people), telephone contact, desk work, and visitations and observations. Do you think the superintendent prefers to be involved in any of these activities over other activities? Do you think the superintendent finds any of these activities to be least desirable or least liked? Think in terms of a five point scale from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree. Strongly Disagree would be #1 on the scale, Agree would be #3, and Strongly Agree would be #5. Moderately Disagree and Moderately Agree would be #'s 2 and 4 respectively. Use this scale to respond to the following statements and elaborate whenever you wish. 7. I know what my responsibilities and roles as superintendent's secretary are. 8. I know what the superintendent expects of me. 9. I am told how well I am doirig my job.

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268 10. I know what decisions I can make and which must be taken to the superintendent. 11. The superintendent is sensitive to my work load. 12. I am delegated an appropriate amount and type of responsibilities and tasks. 13. The superintendent places an appropriate level of trust on my ability to perform delegated responsibilities and tasks. 14. I provide more information to the superintendent than I receive from him. 15. I know in what ways I can help the superintendent be a more effective leader. 16. I know in what ways I can help the superintendent make effective use of his limited time. 17. The superintendent is generally available when I need to communicate with him. 18. Are there any time management techniques the superintendent uses you have observed? I have observed the superintendent using the following time management techniques: Dictating and instructions, questions, requests Filing system -calendar subordinates schools committees board correspondence board meetings working files Regularly scheduled activities, contacts, and meetings Monday morning meetings with Central Office Administrators Administrative Council

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Use of secretary Office arrangement Material and information exchange Call screening Tracking charts Self notes Delegation Simultaneous activity Blocking time on calendars Meeting and contact leadership 269 19. How do you deal with the large volume of mail and other written documents to assist the superintendent in use of his time? 20. (Present a copy of the preliminary data analysis to interviewee.) This is a draft copy of the preliminary data analysis for the work activities and the content of work activities for Superintendent Brown. As I explain this analysis, please comment on the accuracy of this description from your perspective as his secretary. Please offer any additional comments you wish to make about this analysis or the work activities of Superintendent Brown in general.

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270 Appendix A-6 INTERVIEW WITH SENIOR STAFF MEMBER SUPERINTENDENT ADAMS 1. How long have you been in your current position? 2. What was your previous position? 3. You appear to have an effective working relationship with the superintendent. Has the way in which the superintendent uses your assistance changed since you first began working with him? 4. Are there specific roles and responsibilities which you observe the superintendent making a deliberate and focused effort to perform as superintendent? 5. Does the superintendent have a preference for verbal or written media for the exchange of information? 6. I am analyzing the superintendent's use of time in contacts and conferences (2-4 people), meetings (5 or more people), telephone contact, desk work, and visitations and observations. Do you think the superintendent prefers to be involved in any of these activities over other activities? Do you think the superintendent finds any of these activities to be least desirable or least liked? Think in terms of a five point scale from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree. Strongly Disagree would be #1 on the scale, Agree would be #3, and Strongly Agree would be #5. Moderately Disagree and Moderately Agree would be #'s 2 and 4 respectively. Use this scale to respond to the following statements and elaborate whenever you wish. 7. I know what my responsibilities and roles as Assistant Superintendent for Instruction are. B. I know what the superintendent expects of me. 9. I am told how well I am doing my job.

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271 10. I know what decisions I can make and which must be taken to the superintendent. 11. The superintendent is sensitive to my work load. 12. I am delegated an appropriate amount and type of responsibilities and tasks. 13. The superintendent places an appropriate level of trust on my ability to perform delegated responsibilities and tasks. 14. I provide more information to the superintendent than I receive from him. 15. I know in what ways I can help the superintendent be a more effective leader. 16. I know in what ways I can help the superintendent make effective use of his limited time. 17. The superintendent is generally available when I need to communicate with him. 18. Are there any time management techniques the superintendent uses which you have observed? I have observed the superintendent using the following time management techniques: Car phone Use of secretaries Office Material and information exchange Mail and written document screening No in-basket or out-basket -places for mail and messages depending on their importance Call screening Delegation -high trust level Regularly scheduled meetings and contacts Pre and post board meeting meetings Simultaneous activity Meeting and contact leadership Direct approach to concluding contacts and meetings

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Filing system Hold file Attention file 272 19. Are there specific activities in which the superintendent makes a deliberate effort to be involved or to personally perform related to instruction, teaching, and curriculum? 20. (Present a copy of the preliminary data analysis to interviewee.) This is a draft copy of the preliminary data analysis for the work activities and the content of work activities for Superintendent Adams. As I explain this analysis, please comment on the accuracy of this description from your perspective as a senior staff member. Please offer any additional comments you wish to make about this analysis or the work activities of Superintendent Adams in general.

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273 Appendix A-7 INTERVIEW WITH SENIOR STAFF MEMBER SUPERINTENDENT BROWN I. How long have you been in your current position? 2. What was your previous position? 3. You appear to have an effective working relationship with the superintendent. Has the way in which the superintendent uses your assistance changed since you first began working with him? 4. Are there specific roles and responsibilities which you observe the superintendent making a deliberate and focused effort to perform as superintendent? 5. Does the superintendent have a preference for verbal or written media for the exchange of information? 6. I am analyzing the superintendent's use of time in contacts and conferences (2-4 people), meetings (5 or more people), telephone contact, desk work, and visitations and observations. Do you think the superintendent prefers to be involved in any of these activities over other activities? Do you think the superintendent finds any of these activities to be least desirable or least liked? Think in terms af a five point scale from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree. Strongly Disagree would be #1 on the scale, Agree would be #3, and Strongly Agree would be #5. Moderately and Moderately Agree would be #'s 2 and 4 respectively. Use this scale to respond to the following statements and elaborate whenever you wish. 7. I know what my responsibilities and roles as executive director of instruction are. 8. I know what the superintendent expects of me. 9. I am told how well I am doing my job.

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274 10. I know what decisions I can make and which must be taken to the superintendent. 11. The superintendent is sensitive to my work load. 12. I am delegated an appropriate amount and type of responsibilities and tasks. 13. The superintendent places an appropriate level of trust on my ability to perform delegated responsibilities and tasks. 14. I provide more information to the superintendent than I receive from him. 15. I know in what ways I can help the superintendent be a more effective leader. 16. I know in what ways I can help the superintendent make effective use of his limited time. 17. The superintendent is generally available when I need to communicate with him. 18. Are there any time management techniques the superintendent uses which you have observed? I have observed the superintendent using the following time management techniques: Dictating -correspondence and instructions, questions, requests Filing system -calendar subordinates schools committees board correspondence board meetings working files Regularly scheduled activities, contacts, and meetings Monday morning meetings with Central Office Administrators Administrative Council

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Use of secretary Office arrangement Material and information exchange Call screening Tracking charts Self notes Delegation Simultaneous activity Blocking time on calendars Meeting and contact leadership 275 19. Are there specific activities in which the superintendent makes a deliberate effort to be involved or to personally perform related to instruction, teaching, and curriculum? 20. (Present a copy of the preliminary data analysis to interviewee.) This is a draft copy of the preliminary data analysis for the work activities and the content of work activities for Superintendent Brown. As I explain this analysis, please comment on the accuracy of this description from your perspective as a senior staff member. Please offer any additional comments you wish to make about this analysis or the work activities of Superintendent Brown in general.

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276 Appendix A-8 INTERVIEW WITH SUPERINTENDENTS SUPERINTENDENTS COOPER, DODGE, AND EDWARDS Background Information I. How long have you been in your current assignment? II. What was your previous assignment? III. What is the enrollment in your district? IV. How many administrators report directly to you? V. How many schools are in your district? Interview Questions 1. Is the position of superintendent as you expected it to be? 2. Has the job of superintendent changed since you first took this superintendency? 3. Are there specific roles and responsibilities which you make a deliberate and focused effort to perform as superintendent? 4. Do you perceive any inconsistencies in how you perceive the role of superintendent and what others expect of you? Teachers. Principals. Board of Education. Community Members. 5. Are there specific activities in which you make a deliberate effort to be involved or to personally perform related to instruction. teaching. and curriculum?

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277 6. Do you have a preference for written or verbal media for receiving information from your subordinates? 7. I am analyzing the superintendent's use of time in contacts and conferences (2-4 people), meetings (5 or more people), telephone contact, desk work, and visitations and observations. Do you have a preference to be involved in any of these activities over other activities? Are any of these activities least desirable to you or least liked? Think in terms of a five point scale from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree. Strongly Disagree would be #1 on the scale, Agree would be #3, and Strongly Agree would be #5. Moderately Disagree and Moderately Agree would be #'s 2 and 4 respectively. Use this scale to respond to the following statements and elaborate whenever you wish. 8. I am an effective manager and user of time. 9. I know what my responsibilities and roles as superintendent are. 10. I have just the right amount of work to do. 11. I have enough time to complete my work. 12. My work patterns and activities have changed during my superintendency as I have become a better manager of time. 13. The Board of Education is sensitive to my work load. 14. I know which decisions I can make and which must be taken to the Board. 15. I am told how well I am doing my job. 16. I have to work under vague directions and orders. 17. My work is frequently interrupted.

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278 18. The pace of my work varies throughout the day. 19. The pace of my work varies from day to day. 20. The pace and variety of my work occasionally frustrates me. 21. I .sometimes need to take breaks from my work. 22. I have observed that there is an almost constant exchange of information between The superintendent and his subordinates throughout each day. Please respond to this statement, I receive more information than I give. 23. I have complete information before I must act or make decisions. 24. I have capable senior staff members to whom I can freely delegate work and responsibilities. 25. I have capable secretarial support. 26. I depend on the assistance of those I delegate responsibility to. 27. Are there specific time management techniques you use on a regular basis to have more control over the use of time? 28. When there is a time crunch, how do you usually respond? What items or activities get put on hold? What emergency time saving techniques do you use? 29. What kind of person do you think can be a good superintendent? 30. (Present a copy of the preliminary data analysis to interviewee.) This is a draft copy of the preliminary data analysis for the work activities and the content of work activities for Superintendents Adams and Brown. As I explain this analysis, please comment on the accuracy of this description from your perspective as a fellow superintendent. Please offer any additional comments you wish to make about this analysis or the work activities of superintendents in general.

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APPENDIX B DATA RECORD FORMS B-1 -Chronology Record B-2 -Activity Record B-3 -Phone Record B-4 -Contact Record B-5 -Written Communication Record B-6 -Self-Report Activity Report B-7 -Superintendent's Work Activity Time Report

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280 Appendix B-1 Date CBROHOLOGY RECORD Type of ActiYitJ Hediu Reference Duration

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Appendix B-2 # ACTIVITY RECORD FORK Activity Type: Desk work: Planning:_:::::Writing: __ Site: ____________________ __ Date: __________ Time: _______________ to Reading: __ Meeting: __ Description of Activity Notes and Codes Description

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Date -------Appendix B-3 PBOif! RECORD Description of Phone Contact 2 82 I

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283 Appendix B-4 CONTACT RECORD FORM Contact Type: Site: ________ Phone:______ Time to -----------Meeting Participants: Initiator: Description of the contact: Notes and Codes: Description:

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284 Appendix B-5 VRITTER COMKORICATIOR RECORD FORM FORM SENDER PURPOSE ATTENTION ACTION

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Appendix B-6 SELF-REPORT ACTIVITY FORM Date: -:----:-----:-Activity duration -From: _____ To: ____ Type of Activity: Contact Phone ----M a i 1 --,.,-..,.... Desk Work --Participants: Description of activity: 2 85

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286 Appendix B-7 SUPEIIHTEHDEHT'S VORl ACTIVITY TIME REPORT WEEK 1 SUN MON TUES WED THUR FRI SAT START END START END START END WEEK 2 SUN MON TUES WED THUR FRI SAT START END START END START END

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APPENDIX C DATA TABLES C-1 -Contacts and Conferences -Who Participates C-2 -Contacts and Conferences -Location C-3 -Meetings -Who Participates C-4 -Telephone Contacts -Who Participates

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288 Appendix c-1 Contacts and Conferences -Who Participates Combined (Superintendents Adams & Brown) Who *Percentage of Total Contacts/Conferences Members of Cabinet Secretary/Secretaries Principals Central Office Staff Teachers Board President Classified Employees Educational Community/Peers Community Members/Parents; Students Business Community/Government Officials/Attorney for District; Press Unknown/Other Other Field Administrators; Central office Administrators Board Members Superintendent Adams 28.7% 28.5% 12.8% 6.9% 4.7% 2.9% 2.9% 2.9% 2.5% 2.5% 2.0% 1. 7% 1.2% Who *Percentage of Total Contacts/Conferences Members of Cabinet Secretaries Principals Board Members/Board President Classified Employees Parents Central Office Staff Other Community Members Government Officials Central Office Administrators Educational Community Students Press Other Field Administrators 29.9% 28.6% 13.6% 7.5% 6.1% 5.4% 2.7% 2.0% 2.0% 2.0% 1.4% 1.4% .7% .7% .7% .7%

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Appendix C-1 (continued) Superintendent Brown Who Secretary Members of Cabinet Principals Central Office Staff Teachers Educational Community Board Members/Board President Central Office Administrators Classified Employees Other Peers Unknown Business Community Attorney for District Community Members Government Officials 289 *Percentage of Total Contacts/Conferences 32.7% 32.3% 14.2% 11.1%. 4.4% 3.5% 2.7% 1.8% l. 8% 1.3% l. 3% 0 0 0 0 0 *The sum of these percentages is more than 100% due to the presence of more than one participant at some of the superintendents' contacts and conferences.

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290 Appendix C-2 Contacts and Conferences -Location Combined (Superintendents Adams & Brown) Location Superintendent's Office Secretary's Area(s) Hall/Coffee Area Conference/Board Room School Office of Subordinates in Admin. Bldg. Principal's office Away from Organization superintendent Adams Location Superintendent's Office Secretaries' Areas Conference/Board Room Schools Hall Principal's Office Office of Subordinates in Admin. Bldg. Away from Organization Percentage of Total Contacts/Conferences 37.8% 17.3% 11.7% 11.4% 7.2% 6.1% 4.5% 4.0% Percentage of Total Contacts/Conferences 30.9% 12.1% 12.1% 11.4% 10.1% 8.7% 8.7% 6.0%

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Appendix C-2 (continued) Superintendent Brown Location Superintendent's Office Secretary's Area Hall/Coffee Room Conference/Board Room Schools Office of Subordinates in Admin. Bldg. Away from Organization Principal's Office 291 Percentage of Total Contacts/Conferences 42.3% 20.7% 12.8% 11.0% 4.4% 4.4% 2.6% 1.8%

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Appendix C-3 Meetings -Who Participates Combined (Superintendents Adams & Brown> Who Members of Cabinet Board of Education Principals Community Members/Parents; Students School Staffs Teachers Other Administrators Educational Community/Peers Business Community/Press/ Government Officials Central Office Staff/ Classified Employees Supt. Adams Superintendent Adams Who Members of Cabinet Board of Education Principals School Staffs Community Members Teachers Parents students Board Members Other Field Administrators Classified Employees Business Community *Percentage of Total Meetings 56.5% 37.0% 37.0% 28.3% 17.4%* 15.2% 13.0% 10.9% 10.9% 4.3% *Percentage of Total Meetings 53.1% 31.2% 25.0% 25.0% 15.6% 15.6% 9.4% 6.3% 6.3% 3.1% 3.1% 3.1% 292

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Appendix C-3 (continued) Superintendent Brown Who Members of Cabinet Principals Board of Education Other Field Administrators Educational Community Community Members Teachers Central Office Administrators Peers Press Government Officials Central Office Staff Business Community *Percentage of Total Meetings 64.3% 64.3% 35.7% 21.4% 21.4% 21.4% 14.3% 14.3% 14.3% 14.3% 7.1% 7.1% 7.1% *The sum of these percentages is more than 100% due to the presence of members from more than one group at most of the superintendents meetings. 293

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294 Appendix C-4 Telephone Contacts -Who Participates Combined (Superintendents Adams & Brown> Percentage of Total Who Telephone Contacts Principals 29.7% Educational Community/Peers 14.6% Others/Unknown 13.3% Other Field Administrators/ Central Office Administrators 8.2% Government Officials/Attorney for District/Business Community/Press 6.3% Members of Cabinet 5.7% Board President 5.7% Board Members 5.7% Secretary 4.4% Parents/Students/Community Members 3.8% Teachers 2.5% Superintendent Adams Who Principals Unknown Secretaries Central Office Administrators Community Members Educational Community Business Community Members of Cabinet Parents Board Members Teachers Board President Peers Other Field Administrators Central Office staff Press Students Other Percentage of Total Telephone Contacts 36.3% 18.8% 8.8% 5.0% 3.8% 3.8% 3.8% 3.8% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% 1.2% 1.2% 1.2% 1.2% 1.2% 1.2% 1.2%

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Appendix C-4 (continued) Superintendent Brown Who Principals Educational Community Board President Board Members Peers Members of Cabinet Other Field Administrators Central Office Staff Other Teachers Attorney for District Central Office Administrators Press/Media Classified Employees Unknown Business Community Government Officials 295 Percentage of Total Telephone Contacts 21.2% 14.1% 9.4% 8.2% 8.2% 7.1% 7.1% 5.9% 4.7% 2.4% 2.4% 2.4% 2.4% 1.2% 1.2% 1.2% 1. 2%

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APPENDIX D CORRESPONDENCE AND QUESTIONNAIRE D-1 -Letter of Introduction D-2 -Informed Consent Letter D-3 -Questionnaire

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Appendix D-1 October 27, 1987 Superintendent Brown Batesville School District 112 Blake Street Batesville, CO 87654 Dear John, 297 I am writing to you to request a personal and professional favor. Since joining the faculty at the University of Colorado at Denver last month, Dean Huber has been assigned to me as my first doctoral advisee. Dean's proposed study will be a naturalistic study of the daily work activity of superintendents. From this study he hopes to show the types of activities for which students in our administrator preparation programs should be prepared. The purpose of this letter is to ask that you consider becoming a subject for this study. Let me share a little of Dean's background with you. He is currently on a sabbatical leave from the Jefferson County Schools. During his year of leave he is working on his doctoral dissertation and serving as a graduate research assistant for the Department of Administration, Curriculum, and Supervision here at UCD. While in Jefferson County, Dean served 12 years as an elementary principal and the last two years as Administrative Assistant to the Central Area Superintendent. Upon completion of his sabbatical he plans to return to Jeffco as either an elementary or junior high school principal. Dean is a serious student of school administration and a dedicated career school administrator with aspiration toward the superintendency. He has and will continue to work hard to make this doctoral study a success. The proposed study has grown out of Dean's interest in the work of the superintendent of schools and his belief that more research is needed in the area of the work that superintendents actually do on a daily basis to fulfill the role of superintendent. He received a

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298 scholarship from AASA to continue his doctoral work and has a commitment to AASA to conduct a study of the superintendency. In this study, he proposes to observe two successful superintendents for the equivalent of ten working days (and nights) each to document the types and frequency of work activities. The observation times will not be consecutive, will occur between mid-November, 1987 and February 1, 1988, and will be arranged to be convenient for the subjects. Along with this observation, he will interview each subject a minimum of two times and will ask to be allowed to interview the superintendent's secretary and one senior staff member. The commitment required of the subjects is to allow Dean to observe all (or almost all) of the superintendent's work activities, to agree to the interview sessions (approximately 1 1/2 hours per interview), and to allow him to interview these other key informants. John, you have been nominated as a potential subject because of your record of success as superintendent in Batesville and your fine reputation in the educational administration profession. I feel that Dean would learn a great deal about how a successful superintendent operates by observing and talking to you. Your district also has a fine reputation, but, like all school districts, is with critical issues which have a strong influence on the nature of your job and your daily work activities. Your participation as a subject in this study would also provide those of us involved in administrator preparation training with valuable information concerning the work activities of effective school leaders. There is much more information about the study which should be shared with you but would make this letter much too lengthy. I only ask at this time that you consider this request and allow Dean the opportunity to give you more information before you make a decision. I thank you in advance for your consideration of this request. I would like to call you next week (around Wednesday, November 4th) to discuss your possible participation in the study. Dean will be with me when I call so you can talk directly with him if you have

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299 questions or need clarification. If you agree to be a subject, Dean will be ready to set an appointment time with you to get the project started. Sincerely, Richard P. Koeppe

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Appendix D-2 Superintendent Brown Batesville School District 112 Blake Street Batesville, CO 87654 December 2, 1987 INFORMED CONSENT LETTER Dear Superintendent Brown: 300 I will be conducting a proposed dissertation research project for the purpose of investigating the daily work activities of public school superintendents. You have been suggested as a possible subject for this study. The purpose of this letter is to invite you to become a subject of this study, to give you a brief description of what it would mean to be a subject, and to obtain the required informed consent from you if you should choose to participate. The superintendents who are the subjects of this study will be observed for a minimum period of time equivalent to ten working days (and nights when appropriate). A minimum of two interviews will also be conducted with each subject. All interviews and observations will be conducted by Dean Huber. All interviews and observations are projected to be conducted between November 16, 1987 and February 1, 1988 and would be scheduled at the convenience of the subjects. The purpose of observation will be to document the overall work activities of the subjects with particular attention given to the nature and purpose of activities, location, frequency, and duration of the work activities. The types and number of face-to-face, mail, and telephone contacts will also be documented. A final area of focus for observation will the type and frequency of time management strategies used by the subjects.

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301 Interviews will be conducted to gather information about each subject and about their districts of employment. The initial interview will focus on information which will help the researcher become familiar with the subject and the work environment. Interviews conducted after the observation period will be used for clarification and probing concerning observations made by the researcher. The analysis will focus on the types of work activities which typically consume the superintendent's time and the manner in which superintendents manage their time. The product of this research will be a descriptive analysis of the daily work activities of public school superintendents. The researcher/observer will ask to be allowed to observe all work activities of the superintendent. Whenever the superintendent feels that the observer must be excluded from a work activity, such a decision will be immediately honored. The subjects themselves and all parties they have contact with will be treated with complete anonymity in the reports of the study and in all field notes. The location and identification of the districts of employment will also be treated confidentially. Care will be exercised to assure that the identification of the subjects, other persons included in the proposed report, and the identification of the districts cannot be determined by the general reading audience. All proposed reports of the study will be available for the subjects to review and requests for deletion of any portions will be given consideration. Therefore, participating in this research poses no risk to the subject other than taking his/her time. If you choose to participate in this proposed study, any questions which you may have concerning the research, both before and after the research is completed will be answered. Any questions concerning your rights as a subject of this study may be directed to the Human Rights Research Committee, Graduate School, University of Colorado at Denver, 80202-2298. You will be free to withdraw your consent and discontinue participation at any time without prejudice or penalty.

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302 If you have questions, please call me at the University of Colorado at Denver, 556-2233, or at home, 985-1234. Your participation would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Dean Huber

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303 AGREEMENT OF PARTICIPATION IN RESEARCH PROJECT I agree to participate as a subject in the study concerning the superintendent's daily work activities and time management. I understand that I will be interviewed and observed by the researcher and that my identity will be protected. I also understand that if I agree to participate, the researcher will contact me to set up convenient interview and observation dates. Signature Date Thank You, Dean Huber

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304 Appendix D-3 QUESTIOBNAIRB Personal Information 1. Name 2. Date of Birth 3. Marital Status 4. Sex Age of Children (no names please} 5. Educational Background High School College or University Location Location Dates of Attendance Degree/Major

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. 305 6. Professional Background Please list all positions (both in and out of education) you have held since entering the job market on a full-time basis. Years From To Description/Title of Position District Information 7. Name of District 8. Approximate population of school district 9. Number of pupils enrolled in district 10. Employees lOa. Number of teachers lOb. Number of certificated administrators lOc. Number of certificated employees (Sa and lOd. Number of non-certificated administrators Location 8b)

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lOe. Number of other non-certificated employees lOf. Number of non-certificated employees (8d and 8e) 11. District's 1987 General Fund Budget 12. Composition of Board-of EducationPlease list sex, occupation, and current board office of each board member (no names please). 306 Board Member Sex Occupation Current Board Office (if any) , 2 I 3 4 5 6 7