Citation
Women in the high school principalship

Material Information

Title:
Women in the high school principalship leadership, gender, and mentorship
Creator:
Madsen, Karen Elaine
Place of Publication:
Denver, Colo.
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
296 leaves : ; 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:
Educational Leadership and Innovation
Committee Chair:
Guzman, Nadyne
Committee Members:
Bacon, Margaret
Jillson, Teresa
Muth, Rodney
Ramirez, Al

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
High school principals -- Colorado ( lcsh )
Women school principals -- Colorado ( lcsh )
Educational leadership -- Colorado ( lcsh )
Mentoring in education ( lcsh )
Educational leadership ( fast )
High school principals ( fast )
Mentoring in education ( fast )
Women school principals ( fast )
Colorado ( fast )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 274-296).
General Note:
School of Education and Human Development
Statement of Responsibility:
by Karen Elaine. Madsen.

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:
45216966 ( OCLC )
ocm45216966
Classification:
LD1190.E3 2000d M34 ( lcc )

Full Text
WOMEN IN THE HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPALSHIP:
LEADERSHIP, GENDER, AND MENTORSHIP
by
Karen Elaine Madsen
B.A., The Colorado College, 1975
M.A., University of Colorado, 1979
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
Educational Leadership and Innovation
1999


1999 by Karen Elaine Madsen
All rights reserved.


This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy
degree by
Karen Elaine Madsen
has been approved
by
Rodney Mul
A1 Ramirez
Date


Madsen, Karen Elaine (Ph.D., Educational Leadership and Innovation)
Women in the High School Principalship: Leadership, Gender, Mentorship
Thesis directed by Dr. Nadyne Guzman
ABSTRACT
This study identified and analyzed patterns of themes in leadership styles and
skills, social construction of gender, and mentorship as they emerged in the career
paths of women in Colorado high school principalships. Research on leadership
styles and skills, social construction of gender, and mentorship in the career paths
of men and women provided a foundation for the study. The review and content
analysis of the literature in these areas provided a foundation for the analysis of
data from interviewing a sample of eleven female high school principals. They
represented different geographic locations, districts, and district sizes. QSR
NUD*IST Software (1997) was used for an analysis of interview responses as
they revealed common patterns of themes which emerged within the career paths
of the principals. Thirty-five common patterns of themes emerged, the five most
common being (a) evolution of leadership behaviors, (b) mentors in positions of
power, (c) the need for womens experiences in sociological and psychological
studies, (d) socialization of females and their assertion into educational adminis-
tration, and (e) evolution of leadership and characteristics of the leader and the
nature of group activities.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidates thesis. I recom-
mend its publication.
Signed
IV


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I wish to thank several key people for their guidance, support, encouragement, and
direction on my journey through this dissertation process. First, I would like to
acknowledge my advisor and friend, Nadyne Guzman, without whose compassionate
direction and suggestions I might have stayed muddled in the assumptions. I would
also like to thank Rodney Muth for his persistent efforts in getting me to say exactly
what I needed to say in this research study. Teresa Jillson also deserves my thanks for
the materials and wisdom she shared with me about women and feminist theory.
Margaret Bacon and A1 Ramirez need to be acknowledged for serving on my
committee. They are friends as well as expert scholars.
I wish to thank my colleagues in District Number Eleven and at Mitchell High School
who have shared their interest in my research. Their support has been tremendous and
very much needed.
My friends need to be acknowledged for their enthusiasm, compassion, and love.
Without their understanding and encouragement, my journey would have been
exceptionally difficult.
Kay Branine deserves my special thanks and for her keen eyes and expert scholarship.
Without her proofreading my manuscript and making suggestions for improvement, I
would have been lost. Her compassion has also been wonderful.
Finallybut not leastI need to thank my family who has kept me afloat in this entire
process. My mother has been my mainstay as an enthusiastic and dedicated supported
of me and of my work. Without her consistent and very loving encouragement, I
surely would have drowned in this waters.
I also want to thank my dad whose life-long love of me and pride in my
accomplishments was spoken and demonstrated and always meant so much to me:
William Daniel Madsen
April 28, 1913-June 23, 1998.


CONTENTS
Figures.............................................................xv
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION..................................................1
Women as High School Principals.........................2
Major Question of This Study............................4
Lack of Consensus for Defining Leadership...............8
Social Construction of Gender...........................9
Criteria and Selection Processes for the
Successful High School Principalship...................11
Career Paths of Successful Female and Male
High School Principals.................................12
Mentorship.............................................13
Leadership and the Successful High School
Principal in the 1990s and 2000s.......................13
Definition of Leadership for This Study.........15
Women in Educational Leadership in Colorado............16
Assumptions Upon Which This Study is Based.............17
Problem Statement......................................18
Purpose of This Study..................................19
vi


Research Questions
19
Instrument......................................20
Methodology............................................21
Sample..........................................22
Standardized Interview Questions................24
Interview Protocol..............................25
Codes, Themes, and Patterns for Data Analysis..........26
Piloting the Instrument................................28
Limitations of the Study...............................29
The Value of This Study................................30
2. LEADERSHIP STYLES AND SKILLS..................................32
Lack of Consensus for Defining Leadership..............35
Attempts to Classify Leadership Theories...............37
Leadership Theories Before World War Two...............40
The Great Man...................................40
Classical Management............................41
Leadership Traits Theory...............................42
The Ohio State Studies.................................45
Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire.......45
Situational Leadership.................................46
vii


Dimensions of Leadership
48
Leadership Style...........................................48
Gender Distinctions of Leadership..........................51
Evolution of Leadership....................................52
Leadership and the Successful High School
Principal in the 1990s and 2000s..........................53
Many Hats of the Principalship.....................53
Leadership Skills..................................54
Staff Suggestions for the Successful Principal.....55
The Authentic Principal............................57
The Leader-as-Learner..............................58
Gender and Leadership Skills for the High School
Principal of the 1990s and 2000s...........................58
Distinctions Between Task-Oriented and
Collaborative Styles...............................59
Old Guard Males are Bureaucratic While
New Guard Females are Collaborative................60
Gender Socialization of Females and Males
in the Principalship...............................61
Collaborative Style of High School Principals
for the 1990s and 200s.....................................61
Relational Leadership..............................63
Credentials Do Not Equate with Equal Representation........64
viii


Selection of Skilled High School Principals:
Behind the Scenes..................................... 65
Conclusions.............................................66
3. SOCIALIZATION OF GENDER.......................................68
Gender Themes in Western Culture........................69
Sexism..................................................70
Feminist Theory.........................................72
Feminist Publications of the 1970s...............72
Provocative Problems Addressed...................73
1980s and 1990s Feminist Research................74
Social-Structural Perspectives...................75
The Glass Ceiling.......................................76
Reform Movements in Educational Leadership
and Business Leadership.................................77
The Glass Ceiling for Women in Education................79
Lessons Boys Learn and Lessons Girls Learn..............80
Educational Administration.......................82
Male-Dominated School Systems and
Internal Barriers................................83
Hiring Preferences, Discrimination,
Encouragement, and Socialization.................84
Gender Barriers for Women in the High School
Principalship...........................................85
IX


Summary.
87
4. MENTORSHIP..................................................89
Mentorship: A Tool for Development...................90
Themes within the Mentoring Process............91
The Growth of Mentorship in thel980s and 1990s.92
Mentor-Mentee Relationship Themes..............95
Characteristics of the Mentor........................96
Informal and Formal Mentoring Relationships..........97
Benefits of Mentorship...............................98
Mentorship and Women.................................99
Lack of Traditional Experiences:
Accessibility to Women........................100
Encouraging Women to Seek Mentors.............102
Guidance, Training, Networking................103
Mentorship for Women in
Educational Administration....................104
Summary.............................................104
5. METHODOLOGY................................................106
Research Questions..................................106
Sample..............................................108
Parameters for Selecting the Sample...........109
Theory-driven Sample..........................109
x


Interviewing a Sample of Eleven
110
Standardized Interview Questions.......................110
Interview Protocol..............................Ill
Profiles of the Thirty-Five Women High School
Principals............................................ 112
Profiles of the Eleven Principals in the Sample.113
Development of the Codes from Themes for
Data Analysis.......;..................................114
A Four-Level Hierarchy for Data Reduction..............115
Hierarchically Numbering the Codes and Themes..........115
Level One Codes and Numbers for
Leadership Styles and Skills....................119
Codes and Themes in QSR NUD*IST Software
for Pattern Analysis...................................120
Clustering of Patterns..........................121
Instmment.......................................122
Piloting the Instmment..........................123
Single-Method Design to Minimize Bias..................123
Human Research Committee...............................125
Limitations of the Study...............................125
6. FINDINGS.....................................................128
Profile Analysis of Subject Pool
Who Returned the Consent Form..........................129
xi


Data Analysis
131
Themes of Leadership Styles and Skills,
Social Construction of Gender, and
Mentorship for Pattern Analysis...................133
Data Reduction for Pattern Analysis.......................140
Appendix M: Pattern Analysis for Thematic Findings.......140
Five Patterns Which Emerged in the Career Paths
of the Female Principals..................................141
Evolution of Leadership Behaviors is a
Part of Professional Preparation..................142
Having a Mentor in a Position of Power...........144
Womens Experiences Must be Included in
Sociological and Psychological Studies to
Help Prepare Women for the World
in Which They Live with Men......................148
Socialization and Assertion of Women..............150
Evolution of Leadership and the Nature
of Group Activities...............................151
Clustered Thematic Categories.............................153
Thematic Variables on Leadership Styles and Skills........154
Leadership Characteristics and Abilities of
the Female High School Principal..................154
Leadership Styles and Skills and
Professional Preparation for the
Female High School Principal......................157
Thematic Variables of Social Construction of Gender......163
xii


Three Social Construction of
Gender Thematic Variables Intersected
with Leadership Styles and Skills....
164
Curricular and Instructional Leadership Skills
for Female High School Principals.......................164
Technical Skills of Leadership Needed for
Female High School Principals...........................166
Barriers for Women Being Selected as
Female High School Principals....................169
Historical Perceptions of Women and
System Barriers..................................169
Thematic Variables Supported by the Research
Theory on Mentorship....................................175
Mentorship, Professional Preparation, and
Selection of Female High School Principals..............177
7. CONCLUSIONS..................................................182
Research Question Number One............................182
Research Question Number Two............................184
Research Question Number Three..........................186
Using QSR NUD-IST Software..............................189
Suggestions for Further Research........................190
Final Comments..........................................192
APPENDIX
A Connecting Leadership Styles and Skills Research Questions,
Researchers, Themes, and Codes with the Interview Questions.196
xui


B Connecting Social Construction of Gender Research
Questions, Researchers, Themes, and Codes with
the Interview Questions..............................................207
C Connecting Mentorship Research Questions, Researchers,
Themes, and Codes with the Interview Questions................212
D Number of Colorado Female High School, Junior-Senior
High School Combinations, Elementary-Junior-Senior
High School Combinations, and Alternative School
Principals 1998-1999 by County, District, and District Size..........223
E Total Number and Percentages of Colorado Female and Male
High School, Junior-Senior High School Combinations,
Elementary-Junior-Senior High School Combinations, and
Alternative School Principals 1998-1999..............................229
F A Conceptual Framework for Research............................231
G Letter Mailed to Female High School, Junior-Senior High
School Combinations, Elementary-Junior-Senior High School
Combinations, and Alternative School Principals 1998-1999.....233
H Consent Form for Interview.....................................235
I Interview Questions............................................238
J Profile of Thirty-Five Female Colorado High School
Principals Who Responded Yes to Being Interviewed...........240
K Profile of Thirty-Five Female Colorado High School
Principals Who Responded Yes to Being Interviewed:
Averages and Percents from Each Response......................247
L Profile of Eleven High School Principals Interviewed...........250
M Data Summary: Connecting Responses in Each Interview
Question with Hierarchically Numbered Leadership, Social
Construction of Gender, and Mentorship Thematic Variables............252
REFERENCES..................................................................274
xiv


FIGURES
Figure
2.1 Leadership Themes....................................................33
3.1 S ocial Construction of Gender Themes................................71
4.1 Mentor-Mentee Relationship Themes....................................94
5.1 Identification of Leadership Styles and Skills, Social Construction
of Gender, and Mentorship Themes and Codes for Pattern Analysis.....116
5.2 Programming Codes and Themes of Leadership Styles and Skills,
Social Construction of Gender, and Mentorship into QSR NUDIST
Software for Pattern Analysis.......................................117
5.3 The Ladder of Analytical Abstraction (Carney, 1990)................. 118
6.1 Themes of Leadership, Social Construction of Gender, and Mentorship
as They Emerged in the Career Paths of Female Principals............134
xv


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
The 1980s were to be the period when women took giant steps forward in the
fields of management and leadership in decision-making positions within organizations
or corporations (Fleming, 1991). Legislation such as the Affirmative Action Act of
1964, the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972, the Human Rights Act of
1978, and the Employment Equity Act of 1986, all federally-mandated civil rights and
equal employment laws overseen by the federal government, made it illegal to
discriminate against women and minorities (Fleming; Reskin & Ross, 1995). This
legislation was also intended to equalize the opportunity for everyone to compete for
employment. Women were to have access to careers which had been closed to them.
Coupled with this legislation, programs in universities, colleges, and other
organizations were being established to enhance the administrative skills and
assertiveness of women, thus further heightening their career opportunities. In the
1990s, however, women still encounter difficulty in assuming positions as managers,
executives, and administrators in which they make the major decisions (Hamrick,
1994; Hodgkinson & Montenegro, 1999; Smith, 1995; Reskin & Ross, 1995). This is
also true for women in the high school principalship according to a national survey
conducted by the Educational Research Service (ERS) for the National Association of
Elementary Principals .(NAESP) and the National Association of Secondary School
Principals (NASSP) (Educational Research Service, 1998). The results of this survey
1


have also been cited by the National School Boards Association (NSB A) in their
publications (National School Boards Association, 1998).
Women as High School Principals
Education, historically, has been a profession dominated by women
(Educational Research Service, 1998; Pellicer, Anderson, Keefe, Kelly, & McCleary,
1988, 1990; National School Boards Association, 1998). As of the later half of the
1980s and into the 1990s, more than 80% of elementary teachers and nearly one half of
high school teachers are women (Jones & Montenegro, 1990; Montenegro, 1993;
Kanthak, 1991; Pellicer et al., 1990). However, the great majority of principals are
male and white (non-Hispanic) (Educational Research Service, 1998).
According to the national research (Educational Research Service, 1998;
Hodgkinson & Montenegro, 1999; National School Boards Association, 1998; Pellicer
et al., 1988; 1990) on women entering the field of educational administration, several
factors might have influenced this lower percentage of women in the high school
principalship: (a) women were thought to be inherently incapable of handling school
issues of discipline and order, (b) school boards tended to hire those most like
themselveswhite middle-aged Protestant males, (c) school boards claimed that they
did not want to invest time and money in workers with short time commitments
(women who would likely leave the profession for marriage and a family), and (d) the
belief that males have a special ability to work with the community (Pellicer et al.,
1988; 1990).
However, other factors which might account for fewer females in high school
2


principal positions include the following (Educational Research Service, 1998):
1. the job can be too stressful;
2. societal problems (e.g., poverty and lack of family support) can make it
difficult to focus on instruction;
3. too much time can be required;
4. satisfying demands of parents and community can be difficult;
5. inadequate funding for schools can make the principalship difficult;
6. compensation for the job can be less than sufficient for responsibilities of
thejob;
7. continuing bad press or public relations can make the job difficult;
8. no tenure is associated with the principalship. (p. 7)
Nevertheless, the total number of public school principals grew between 1987-1988
and 1993-1994 (the most recent years in which the National Center for Education
Statistics conducted staffing surveys) from 77,890 to 79,618 (up 2.2%)
(Educational Research Service, 1998). The percentage of female principals rose from
24.6 to 34.5 between 1987-1988 and 1993-1994, and the percentage of new principals
who are female rose from 41.2 in 1987-1988 to 48.1 in 1993-1994 (Educational
Research Service, 1998).
Women in the elementary school and middle school principalship have
increased to 42% (National School Boards Association, 1998). Of those with fewer
than five years of experience, 65% are women in the elementary and middle school
principalships (National School Boards Association, 1998). The same gains have not
been found to be true for women in high school principalships, even though more
3


women than men are employed as educators in high schools (Educational Research
Service, 1998). In a 1998 national survey of superintendents, 76% of the
superintendents responded to the survey that they had seen qualified candidates for the
position of high school principal (Educational Research Service, 1998; National School
Boards Association, 1998). They also responded that the issue of increasing women
in management positions was not a focus for them (Educational Research Service,
1998; National School Boards Association, 1998). In the state of Colorado, 24% of
high school principal positions are held by women (Colorado Department of
Education, 1998). These responses and percentages suggest a variety of reasons why
more men than women are employed as high school principals. While some of these
reasons may include the responsibilities associated with the job of being a successful
high school principal, other factors may be related to leadership styles and skills, ways
women have been socialized which influence their leadership styles and skills, and
mentorship as each played a role in the career paths of women who have become high
school principals. These elements formed the basis for the major question examined
for this study.
The Major Question of This Study
Since a variety of factors may influence why fewer women are employed as
high school principals, the focus for this study concentrates on the influence of
leadership styles and skills, social construction of gender, and mentorship in the career
paths of these women. The major question researched in this study, then, was the
following: Does a relationship exist between the career paths of women in Colorados
4


high school principalship and (a) leadership styles and skills, (b) social construction of
gender, and (c) mentorship?
Through an analysis of available research in the literature, it became clear that
gender might play a significant role in each of these areas. For example, characteristics
examined by leadership theorists may be associated with the leaders gender (Beck,
1994; Eagly & Johnson, 1990; English, Frase, & Arhar, 1992; Regan & Brooks,
1995). These characteristics of leadership styles and skills are the following and are
discussed in Chapter Two of this dissertation:
1. interaction processes of groups;
2. situational effectiveness;
3. task orientation versus people orientation;
4. leadership styles;
5. transactional versus transformational leadership;
6. power and authority;
7. role differentiation;
8. gender differentiation; and
9. evolution of leadership behaviors.
These nine characteristics of leadership, and the researchers promoting theories
supporting them, are presented as Figure 2.1 in Chapter Two. It has been suggested
that these characteristics of leadership styles and skills may have an influence on
women who desire a high school principalship (Beck, 1996; Regan & Brooks, 1995).
Additionally, characteristics researched by theorists of social construction of
gender may also have an influence on women becoming high school principals. Social
5


construction of gender is a term from feminist research and theory to promote a
theoretical perspective about gender and the ways in which females and males have
been socialized (Lorber & Farrell, 1991), e.g., hardball lessons for boys and house
and doll lessons for girls (Heim, 1993, pp. 15-17). The theoretical perspective is that
of a social construction of gender which informs a feminist understanding of the
systemic aspects of the position of women in society and also integrates empirical
research to demonstrate this reality in mens and womens lives (Lorber &
Farrell, 1991, p. 1). Within this perspective, men and women are not automatically
compared. Rather, gender categories, such as female-male, feminine-masculine,
girls-boys, and men-women, are analyzed to see how different social groups define
them and how they construct and maintain them in everyday life and in major social
institutions such as school systems. The following are characteristics of social
construction of gender and have been posited by some theorists as to why men are
employed in more management, executive, and administrative positions within
organizations, including school systems (Belenky, Clinchy, Goldburger, & Tarule,
1997; Bern, 1993; Gilligan, 1993; Hodgkinson & Montenegro, 1999; Regan &
Brooks, 1995; Reskin & Ross, 1995):
1. discrimination,
2. the unique female world and differences between female and male styles,
3. how men and women are treated differently in organizations,
4. how women might gain equality in the workplace,
5. gender differences based on brain research,
6. leadership and power perceptions of female and male styles, and
6


7. womens experiences in sociological and psychological studies.
These seven characteristics are discussed in Chapter Three and are presented, along
with the researchers who promote them, in Figure 3.1. These characteristics of social
constmction of gender may have an influence on women who want to be high school
principals.
Finally, the following six characteristics of the mentor-mentee relationship,
presented by researchers who promote theories relative to mentorship for the
promotion of women in organizations, may also influence how and why women are
appointed to high school principal positions (Canter & Bemay, 1992; Bolman & Deal,
1998; Daresh & Playko, 1997; Peel, Wallace, Buckner, Wrenn, & Evans, 1998;
Regan & Brooks, 1995):
1. mentors serving as role models for mentees,
2. mentors and mentees experiencing the same process in order for the mentor
to promote the mentee,
3. formal processes versus informal ones within organizations,
4. mentors serving as leaders who can influence decision makers for
mentees to be able to progress in organizations,
5. mentors serving as wise counselors and supporters, teachers, confidantes,
and encouragers, and
6. women needing mentors to attain high school principalships.
These six characteristics of the mentor-mentee relationship are discussed in depth in
Chapter Four and are illustrated, along with the researchers who have posited them as
theories, in Figure 4.1. These six characteristics about the relationship between a
7


mentor and her or his mentee may have an influence on women who seek a position as
a high school principal. A lack of consensus for defining what leadership is and what
skills an individual needs to demonstrate to be a successful leader may influence why
fewer women are employed in management, executive, and administrative. This lack of
consensus about leadership styles and skills may have an influence on the career paths
of women in the high school principalship, as well.
Lack of Consensus for Defining Leadership
The lack of consensus about leadership has been the result of lengthy dialogue
among historians, biographers, sociologists, psychologists, and educators. Over the
years, the discussion has focused on two fundamental questions: (a) How does an
individual discriminate between a leader and a nonleader, and (b) How does an
individual become a leader? The answers to these questions, however, have continued
to elude researchers and practitioners (Ackerman, Donaldson, & Van Der Bogert,
1996; Barth, 1997; Bass, 1985; Murphy, 1994; Napier, Fox, & Muth, 1994). As a
result of differing views, the concept of leadership has come to mean different things to
different theorists (Burns, 1978; Hughes, 1962; Morgan, 1997; Robbins, 1988). For
example, some theorists have posited that effective leadership is contingent upon the
interaction processes of the group the leader is leading (Bales, 1950; Cartwright &
Zander, 1960; Purser, 1998; Zelditch, 1955).
Other researchers have suggested that effective leadership is situational,
dependent upon the situation in which the leader finds herself or himself leading others
to a goal (Fiedler, 1967; Hemphill & Coons, 1957; Katz, 1955; Katz, Blau, Brown, &
8


Strodbeck, 1957; Parsons & Bales, 1955, Stogdill & Coons, 1957). Still other
theorists have posited that leadership is about the leaders use of--and the groups
perceptions ofpower and authority (English, Frase, & Arhar, 1993; Muth &
Wilkinson, 1987; Portin, Shen, & Williams, 1998). According to the literature,
therefore, completely defining the leadership skills an individual needs to demonstrate
in her or his profession seems to be contingent upon the situation and the traits of the
perceived leader and the style of leadership he or she uses in any given situation. As
explained in Chapter Two, social scientists (Aburdene & Naisbitt, 1993; Grogan,
1996; Morgan, 1970) and feminist theorists (Bern, 1993; Kanter, 1977; Kanter &
Millman, 1975; Heim & Golant, 1993) have also suggested that these traits may be
related to the individuals social construction of gender.
Social Construction of Gender
As explained earlier in this chapter, social construction of gender is a term from
feminist research and theory to promote a theoretical perspective about gender and the
ways in which females and males have been socialized (Lorber & Farrell, 1991), e.g.,
competitive behavior for boys and collaborative behavior for girls (Heim, 1993,
pp. 15-17). Within this perspective on social construction of gender, men and women
are not automatically compared. Rather, gender categories, such as female-male,
feminine-masculine, girls-boys, and men-women, are analyzed to see how different
social groups define them and how they construct and maintain them in everyday life
and in major social institutions such as school systems.
For example, throughout the history of Western culture, three beliefs about
9


men and women have prevailed: (a) that they have fundamentally different
psychological and sexual natures, (b) that men are inherently the dominant or superior
sex, and (c) that both female-male difference and male-dominance are natural
(Bern, 1993). Until the mid-nineteenth century, this naturalness was typically
conceived in religious terms, as part of Gods grand creation (Bern, 1993). American
boys and girls both were socialized with these beliefs about men and women (Heim &
Golant, 1995; Konek & Kitch, 1997).
As a consequence, most American men and women did not see any
inconsistency between commitment to equality and denial of political rights to women
until the appearance of the womens rights movement in the mid-nineteenth century.
This first wave of feminist advocacy not only established womens basic political
rights; it also made the inconsistency between ideology and the treatment of women
widely visible for the first time in U.S. history (Bern, 1993; Konek & Kitch, 1997).
Women in the 1990s do not occupy the majority of leadership and management
positions where they have the power to make crucial decisions (Hodgkinson &
Montenegro, 1999; Smith, 1995; Reskin & Ross, 1995). Women also do not earn as
much as men with similar or lower educational backgrounds (Reskin & Ross, 1995;
Tomaskovic-Dewey, 1995). According to the results of the occupational survey
conducted by Reskin and Ross, Men outeamed women with the same type of
education and experience, type of employer, and managerial rank by $10,487 per year
(p. 144).
These aspects of social construction of gender may have an influence on why
fewer women than men hold management positions in which they are the major
10


decision makers. These same aspects of social construction of gender may have
influenced the career paths of women in the high school principalship. Furthermore,
women who want to become high school principals may also may face inconsistent
hiring processes for the criteria and selection of this position (Baltzell & Dentler, 1984;
Cantor & Bemay, 1992; Hodgkinson & Montenegro, 1999; Tashkandi, 1991).
Criteria and Selection Processes for the
Successful High School Principal
While general consensus seems to exist about the criteria which make a school
effective, consensus is not apparent on the application of those elements among men
and women who are selected for high school principalships (Tashkandi, 1991). These
elements appear to be gender neutral as do the selection criteria used by most school
districts when advertising for a high school principal (Cantor & Bemay, 1992;
Hodgkinson & Montenegro, 1999; Montenegro, 1993; Scheele, 1996).
Baltzell and Dentler (1984), for example, conducted case studies in various
public school districts from which they concluded that personnel used basically four
procedures in the placement of a principal: (a) listing the vacancy, (b) screening the
candidates, (c) interviewing, and (d) making a decision who should receive the
principalship and offering the position to that individual. Bell and Chase (1993), in
their study of why women are underrepresented in school leadership positions,
identified and recommended five selection processes for screening candidates for the
high school principalship: (a) collecting biographical data, (b) administering written
tests, (c) conducting structured interviews, (d) soliciting job samples, and (e)
contacting assessment centers. However, according to the literature, not all school
11


districts use a consistent method when hiring men and women into educational
administrative positions (Bell & Chase, 1993; Edson, 1987; Gupton & Slick, 1996;
Hill & Ragland, 1995; Jones & Montenegro, 1990; Weber, Feldman, & Polling,
1981). These researchers have also indicated that not all women who have received a
position as high school principal have followed the same career paths.
Career Paths of Successful Female and
Male High School Principals
Shakeshaft (1987) asserted that similarities existed in the career paths and
experiences of female and male administrators: they teach in the same schools, are
educated in the same preparation programs, and attend comparable staff development
activities to enhance promotion. However, women seldom participate in gender-
oriented experiences such as how to network within the school system or how their
leadership styles might differ from mens leadership styles, until their attempts at
promotion have failed.
Other researchers (Adler, Laney, & Packer 1993; Astin & Leland, 1991;
Belenky et al., 1997; Bell, 1988; Bolman & Deal, 1998; Cantor & Bernay, 1992;
Daresh & Playko, 1997; Goldin, 1990; Gray, 1986) have suggested that mentoring of
individuals, especially women, may help them to gain these positions associated with
power and authority in American society. However, these researchers also pointed out
that connecting with a mentor has been easier for men than for women, although the
promotion of mentorship has increased since the 1980s.
12


Mentorship
Since the 1980s, mentorship has been dramatically reborn as a practical and
effective method for developing personnel (Daresh & Playko, 1997). Improved job
productivity and satisfaction inherent in the mentor-mentee relationship are the keys
that have precipitated keen interest in this process. The seasoned veterans or masters
of the trade are often perceived as the most significant people in the organization and
those whose expertise and savvy can be tapped to help newcomers to succeed.
Women who have been placed as educational administrators have suggested
that having a mentor can make a difference in their selection to administrative and
management positions (Ashby, 1991; Astin & Leland, 1991; Bolman & Deal, 1998;
Grogan, 1996; Gupton & Slick, 1996; Hill & Ragland, 1995). These aspects of
mentorship may have an influence on why more men than women are employed in
positions as major decision makers. These same aspects of mentorship may have
influenced the career paths of women in the high school principalship. However, the
leadership skills for the successful high school principal of the 1990s and 2000s are
many and varied.
Leadership and the Successful High School Principal
in the 1990s and 2000s
Given that the high school is an increasingly complex organization in a complex
societyone which has scrutinized education and programs and demanded more
accountability from its schoolsspecific leadership skills are needed for an educator to
succeed in the role of the high school principalship. Since the 1980s, with the on-set
of effective schools research (Lezotte, 1992) and state-legislated mandates to improve
13


student assessment scores (Colorado Department of Education, 1993), principals have
assumed more and more managerial and supervisory duties and have been asked to
wear many hats, including staff collaborator, community partner, curriculum expert,
and instructional leader. They have been expected to demonstrate a profound
knowledge of education and to be able to switch easily from one hat of responsibility to
another as they help their students to learn in an environment that is safe, promote
academic rigor but offer a comprehensive program to meet the diverse needs of their
students, implement standards-based education and assessments, find funds for these
implementations, and keep staff morale positive and focused on student achievement
instead of mandated changes. Their roles and responsibilities have dramatically
increased during the 1990s (Portin, Shen, & Williams, 1998), so much so that
NAESP, NASSP, and NSB A fear that a shortage of qualified applicants for the
position of principal will occur by the year 2005 (Educational Research Service, 1998;
National School Boards Association, 1998). The leadership skills high school
principals need to be successful in their roles are many and varied, as Donaldson
(1991) pointed out:
The principal, we are learning, has substantial influence. . How we
define our goals for and roles in school signals to staff, students, and
community the essence of their purposes in school, the degree to which they are
proactive and aim to create and develop... How do principals accomplish such
a task? (p. 2)
One key for successful completion of this task may lie in the following
characteristics of effective principals, as various researchers have found (Ackerman,
Donaldson, & Van Der Bogert, 1996; Beck, 1994; English et al., 1993; Hicks, 1999):
ethical decision maker, visionary, teacher leader, staff empowerer, community
14


involver, shared leadership leader, colleague, supporter, encourager, banker, funder,
student-centered leader, change agent, state reform implementer, diversity appreciator,
site-based manager, truancy law implementor, delegator of decision-making from
district personnel to school personnel, and caring individual with a sense of humor.
Given these diverse roles and the responsibilities which go with them, one essential
characteristic of the successful principal has been suggested to be the leader-as-the-
leamer with the principal sharing with staff what he or she is learning (Donaldson,
1991). Another essential characteristic of the effective principal leader of the twenty-
first century has been promoted as one of transformation which
. .. involves active people, engaging in influence relationships, based on persuasion,
intending real changes to happen, and insisting that those changes reflect their mutual
purposes (Rost, 1993, p. 123). These characteristics and the leadership styles and
skills needed to demonstrate them effectively may be influenced by the ways in which
the female principal and the male principal have been socialized as children which
effected their adult leadership styles and skills. These aspects of gender socialization
may also suggest reasons as to why fewer women than men are employed as high
school principals nationally and in the state of Colorado.
Definition of Leadership for This Study
The definition of leadership used in this study corresponded with the
characteristics of the successful principal of the 1990s and 2000s. Therefore, the
effective high school principal leader is an individual who demonstrates a leadership
style of collaboration. This individual also demonstrates the skills of collaboration
15


with students, staff, parents, and community members, as well as with district, state,
and federal personnel involved in the education of youth. Additionally, this individual
has developed the skill of flexibility to be able to accommodate the diverse roles the
high school principal must assume in the 1990s and 2000s.
Women in Educational Leadership in Colorado
In educational leadership positions, nationally, five key indicators of womens
presence, are their numbers as university professors, university presidents, school
superintendents, associate or deputy superintendents, and school principals
(Hodgkinson & Montenegro, 1999; Montenegro, 1993). Since 1972, the year that
Title IX became an equity law against sex discrimination, women have made gains in
these areas but their percentages still rank below those of men in the same positions
(Grogan, 1996; Gupton & Slick, 1996; National School Boards Association, 1998).
The percentage of female principals has increased from 24.6 to 34.5 between 1987-
1988 and 1993-1994, and the percentage of new principals who are female rose from
41.2 in 1987-1988 to 48.1 in 1993-1994 (Educational Research Service, 1998).
Women in the elementary and middle school principalships have increased to
42% (National School Boards Association, 1998). Of those with fewer than five years
of experience, 65% are women in the elementary and middle school principalships
(NSBA, 1998). However, the same gains have not been found to be true for women
in high school principalships (Educational Research Service, 1998). In the state of
Colorado, women hold an average of 24% of the 285 positions as high school
principals, junior-senior-high combination school principals, elementary-junior-senior
16


high combination school principals, and alternative high school principals (Colorado
Department of Education, 1998). They hold 52 of the 155 high school principal
positions in Colorado (Appendix E). Factors which may influence womens
appointment to high school principalships have led to the assumptions for this study.
So have these gains for females in elementary and middle school principalshipsbut
not in the high school principalship. These elements combined with the major question
for this studyDoes a relationship exist between the career paths of women in the high
school principalship and (a) leadership styles and skills, (b) social construction of
gender, and (c) mentorship?-have all led to assumptions upon which this study was
based.
Assumptions upon Which This Study is Based
The characteristics of effective principals in the 1990s and 2000s, the gains for
women being appointed as high school principals, and the major theories and themes
revealed in the literature on leadership styles and skills, social construction of gender,
and mentorship led to the assumptions upon which this study was based:
(a) women possess leadership styles and skills to succeed in the high school
principalship, (b) women demonstrate socialization normssuch as being able to
collaborate and work with groups-which can help them to succeed in the high school
principalship, and (c) women who desire a position as high school principal would
benefit from having a politically savvy and influential mentor. The themes which
emerged in the career paths of the Colorado female high school principals interviewed
as part of the methodology (Chapter Five) and analyzed for repeated patterns of major
17


theories and the themes which defined these theories (Chapter Six) proved these
assumptions to be correct. Given these assumptions, and the fact that more women
than men are entering the field of education, the problem to be researched in this study
was why more women were not employed as high school principals.
Problem Statement
More women than men are entering the field of education. Women dominate in
teaching positions (Educational Research Service, 1998; Jones & Montenegro, 1990;
Montenegro, 1993; Pellicer et al., 1990). However, women do not hold as high a
percentage as men of educational administrative positions (Grogan, 1996; Gupton &
Slick, 1996; Hodgkinson & Montenegro, 1999; Montenegro, 1993). Specifically,
women are not selected as high school principals in proportion to their numbers as
educators nationally or in the state of Colorado. This was the problem to investigate
for this study. From the research on leadership styles and skills, women demonstrate
the styles and skills needed to succeed as high school principals in the 1990s and
2000s. Their socialization as girls which influences their adult leadership style, as well
as the skills they use to lead students, staff, parents, and community members, can
influence their style and skills. The fact that 155 men and 52 women occupy positions
in Colorado as high school principals (Colorado Department of Education, 1998) led to
this study, which was to see if a relationship existed between the career paths of
women in the high school principalship with the major theories and themes found in
the research on leadership styles and skills, social construction of gender, and
mentorship.
18


Purpose of This Study
This study identified and analyzed patterns of major theories and themes which
defined those theories of leadership styles and skills, social construction of gender, and
mentorship as they emerged in the career paths of women in the high school
principalship in Colorado. This purpose supported the major question to be researched
for this study: Does a relationship exist between the career paths of women in the high
school principalship and (a) leadership styles and skills, (b) social construction of
gender, and (c) mentorship? A review of the research in these areas led to three
research questions, which support this major question for research.
Research Questions
A review of the literature, which is embedded in Chapter Two on leadership,
Chapter Three on social construction of gender, and Chapter Four on mentorship,
revealed major theories in each of these areas. This review also revealed the themes and
thematic variables which define these major theories. Therefore, to answer the major
question for this study, the following three questions were developed:
1. What patterns or themes, relative to leadership styles or skills, emerge in the
career paths of women who are in the high school principalship?
2. What patterns or themes, relative to gender or the social construction of
gender, emerge in the career paths of women who are in the high school
principalship?
3. What patterns or themes, relative to mentorship, emerge in the career paths
of women who are in the high school principalship?
19


These questions led to the development of the instrument for this study (Appendix I).
Instrument
The ten questions for the instrument were developed from the three research
questions. Because the research questions were developed from the major question
researched for this study, these ten questions also address that question. The first
question of the instrument asked the respondents to discuss their career paths to the
principalship while the second question asked them to state the three most important
things they did to get a high school principalship. The third question asked the
subjects to respond to anything about leadership style or skills that stuck out in their
minds as they sought to become a high school principal. Question four asked whether
anything, relative to being female, stuck out in their minds as they sought to become a
high school principal. The fifth question asked the respondents to state if there were
any specific people who helped them along their ways to becoming high school
principals; this question also asked them to identify the positions of these people and
how they helped them. Question six asked the subjects to respond to why they
believed they received, as female, their position as a high school principal when they
did. Question seven asked them if they believe they received the same consideration as
males who desired the same high school principalship; this question also asked them to
explain their responses. Question nine asked the subjects to respond to the most
challenging situation they had in getting a high school principalship. Question ten
asked the respondents what advice, to help prepare them, they would give other
females who are seeking a high school principal position. These ten questions as the
20


instrument are presented in Appendix I. In order to obtain descriptions and
explanations to answer these questions, a single-method design of interviews was
chosen as the methodology.
Methodology
The methodology in this study consisted of a single method design (Miller &
Crabtree, 1994) of qualitative research interviews. Interviewing was selected as the
methodology because of the descriptions and explanations which could be derived
from the subjects responses to the interview questions (Miles & Huberman, 1994).
Obtaining qualitative data was essential as part of the design for this study because it
allowed the researcher to analyze the connections between the principals responses
and the major theories and themes of leadership styles and skills, social construction of
gender, and mentorship, which were embedded in the standardized interview questions
(Patton, 1990) and aligned with the research questions. Using this strategy, the
likelihood of the interview responses aligning with the research questions and the
literature review supporting them was greatly enhanced.
This method of alignment for qualitative data analysis is called structural
corroboration (Eisner, 1991). Structural corroboration is a process which describes
the confluence of multiple sources of evidence (Eisner)in this study, the repeated
patterns of themes of leadership styles and skills, social construction of gender, or
mentorship which emerged from the interview responses-that support a conclusion.
The process used to develop structural corroboration is also discussed in Chapter Five.
The conclusions drawn from the repeated patterns of themes from the research on
21


leadership styles and skills, social construction of gender, and mentorship, which
emerged in the career paths of the female high school principals, are discussed in
Chapter Six. Selecting interviewing as the methodology meant that a sample of female
high school principals in Colorado was necessary.
Sample
This study included interviewing a purposive sample (Kuzel, 1992;
Morse, 1989) of eleven female high school principals in Colorado. A purposive
sampleas opposed to a random sample--was selected because a small sample of
subjects could be studied based upon characteristics they have in common (Kuzel,
1992; Morse, 1989), of being high school principals. In this study, the two major
characteristics this sample had in common was being a woman and being appointed as
a high school principal in Colorado.
Parameters (Miles & Huberman, 1994) for selecting the sample of eleven were
developed. The parameters which were developed for selecting women high school
principals to be part of this purposive sample consisted of the following elements:
(a) the principal being employed as a high school principal or alternative high school
principal, (b) the geographic location in Colorado of the principals school, and (c) the
size of the student population of the district in which the principal worked. These
parameters were developed to see if similar repeated patterns of the principals
responses and themes of major theories of leadership styles and skills, social
construction of gender, and mentorship would occur, regardless of the geographic
location in Colorado or the size of the student population in the district in which the
22


principal worked. Therefore, the eleven female high school principals selected for the
sample were chosen for the diversity they represented in district and school size and
geographic locations within the state of Colorado.
A letter (Appendix G) and a consent to be interviewed form (Appendix H) were
mailed to each of the female principals of the seventy-five high school, junior-senior
high combination schools, elementary-junior-senior high combination schools, and
alternative schools in 1998-1999 (Appendix D). These seventy-five women principals
represented all of the females in secondary schools in Colorado in 1998-1999. Over
50% of the consent forms, which also included profile information about the principals
(Appendix K), were returned. The purposive sample was taken from these returns.
Eleven principals were selected for the purposive sample because they met the
parameters for this study: (a) they were employed as high school or alternative high
school principals, (b) they represented different geographic locations in Colorado, and
(c) they represented different sizes of school districts within the state.
The eleven women interviewed represented a sample of high school principals
employed within the state of Colorado. A profile, which designates each of the eleven
principals by a letter and shows the geographic locations and the student populations in
which they women work, is found in Appendix L. By interviewing this sample,
repeated patterns from the principals responses and themes which defined theories of
leadership skills and styles, social construction of gender, and mentorship, as they
emerged in their career paths to the principalship, were generated. The thirty-five
repeated patterns, out of a total of 268 possible patterns which could have been
repeated, is discussed in Chapter Six. The interview questions were written to be
23


open-ended so that descriptive dataexplanations of the relationship between their
career paths and leadership styles and skills, social construction of gender, and
mentorshipcould be obtained from the principals responses.
Standardized Interview Questions
The interview questions (Appendix I) for this study were designed to be
open-ended in order to draw qualitative responses from the female principals. The
questions were also designed to be used with a standardized methodology
(Patton, 1990) in which each high school principal would be asked the same question
in the same sequence in approximately the same amount of time (thirty minutes). This
method does not allow for the flexibility of probing the respondent about responses
(Fontana & Frey, 1994). This method was selected because it minimized the
possibility of researcher bias because the researcher could not insert her own point of
view into the potential responses. Standardized open-ended interview questions
allowed the researcher to capture the points of view of the female high school
principals without predetermining their points of view through prior selection of
questionnaire categories (Patton, 1990, p. 24). The open-ended questions were
connected with the research questions in order to link more closely possible causal data
for drawing conclusive evidence which has credibility within the boundaries of this
study (Eisner, 1991; Miles & Huberman, 1994; Patton, 1990). The boundaries of this
study are the following: (a) interviewing women high school principals from the
purposive sample, (b) asking them interview questions aligned with the research
questions and the major question to be researched for this study, and (c) interviewing
24


them with a consistent protocol.
Interview Protocol
A consistent protocol was used by following these steps:
1. sending all female high school, junior-senior high school,
elementary-junior-senior high school, and alternative high school principals
(Appendix D) a letter (Appendix G), stating the purpose of this study and requesting
permission to interview them;
2. sending all female high school, junior-senior high school,
elementary-junior-senior high school, and alternative high school principals
(Appendix D) a consent form (Appendix H) asking for demographic data, a signature
agreeing to be interviewed, and a self-addressed, stamped return envelope to the
researcher;
3. selecting the purposive sample of those principals who agreed to be
interviewed;
4. setting a time without interruptions for a thirty minute interview with each
participant;
5. interviewing the purposive sample with the ten questions developed as the
instrument for this study.
The text of each interview was typed into QSR NUD*IST (1997) software.
The description of this software and the process used to analyze each interview text is
explained in Chapter Five. Codes, representing themes of leadership styles and skills,
mentorship, and gender, were developed for this software and were used for data
25


analysis of repeated patterns.
Codes. Themes, and Patterns for Data Analysis
QSR NUDIST (1997) software was used to analyze the responses of the
eleven women principals interviewed for this study. This software required that a
hierarchy of nodescategoriesbe constructed to understand the data from large to
small bits of meaning. The process involved in the development of these categories
from thematic variables is explained in Chapter Five, the methodology chapter. A total
of 268 thematic variable categories were developed from the literature review on
leadership styles and skills, social construction of gender, and mentorship. In order
for the chunks of qualitative data to be understood (Fontana & Frey, 1994; Miles &
Huberman, 1994) in smaller and smaller bits of meaning, four hierarchies were
developed which corresponded to codes and themes from leadership styles and skills,
social construction of gender, and mentorship. The codes were developed from major
theories which were repeated in the literature review, and the themes define parts of
each major theory. For example, leadership styles, as a major theory repeated in the
literature review on leadership styles and skills, was coded as LS. Five themes
associated with leadership styles theory researched by Bonner (1959)as one
researcher in the literature revieware authoritarian, bureaucratic, laissez-faire,
charismatic, and democratic. Themes were also developed into thematic variables of
more specific meaning. This type of process was repeated with each major theory and
themes defining the theory in leadership styles and skills, social construction of
gender, and mentorship, as the literature review in these areas laid the foundation for
26


this study.
Each code and theme was also aligned with the research questions and the
interview questions in order to enhance matching the interview responses with the
major theory or themes from the literature review. These are presented in Appendix A
(Connecting the Leadership Styles and Skills Research Questions, Researchers,
Themes, and Codes with the Interview Questions), Appendix B (Connecting Social
Construction of Gender Research Questions, Researchers, Themes, and Codes with
the Interview Questions), and Appendix C (Connecting Mentorship Research
Questions, Researchers, Themes, and Codes with the Interview Questions).
Patterns are those recurring regularities (Miles & Huberman, 1994, p. 246)
which emerged from the interviewees responses to the interview questions. In other
words, a pattern occurred as the interviewees responses repeatedly matched the
categories of thematic variables developed for the QSR NUD*IST software. For
example, the most recurring pattern which emerged from all eleven interviews aligned
with the major theory of evolution of leadership. A diversity of themes emerged from
the principals responses associated with the theory of evolution of leadership:
teaching, counseling, coaching, business entreprenurialship, staff development,
elementary principalship, and assistant principalship, among others. These are
explained in Chapter Six, along with the thirty-five patterns which emerged from the
interviews of the eleven female high school principals.
The analysis of the thirty-five patterns, discussed in Chapter Six, which
emerged from the female principals interviewed, have led to a more complete
understanding of the major theories and themes which emerged in the career paths of
27


the eleven women in Colorados high school principalships. These themes and their
implications for women who want to be a high school principal are discussed in
Chapter Six as part of the findings from this study and in Chapter Seven as
conclusions and suggestions for further research. However, the instrument needed to
be piloted to determine its effectiveness and utility (Patton, 1990) as part of the
methodology before any actual interviews of the sample group could take place.
Piloting the Instrument
Each step in the interview protocol was piloted to determine if the methodology
generated the data needed for the purpose of this studydelineating common patterns
and themes in leadership skills and styles, social construction of gender, and
mentorshipas they emerged in the career paths of women in their selection to a high
school principalship in Colorado. Five women who had been or were elementary,
middle, or high school principals were asked to participate in the piloting of the
instmment. These women were given a copy of the letter (Appendix G) and the
consent form (Appendix H) and asked to read them. They were then asked the
interview questions during a thirty minute period without interruptions. Feedback was
given to the researcher to determine if the letter, consent form, interview questions, and
time period were effective and whether the questions generated the data needed for this
study. The five principals supported each of these parts of the instrument as each part
related to the career paths of women in the high school principalship.
28


Limitations of the Study
Interviewing high school principals can be a difficult task. The diversity of
their responsibilities and their time constraints can make it difficult for them to read a
letter asking for their help in a research study and asking them to fill out a consent form
with profile information and mailing it back to the researcher. The prospect of a high
return rate is directly tied to these instruments in data collection. The intense work load
and volume of paperwork that crosses a high school principals desk made it
imperative that the consent form be concise and easy to complete. The turn-around
time between mailing out the letter and the consent form and the actual interviews may
have limited the return rate, even though over 50% is considered a good return rate
(Miles & Huberman, 1994).
Another limitation is collecting data in a thirty-minute interview. A case study
design would allow a researcher to gather much more in-depth information and a more
comprehensive analysis with the patterns and themes revealed from the research on
leadership styles and skills, the social construction of gender, and mentorshipand
professional preparation as a common element in each of these areas.
The participants may also have contributed to the limitations of this study.
Their responses to interview questions were sometimes brief, and to ensure that the
interview protocol remained intact for this single method design, the researcher could
not prompt or probe them into fuller answers (Fontana & Frey, 1994). Additionally,
interviewing eleven women high school principals, out of a total of fifty-two within the
state, may have been a limitation.
With an awareness of these limitations, consistency in the interview protocol
29


was maintained, and triangulation of data sources was conducted. The major question
researched for this study was the focal point in the triangulation. The principals
responses were compared with the thematic variables in the literature review in (a)
leadership styles and skills, (b) social construction of gender, and (c) mentorship.
Such limitations lead to suggestions for further research and with the three research
questions. This process, illustrated in Figure 5.4 in Chapter Five, helped to ensure
that the findings were credible and the conclusions drawn from the findings were also
credible. The findings are discussed in Chapter Six. The conclusions drawn from the
findings are discussed in Chapter Seven, along with specific suggestions for further
research and final comments, as they contribute to the value of this study and others
which, hopefully, will follow.
The Value of This Study
If more women are to be appointed as high school principals, change needs to
occur (Regan & Brooks, 1995; Shakeshaft, 1989). Therefore, data from this study
will be available to individuals who seek these positions, as well as with those who
teach administrative preparation programs, whether they are aligned with a public
school district staff development program or with an institution of higher education.
The data will also be available to personnel in human resource departments within
school districts and to administrators in decision-making positions about the high
school principalship. This change for placing more women into the high school
principalship is more apt to take place with research grounded in practice and in the
experiences of women. Charlotte Bunch, Director, Center for Global Issues and
30


Womens Leadership, Rutgers University, expresses this sentiment in the Foreword to
Women of Influence. Women of Vision (Astin & Leland, 1991):
During the past three decades, women have taken a leadership role in
redefining aspects of our liveswork, family, sexuality, justice. Women have
influenced how we define reality, conceive of knowledge, and exercise
leadership.. .Clearly, women have achieved tremendous changes in this time;
yet there are few studies of women leaders who made this happen and of how
they did so. What research exists rarely goes beyond the most visible
spokeswomen, and little is known of the creative approaches to leadership that
have been at the heart of the movement, (p. xi)
This study is about the experiences of women leaders in the high school
principalship and how they got there. Recurring patterns of major theories and themes
of leadership styles and skills (Chapter Two), social construction of gender (Chapter
Three), and mentorship (Chapter Four), as they have emerged in the career paths of
women in the high school principalship (Chapter Six), may help women who aspire to
this position with their own career paths. This is the tme value of this study. The
implications of the thirty-five repeated patterns of major theories in these areas and the
themes which define or explain them are discussed in Chapter Seven.
31


CHAPTER TWO
LEADERSHIP STYLES AND SKILLS
The study of leadership is not a new endeavor. A review of the literature
indicates that interest in leadership and its effects on workers started as early as 1567
(Gorman, 1963). A large body of research has accumulated since that time, delineating
elements of specific theories. Early twentieth century theories conceptualized
leadership as the art of inducing follower-compliance (Allen, 1958; Bundel, 1930;
Case, 1933). As Bennis (1959) suggested, these definitions described leadership as
... a process by which an agent induced a subordinate to behave in a desired
manner (p. 259). A review of the leadership definitions by researchers in the 1950s,
1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s indicates that leadership has been described in terms
of nine major elements. These are synthesized in the writings of several researchers
and the themes, or motifs, which define leadership styles and skills (Figure 2.1).
These nine themes consist of a leaders behavior as (a) he or she interacts with groups,
(b) assesses the situation for effective leadership and follower-compliance,(c) promotes
task orientation over people orientation, and demonstrates various (d) leadership styles,
which have been characterized as (e) transactional versus transformational, (f) power
and authority, (g) role differentiation, and (h) gender differentiation. The final element
(i)the evolution of leadership behaviors-combines each of the preceding eight
themes. According to the research on gender differentiation (Figure 2.1, #8), the
evolution of leadership can be gender specific based on social construction of gender.
32


The researchers (Figure 2.1) on leadership have revealed both theory and
Figure 2.1 Leadership Themes
Themes
Sources
1. interaction processes of groups Bales, 1950; Cartwright & Zander, 1960; Purser, 1998; Rost, 1993; Zelditch, 1955
2. situational effectiveness Fiedler, 1967; Hemphill & Coons, 1957; Katz, 1955; Katz, Blau, Brown, &Strodbeck, 1957; Parsons & Bales, 1955; Portin, Shen, & Williams, 1998; Stogdill & Coons, 1957; Rost, 1993
3. task orientation versus people orientation Blake & Mouton, 1969; Vroom & Yetton, 1973
4. leadership styles Chemers, 1984; Hersey & Blanchard, 1988; Kellerman, 1984; Robbins, 1988
5. transactional versus Bass, 1985; Burns, 1978; Graham, 1995; transformational leadership Kirby, Paradise, & King, 1992; Leithwood, Janutzi, & Fernandez, 1993; Murphy & Louis, 1994; Rost, 1993
6. power and authority Devadoss & Muth, 1984; Muth & Wilkinson, 1987; Napier, Fox, & Muth, 1994; Portin, Shen, & Williams, 1998
7. role differentiation Beck, 1994; Bales, 1950; Bass, 1985; Blake & Mouton, 1964; Cartwright & Zander, 1960; Chemers, 1984; Hamrick, 1994; Hicks, 1996; Morgan, 1997; Sergiovanni, 1987, 1994; Strober & Tyack, 1980; Zelditch, 1955
33


Figure 2.1 (Cont.) Leadership Themes
Themes
8. gender differentiation
9. evolution of leadership
behaviors
Sources
Beck, 1994; Bell & Chase, 1993;
Bernard, 1990; Dobbons & Platz,
1986; Eagly & Johnson, 1990;
English, Frase, & Arhar, 1992;
Epstein, 1988; Fiedler, 1967;
Harding, 1987; Helgesen, 1990;
Heim, 1993; Heim & Golant, 1993;
Hicks, 1993; Kanter, 1977; Kanthak,
1991; Marshall & Mitchell, 1989;
Ortiz & Marshall, 1988; Powell,
1988; Regan, 1990; Regan & Brooks,
1995; Rossener, 1990; Schmuck,
Charters, & Carlson, 1981;
Shakeshaft, 1989; Shepard, 1996;
Tashkandi, 1991; Wolf, 1993
Ackerman, Donaldson, & Van Der
Bogert, 1996; Astin, 1994; Astin &
Leland, 1991; Baltzell &Dentler,
1984; Barth, 1997; Bass, 1985;
Bennis, 1991; Bennis & Goldsmith,
1994; Blase & Kirby, 1992; Bolman
& Deal, 1995, 1998; Burns, 1978;
Dunlap & Schmuck, 1995; Eagly,
Kanau, & Johnson, 1992; Gardner,
1995; Guzman, 1997; Hersey &
Blanchard, 1988; Hill & Ragland,
1995; Feistritzer, 1988; Kowalski,
Reitzug, & Otto, 1992; MacKay &
Ralston, 1999; Morgan, 1997; Peters,
1994; Purser, 1998; Rost, 1993
34


empirical data as they have attempted to describe leadership, leadership behavior, and
leadership attributes with followership and follower-compliance or non-compliance.
Some of these attributes may be gender specific and may have an influence on how and
why men and women are perceived as leaders and the styles and skills they
demonstrate as effective leaders. While major theories on leadership have been
promoted over centuries by various theorists, a consensus about the definition of
leadership or the styles, skills, and processes which the effective leader uses, female or
male has not been established. Themes, as implicit or recurrent ideas or motifs
(WordStar, 1993) which define or explain leadership theories by category or
classifications, abound in the literature, however.
Lack of Consensus for Defining Leadership
In reflecting upon the evolution of leadership theory and the mass of research
which has been generated from different disciplines, Bennis (1959) expressed the
feeling of many research theorists:
Of all the hazy and confounding areas in social psychology, leadership
theory undoubtedly contends for top nomination, and ironically probably more
has been written and less is known about leadership than about any other topic
in the behavioral sciences, (p. 259)
Rost (1993), in his survey of leadership research for his own writing about
leadership for the twenty-first century, echoed Bennis words nearly forty years later:
I surveyed 221 definitions of leadership that I found in 587 books, book
chapters, and journal articles which by title indicated that they were primarily
concerned with leadership. These materials were written from 1900 to 1990.
Definitions of leadership were obtained from secondary sources, mainly (Gibb,
1954), Stogdill (1974), and Bass (1981). . The earliest books on leadership
that I could find were from the 1930s . The authors of these books,chapters,
and articles are overwhelmingly male. It is only in the 1980s that female
35


authors appear in enough numbers to make an impact on the leadership
literature. There are, of course, exceptions to this general statement throughout
the century, (p. 44)
As mentioned in Chapter One, this lack of consensus about leadership has been
the result of lengthy dialogue among historians, biographers, sociologists,
psychologists, and educators who have posited theories focused on two fundamental
questions: (a) How does an individual discriminate between a leader and a nonleader?
and (b) How does an individual become a leader? A consensus about the answers to
these two questions does not appear in the literature. As a result of differing views, the
concept of leadership has come to mean different aspects to different theorists
(Burns, 1978; Hughes, 1962; Morgan, 1997; Robbins, 1988; Rost, 1993).
Even though the Oxford English Dictionary noted the appearance of the word
leader in the English language as early as 1300, it was not until approximately 1800
that the word leadership emerged (Stogdill, 1974). Since the fourteenth and
nineteenth centuries, researchers have expanded the concept of leadership over a
definition which focused on the leaders role in group processes (Cooley, 1902). As
Stogdill (1974) explained, the early writers on leadership conceptualized the leader as
the central or focal person who integrated group activities (p. 8). Although these early
definitions of leadership evidence a rather narrow perspective, they were influential in
directing attention to the importance of group process in the development of leadership
theory (Stogdill). Group process can also be understood as a themethe recurrent idea
or motifwhich defines a category or classification of this focus of leadership theory,
such as those theories promoted by Bales (1950), Cartwright and Zander (1960),
Purser (1998), Rost (1993), and Zelditch (1955). Stogdill, in an attempt to understand
the different themes inherent in the definitions of leadership before and after World
36


War II, posited six classifications of leadership theories.
Attempts to Classify T .eadership Theories
The leadership literature is filled with theories which are as varied and as
numerous as the writers who proposed them. Stogdill (1974), in an attempt to classify
the many theories of leadership which had been proposed in the literature, identified the
following six classifications. These are explained in detail in this chapter as part of the
explanation of the great man and classical management theories before World War II,
leadership traits theories after World War II, concern for task versus concern for
people (dimensions of leadership) theories of the 1950s and 1960s, situational
leadership theories of the 1970s, and contextual, or situational, leadership theories of
the 1970s and 1980s:
1. great man theories (Doll, 1972);
2. environmental theories (Halpin, 1956);
3. personal-situational theories (Fiedler, 1967; Hemphill & Coons, 1957;
Katz, 1955; Parsons & Bales, 1955; Stogdill & Coons, 1957);
4. interaction-expectation theories (Bales, 1950; Gibb, 1954; Hemphill, 1955;
Parsons & Bales, 1955; Shartle, 1956; Zelditch, 1955);
5. humanistic theories (Blake & Mouton, 1964);
6. exchange theories (Bonner, 1959; Halpin, 1956; Lipman & Hoch, 1974;
Stogdill & Coons, 1957) (Stogdill, 1974, pp. 16-33).
Within the explanations of these major theories in the study ofand evolution of
leadership theory is the discussion of leadership style, which may be influenced by
37


socialization of gender and mentorship as these played a role in the career paths of
those individuals who assumed leadership positions.
Additionally, theorists both before and after Stogdills (1974) six classifications
of leadership have used different categories and classificationsthemes within the
theoriesto define leadership styles and skills, situations, and processes. Rost (1993),
for example, in the 1990s, has attempted to define leadership from many of these
theories and themes as he promoted parts of Bumss (1978) theory of transformational
leadership for leadership in the twenty-first century. Rost, defined leadership as
... transformation .. in which Leadership is an influence relationship among
leaders and followers who intend real changes that reflect their mutual purposes
(p. 102). Within Rosts definition is the theory of transformational leadership and the
themes of (a) relationship among leaders and followers, (b) real changes, and
(c) mutual purposes, which define transformational leadership for Rost. This
definition, however, is only one in the centuries of leadership theory which has
evolved since the word leadership first occurred in the Oxford English Dictionary in
1300 (Stogdill, 1974). Themes which define these major leadership theories (those
which are repeated in the literature) are often helpful because they can be categorized or
classified according to the recurrent ideas or motifs they represent.
For example, the major theories of leadership found in the literature review on
leadership styles and skills exhibit certain unique characteristics which allow for their
categorization into themes which define leadership styles, such as authoritarian,
bureaucratic, laissez-faire, charismatic, or democratic (Bonner, 1959). These themes
(categories) which define these different leadership styles can also be reduced into
38


more specific themes which define the style even further for clarity in understanding
the meaning of an authoritarian leadership style. For instance, themes, as recurrent
ideas or motifs in the leadership literature, which define the authoritarian leadership
style are power, authority, and discipline (Bonner, 1959). These themes give more
definition, or clarity, for understanding the authoritarian style of leadership.
Other themes which define the major theory of leadership skills are
follower-compliance (Allen, 1958; Bennis, 1959; Bundel, 1930; Case, 1933) and
interaction processes of groups (Bales, 1950; Cartwight & Zander, 1960; Purser,
1998; Rost, 1993; Zelditch, 1955). Again, these themes, such as follower-
compliancethe skill of getting individuals to follow the leader (Bennis, 1959)can be
further reduced to define the theory of leadership skills. Even though theorists have
not reached a consensus about leadership styles and skills, there are, however, key
dimensions of leadership (themes which define leadership styles and skills) shared by
most theories in which leadership has been defined after World War II:
The research tradition dealing with leadership . has identified key
dimensions of leadership. These dimensions have been given a variety of
labels. Subtle differences may exist within and among the labels, but, by and
large, experts agree that leadership ... is defined by the extent to which the
leader seems to show concern for, focuses on, or seems oriented toward the
needs and feelings of people and his relationships with them. (Sergiovanni
and Elliott, 1975, p. 101)
However, before World War n, major leadership theories such as the great man
(Applewhite, 1965) and classical management (Morgan, 1997) were defined by
theorists with a focus more on task and less on people.
39


Leadership Theories Before World War IT
In an attempt to classify the early theories of leadership which emerged before
World War n, Doll (1972) suggested that theorists viewed leadership as (a) a
possession of personal traits or characteristics common only to leaders, (b) as a
function of the situation in which the leader operated, and (c) as a function of the group
to which the leader belonged. Porter, Lawler, and Hackman (1975) described this
same period as being dominated by the trait versus situation controversy. The trait
theorists believed that leader effectiveness could be explained by isolating
psychological or physical characteristics and presumed that these characteristics
differentiated the leader from the non-leader. One such theory promoting these themes
of psychological of physical characteristics is the great man theory of leadership.
The Great Man
The trait approach has been referred to as the great man theory, as
Applewhite (1965) described it:
The great man theory . rests upon the presence of leadership traits and
predicts that changes in social or group life are effected by men of uncommon
talents and abilities, (p. 114)
Researchers in the great man era investigated individual traits to explain differences
between those who became leaders and those who remained followers. This work was
guided by a rigid notion of leadership as arising from individual endowments of given
internal states (Bell & Chase, 1993). The definitions of individual endowments and
internal states are themes which explained the great man theory of leadership. These
definitions differed, depending upon the theorist who promoted them from the 18th
40


through the 20th century (Rost, 1993), but, basically, the great mans endowments or
internal states were those skills associated with Do the leaders wishes (Rost, 1993).
This theme is a recurring motif in classical management theory.
Classical Management
Morgan (1997) attributed the birth of classical management theory to military
leaders such as 18th century Frederick the Great of Prussia, 19th century American
Frederick Taylor, and German sociologist, Max Weber. This serves as one example of
environmental leadership theory (Stogdill, 1974) because the leaders ability to lead is
contingent, in part, upon her or his environment, such as the military or a factory.
According to Morgan, Frederick the Great promoted his vision of a mechanized
armywhich became reality in 19th century factories and office settings, like those
managed by Frederick Taylor. As a successor and a promoter of what has become
known as classical management theory, Taylor adhered to the idea that decision-
making, planning, and problem solving require that emotion be put aside where the
man is the worker whose main focus is to accomplish a task:
[Taylor studied] . first class men performing their tasks in order to
derive a benchmark for the optimum sequence and method of motion.
Standardization of tasks provided the means for rational control of industrial
workparalleling the imperatives for mass production with its use of
interchangeable parts, standardization of sizes, and integration of production
line flows. (Purser, 1998, p. 9)
Taylors scientific management promoted the following characteristics of man, the
worker, which Morgan argued have been associated with male leadership styles
throughout the 20th century: logical, rational, aggressive, strategic, independent, and
competitive. These words can also be considered themes which define a classical
41


management leader. Another promoter of this theory was Max Weber.
Max Weber was interested in the social consequences of the proliferation of the
kind of machine-like bureaucratic leadership, as promoted by Taylor (Devadoss &
Muth, 1984; Morgan, 1997). In Webers work, as Morgan pointed out, is the
. . first comprehensive definition of bureaucracy as a form of organization
that emphasizes precision, speed, clarity, regularity, reliability, and efficiency
achieved through the creation of a fixed division of tasks, hierarchical
supervision, and detailed rules and regulations, (p. 17)
These leadership characteristics were associated with the men who saw them clearly in
the military and in well-run factories. Additionally, within this bureaucratic
framework, the following terms were associated with leadership: unity of command,
scalar chain (chain of command), span of control, staff and line, division of work,
authority and responsibility, centralization of authority, discipline, obedience,
subordination of individual interest to general interest, and espirit de corps (Morgan).
These terms, or principles, many of which, as Morgan pointed out, were first used by
Frederick the Great to develop armies into military machines ... provided the
foundation for management theory in the first half of the 20th century (p. 19). These
terms can also be considered themes which defined classical management theory and
the leaders who demonstrated classical management traits, many of which have been
promoted by leadership researchers in the twentieth century, especially after
World War II (Rost, 1993).
Leadership Traits Theory
During the early 20th century, numerous studies were conducted in an attempt
to identify the traits which would differentiate leaders from non-leaders (Bales, 1950;
42


Gibb, 1954; Hemphill, 1955; Parsons & Bales, 1955; Shartle, 1956). These studies
serve as examples of Stogdills (1974) classifications of environment, interaction, and
exchange theories of leadership. In the 1940s, a different study of leadership emerged,
in part because of a dissatisfaction with the earlier attribute theories of the classical
management theorists. This new approach relied on measures of leader attitude,
performance, and behavioral traits (Bell & Chase, 1993)-themes which defined or
explained leadership traits theory. These attributes could be female or male, as
Parsons and Bales (1955) suggested.
Parsons and Bales (1955) studied the social constmcts of instrumental and
expressive traits of leadership. Although Bales (1950) earlier studies of interaction
and role differentiation in small groups were based on samples of males only, he and
his associates argued that parallels between the leadership structure of these small
experimental groups and the social structures of families did exist (Parsons &
Bales, 1955). These sociologists argued that the patterns of instrumental and
expressive leadership traits and their differentiation from one another defined basic
conditions of a social system. They assumed that a person cannot simultaneously
perform both authoritative-instmmental and integrative-supportive roles and further
suggested that these are gender specific (Zelditch, 1955). Parsons and Bales suggested
that the authoritative-instmmental style of leadership was more associated with males
while the supportive-integrative style of leadership was more associated with females.
Themes which define authoritative-instmmental, such as power-focused and
task-oriented leadership, and supportive-integrative, such as collaboration-focused and
people-oriented leadership, established roots to which later twentieth-century
43


leadership theorists have harkened back as they have attempted to define and categorize
leadership behavior (Bass, 1981; Kellerman, 1984; Rost, 1993).
During the late forties and early fifties, as a result of psychological research
projects, researchers began to place increasing emphasis upon the study of leader
behavior. Stogdill and Coons (1957) defined leader behavior as ... behavior of an
individual when he is directing the activities of a group toward a shared goal (p. ii).
Halpin (1956) indicated that the behavior of the leader and the behavior of group
members are interwoven and that the behavior of both is determined to a large extent by
the formal requirements of the institution of which the group is a part (p. 172).
Lipham and Hoch (1974) indicated that the behavioral approach to the study of
leadership recognized that both psychological and sociological factors interact with
individual and situational variables to determine leadership behavior (pp. 176-182).
Numerous themes are associated here with leadership behavior as these theorists
attempted to define that theory: (a) behavior of a group, (b) shared goal, (c) behavior
of the leader and behavior of the group interwoven, (d) behavior of leader and behavior
of group is determined by the institution to which each is a part, (e) psychological
factors of the individual leader, (f) sociological factors of the individual leader, and (g)
situational variables of leader behavior. Each of these themes, as recurrent motifs in
leadership behavior theory, explains leadership behavior as these theorists posited in
their studies. Shartle (1956), in an attempt to assign objectivity to leadership behaviors,
facilitated the Ohio State Studies during the 1950s.
44


The Ohio State Studies
The major study of leadership after World War II was the Ohio State
Leadership Studies led by Shartle (1956). According to Halpin (1956), the study of
leadership had become encumbered as a value-laden concept and charged with much
emotion (p. 172). Although the Ohio State Studies were responsible for a variety of
significant findings on leadership, Korman (1966) suggested that the most significant
contribution was the isolation of two distinct and independent dimensions of leader
behaviorconsideration (concern for people) and initiation of structure (concern for
task achievement) (p. 349). These are themes which emerged from Shartles and
Halpins studies to define leadership behavior. Additionally, these studies serve as
examples of Stogdills (1974) interaction-expectation, humanistic, and exchange
theories of leadership. As a result of these attempts to define, objectively, leadership
behavior, instruments were developed which attempted to measure the leaders
behavior as he or she worked with groups to achieve a shared goal. These instruments
were attempts to measure a leaders concern for people versus her or his concern for
task (Blake & Mouton, 1964; 1969).
As a result of the research conducted primarily by Halpin (1956), Hemphill and
Coons (1957), Stogdill and Coons (1957), and Stogdill (1974), under the auspices of
the Ohio State Studies, various instruments were developed which provided a means of
measuring the behavior of leaders as they operated within formal organizations.
Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire
After analyzing approximately 1,800 items which described different aspects of
45


leader behavior, Hemphill and Coons (1957), developed a 150 item instrument
designed to measure the behavior of leaders on the dimensions of consideration and
initiation of structure. The efforts of trait theorists generated long lists of individual
characteristics which yielded support to the trait theory (Bass, 1981). Meyers (1965)
analyzed 200 studies of leadership traits and determined that leaders were higher in
intelligence than followers, that knowledge, initiative, cooperation, originality, insight,
persistence, ambition, judgment, emotional stability, popularity, and good
communication skills seemed to be significant. Meyers concluded that these qualities
were interactional in nature, however, and no single characteristic was demonstrated by
all leaders (pp. 105-106). Stogdill (1974), in summarizing a review of the major trait
studies, concluded the following:
A person does not become a leader by virtue of the possession of some
combination of traits, but the pattern of person characteristics of the leader must
bear some relevant relationship to the characteristics, activities, and goals of the
followers . The personality theorists tended to regard leadership as a
one-way influence effect. While recognizing that the leader may possess
qualities differentiating him from followers, they generally failed to
acknowledge the reciprocal and interactive characteristics of the leadership
situation, (p. 9)
Stogdill also concluded that ... an adequate analysis of leadership involves not only a
study of leaders, but also of situations (p. 65). Consequently, as leadership theories
evolved, so did the themes which defined them, from the traits of leaders, to the
behaviors of leaders, to the situations in which leaders led followers.
Situational Leadership
As a result of frontiers opened by trait theorists, some scholars attempted to
explore leadership in terms of characteristics of the situation (Hemphill & Coons,
46


1957; Katz, 1955; Parsons & Bales, 1955; Stogdill & Coons, 1957). These
researchers maintained that characteristics of the situation in which a leader operated
would determine her or his success or non-success. The pure situationists
hypothesized that the situation determined the leadership qualities and the leader for the
situation (Campbell, Corbally, & Ramseyer, 1962).
Fiedler (1967) attempted to account for these situational variables as the
characteristics of the leader. Based upon fifteen years of research, Fiedler identified a
measurable leader characteristic, Esteem for ones least preferred coworker (LPC),
which measured the degree to which a leader was task-centered or people-centered
(p. 9). Fiedler maintained that LPC interacted with three situational variables:
(a) structure of the task, (b) the quality of the leader-member relationship, and (c) the
amount of the leaders formal position power (pp. 9-36). Fiedler hypothesized that
the more task-oriented leader would be associated with more productive groups in very
favorable and very unfavorable situations, and the relationship leader would be
associated with more productive groups in situations that are intermediate in
favorability for the leader (Graen, Orris, & Alvares, 1971).
Fiedlers model has been the focus for various studies (Graen, Orris, &
Alvares, 1971; Fishbein, Landy, & Hatch, 1969; Hill, 1969). Fiedler found consistent
support for his theory although other researchers (Graen et al; Fishbein et al.; Hill)
have not consistently supported his hypotheses. As a result, the empirical and
conceptual status of Fiedlers theory remains somewhat unclear thirty years after its
introduction. Porter et al. (1975) indicated, in reference to Fiedlers theory, that
47


Probably its greatest strengths are in its explicit recognition of the
interaction between the person and the situation in understanding effective
leadership and its attempts to specify important situational variables ....
(p. 423)
Attempting to define these variablesor themes of the situational leadership theory-led
to the Management Grid (Blake & Mouton, 1964) which measured dimensions of
leadership.
Dimensions of Leadership
Among the various writers who have attempted to measure the dimensions of
leadership are Blake and Mouton (1964). They conceptualized a Management Grid
which represented the task and people dimensions in terms of the behaviors leaders
might exhibit. Blake and Moutons grid identified five varying leader behaviors or
positions which a leader might assume. They have suggested that all leaders in formal
organizations could be classified according to consistent behavior patterns exhibited,
somewhere on a vertical (people orientation) and horizontal (task orientation)
continuum. They characterize the management position which combines high leader
concern for people with high concern for task accomplishment as being the most
desirable in terms of creating a favorable and effective climate within
organizations (p. 61).
Leadership Style
Other researchers (Figure 2.1), following the lead of Blake and Mouton
(1964), have attempted to explain leadership in terms solely of leadership style.
Although these theorists (Beck, 1994; Bums, 1978; Hersey & Blanchard, 1988; Muth
48


& Wilkinson, 1987) have used a variety of terminology to describe leadership styles
(e.g., transactional, transformational, task-oriented, people-oriented, power, authority,
role differentiation, gender), most references in the literature seem to correspond with
the five major styles identified by Bonner (1959):
1. Authoritarian. The authoritarian style leader is concerned with power and
authority. Discipline is stressed, and leadership is based upon punishment, reward,
and denial which reinforce and perpetuate the leaders position. Interpersonal
relationships and communication between the leader and the members of her or his
work group are discouraged and in some situations restricted.
2. Bureaucratic. The bureaucratic style leader imposes rigid, impersonal, and
standardized controls in her or his relations with the members of her or his work
group.
3. Laissez-faire. The laissez-faire leader initiates few leadership acts; he or she
might be a sympathetic listener and a facilitator of communication, and through these
acts he or she may increase group cohesiveness.
4. Charismatic. The charismatic leader inspires devotion on the part of her or
his work group, and this results in both the leader and the group members being
mutually dependent, one upon the other.
5. Democratic. The democratic leader is not concerned with her or his power
and authority over others. Rather, he or she strives to motivate the members of her or
his work group to participate in group activities and work toward achieving group
goals (p. 134).
Within the definitions of these leadership styles are themes which clarify the styles
49


from each other. For example, as discussed earlier in this chapter, the themes of
power, authority, and discipline define the authoritarian style of leadership. On the
other hand, the themes which define the laissez-faire leadership style are
(a) sympathetic listener, (b) facilitator of communication, and (c) group cohesiveness.
The themes which define the bureaucratic leaders style are (a) rigid, (b) impersonal,
and (c) standardized while the themes of (a) inspiration, (b) devotion, and (c) mutual
dependence define the charismatic leaders style. The themes which define the
democratic leaders style are (a) motivation, (b) participation in group activities, and
(c) working toward a shared goal. Other researchers have suggested that these
leadership styles can be influenced by the situation in which the leader is attempting to
lead her or his followers.
Tannenbaum and Schmidt (1957) suggested that leader effectiveness and the
choice of a leadership style will be determined by the leaders assessment of the
situation. They contended that many theorists conceptualize leadership style as being
on a unidimensional continuum with democratic behavior at one end of the continuum
and autocratic behavior at the other end.
During the 1970s, leadership theorists became interested not only in how
leaders behave but also in situational and contextual features that shape leaders
activities (Robbins, 1988). Bums (1978) was a major researcher during this time
period, formulating and giving credence to the characteristics of transformational
leadership (p. 33), from an historical perspective. Looking at the behaviors, or
themes, which define a transactional leader (e.g., goal-driven, reward-contingent)
compared with the behaviors, or themes, which define a transformational leader (e.g.,
50


goal- driven, charismatic), Bums gave explanation to the qualities of leadership and
followership. Undergirding the leadership theories to the 1970s is a set of conceptual
distinctions between task accomplishment and maintenance of interpersonal
relationships (Eagly & Johnson, 1990), which may be gender specific.
Gender Distinctions of Leadership
Eagly and Johnson (1990) argued that distinctions between task and
interpersonal leadership styles, as promoted by Blake and Mouton (1964), Hersey and
Blanchard (1988), and Vroom and Yetton (1973), have led to gender distinctions in
leadership, possibly because of societys gender-stereotypic notions about human
behavior. Powell (1988) summarized how these stereotypes of leadership behavior
might operate:
The linkage between gender stereotypes and behavioral theories of
leadership is obvious. Task-oriented behaviors by the leader such as initiating
structure, setting goals, and making decisions are those most associated with
the masculine stereotype. People-oriented behaviors by the leader such as
showing consideration toward subordinates, soliciting of subordinates ideas,
and demonstrating concern for subordinates satisfaction are those most
associated with the feminine stereotype, (pp. 167-168)
In the following decade, Bass (1981) characterized these two styles in the
following manner:
A task-focused leader initiates structure, provides the information,
determines what is to be done, issues the rules, promises rewards for
compliance, and threatens punishments for disobedience. The follower-
ocused leader solicits advice, opinions, and information from followers.
The . task-focused leader uses his or her power to obtain compliance with
what the leader has decided. The follower-focused leader uses his or her
power to set the constraints within which followers are encouraged to join in
deciding what is to be done. (p. 292)
Consequently, leadership theorists of the 1980s and 1990s do not explain
51


leadership solely in terms of the individual or the situation. Rather, their research
suggests that the characteristics of the individual and the demands of the situation
interact in such a manner to allow one or perhaps a few persons to rise to leadership
status. This theme helps to define the evolution of leadership as individuals experience
different aspects of leading followers, which influence their leadership styles and
skills.
Evolution of Leadership
This theme of leadership as a combination of traits and situation, however, can
be traced back at least to the 1930s. Westberg (1931) conceptualized this interaction
between trait and situation variables by suggesting that the study of leadership must
include the .. affective, intellectual and action traits of the individual as well as
specific conditions under which the individual operates (pp. 418-423). Similarly,
Case (1933) reflected that leadership must be conceived in a broader perspective. He
suggested that the emergence of leadership occurred in conjunction with three factors:
(a) the personality traits of the leader, (b) the nature of the group and of its members,
and (c) the event (change or problem) confronting the group (pp. 510-513). Bavelas
(1960), Carter, Haythorn, and Howell (1950), and Katz et al. (1957) attempted to
explore the interactive nature of these leadership variables. Their studies indicated that
the evolution of leadership may not be consistent across all situations. Being a leader
in one group tends to be a predictor of leadership in other groups. However, as
activities of groups change, generally leadership roles change. The evolution of
leadership may, therefore, depend, in part, upon the degree of compatibility between
52


the leaders characteristics and abilities and the nature of the group activity (Katz et al.).
Researchers concerned with successful leadership of the high school principal have
posited similar theories from their studies.
Leadership and the Successful High School Principal
in the 1990s and 2000s
Given that the high school is an increasingly complex organization in a complex
societyone which has scrutinized education and programs and demanded more
accountability from its schools and its leadersspecific leadership skills are needed for
an educator to succeed in the role of the high school principalship. Since the 1980s,
with the on-set of effective schools research (Lezotte, 1992) and state-legislated
mandates to improve student assessment scores (Colorado Department of
Education, 1993), principals have assumed more and more managerial and supervisory
duties and have been asked to wear many hats, including staff collaborator, community
partner, curriculum expert, and instructional leader, among others.
The Many Hats of the Principalship
Portin, Shen, and Williams (1998) pointed out the too many hatsroles and
responsibilities-high school principals must wear in the latter 1990s and into the 2000s
in order to succeed in their jobs:
Principals are approaching the limits of the amount of time they can
dedicate to the job. Legislators, school boards, and district administrators who
are proposing additional changes that will affect the principals role should
realize that many principals are severely limited in their capacity to take on
additional duties. In addition to the time constraints, the principals, because of
external priorities, are increasingly becoming managers, rather than
instructional leaders, (p. 1)
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School principals have been cited as the single most influential factor in
promoting excellence in education (Brown, Irby, & Neumyer, 1998). They have had
to become increasingly more accountable about their own performance, the
performance of their staff, the achievement of their students, and the involvement of
the parents and community members of their schools. Principals have been expected to
demonstrate a profound knowledge of education and to be able to switch easily from
one hat of responsibility to another as they help their students to learn in an
environment that is safe, promote academic rigor but offer a comprehensive program to
meet the diverse needs of their students, implement standards-based education and
assessments, find funds for these implementations, and keep staff morale positive and
focused on student achievement instead of mandated changes. Their roles and
responsibilities have dramatically increased during the 1990s, so much so that NAESP,
NASSP, and NSBA fear that a shortage of qualified applicants for the position of
principal will occur by the year 2005 (Educational Research Service, 1998; National
School Boards Association, 1998).
Leadership Skills
The leadership skills high school principals need to be successful in their roles
are many and varied, as Donaldson (1991) pointed out;
The principal, we are learning, has substantial influence. .How we define
our goals for and roles in school signals to staff, students, and community the
essence of their purposes in school, the degree to which they are proactive and
aim to create and develop. . How do principals accomplish such a task? (p. 2)
One key for successful completion of this task may lie in the following traits of
effective principals and the leadership skills they demonstrate, as various researchers
54


have found (Ackerman, Donaldson, & Van Der Bogert, 1996; Beck, 1994; English,
Frase, & Arhar, 1993; Hicks, 1999): ethical decision maker, visionary, teacher leader,
staff empowerer, community involver, shared leadership leader, colleague, supporter,
encourager, banker, funder, student-centered leader, change agent, state reform
implementer, diversity appreciator, site-based manager, truancy law implementor,
decision-making delegator from district personnel to school personnel, and caring
individual with a sense of humor (Portin, Shen, & Williams, 1998). Kirby et al.
(1992) surveyed staff on what they characteristics they wanted in their principal.
Staff Suggestions for the Successful Principal
Kirby et al. (1992), using Basss (1985) Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire
(MLQ), studied educators perceptions of principal leader effectiveness and charisma,
as Burns (1978) associated those characteristics with a transformational-extraordinary-
-style of leadership. Citing leadership theories associated with leader effectiveness, as
posited by various researchers from the 1950s through the 1980s, Kirby et al. argued
that extraordinary leadership could be differentiated from ordinary leadership, based on
Bumss (1978) concept of a transformational leader as a person who is able to alter
environments. The authors defined transactional leadership as leadership .. based
on an exchange relationship-follower compliance is exchanged for expected rewards
(p. 303). They defined transformational leadership as
. . development oriented for the purpose of change. The [transactional]
leaders focus on the individual development of subordinates enhances their
performance which, in turn, leads to organizational growth, (p. 303)
Using Basss (1985) Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire, in which he
55


operationalized Burnss (1978) model of transformational and transactional leadership,
Kirby et al. (1992) conducted studies to determine which style educators preferred. In
the first study, 103 practicing educators from six different school districts responded to
the MLQ about their immediate supervisor. The sample consisted of 88 teachers,
kindergarten through twelfth grade, 7 principals, and 8 assistant school administrators.
All these subjects were enrolled in university graduate classes in education. The
leaders they described included 88 principals, 3 superintendents, and 12 central office
administrators.
Scores for the MLQ were calculated by averaging item scores for each factor.
The researchers found that means for each of the MLQ subscales were near the
midpoint (2.0 on a 0 to 4 scale) with standard deviations near 1.0. Using the Pearson
product-moment correlation between the MLQ leadership factors and outcome
variables, they found that charisma, individualized consideration, intellectual
stimulation, and contingent reward were significantly related (p < .001) to perceived
effectiveness and satisfaction with the leader (p. 305). From their findings, Kirby et
al. (1992) concluded that .. followers prefer leaders who engage in the
transformational behaviors associated with individualized consideration, intellectual
stimulation, and the transactional behavior of contingent reward (p. 309). Both men
and women demonstrated these preferred leadership skills, as identified by their staffs.
Rost (1993) has supported this transformational style of leadership for the
leader of the twenty-first century. His definition of leadership contains themes similar
to those which Kirby et al. (1992) found in their study: [leadership] ... involves
active people, engaging in influence relationships, based on persuasion, intending real
56


changes to happen, and insisting that those changes reflect their mutual purposes
(p. 123). The themes in Rosts definition of transformational leadership style are (a)
active people, (b) influence relationships, (c) persuasion, (d) real changes, and (e)
mutual purposes. Similar themes, or motifs, are found in the research of MacKay and
Ralston (1999) as they define the authentic principal of the twenty-first century.
Ihs Authentic Principal.
From their interviews of many high school principals, MacKay and Ralston
defined the authentic principal as the following:
The authentic principal is one who has attained a balance between art and
science. An authentic principal not only does things right, he or she does the
right things. And all of them are done with a genuine spirit of contributing to
the future through impacting the lives of learners, (p. 5)
The themes which MacKay and Ralston used to define the authentic principal are the
following [authentic principals]:
1. walk their talk;
2. are honest;
3. have a vision for students futures;
4. care about competence;
5. have high expectations not only for the students but for themselves and for
everyone associated with the school;
6. genuinely like students, teachers, schools, and learning;
7. are risk takers;
8. encourage teachers and students to challenge themselves, (pp. 4-5)
Each of these themes contains skills which the high school principal needs in order to
57


be successful at her or his job. However, acquiring the leadership skills necessary to
be successful as a high school principal suggests that these skills evolve with the
principals many roles and responsibilities. Therefore, he or she may want to adhere to
a philosophy of life-long learning.
lh& LsadeL-ai-Lsamer.
Given the diverse roles and the responsibilities which go with the high school
principalship, Donaldson (1991) (a former high school principal) has suggested that
the principal be the leader-as-leamer. He has also suggested that the principal model
this role with her or his staff, students, parents, and community members because each
is involved with the educational process of the students and the changes which occur in
this process.
Leadership styles and the skills of effective high school principals may be
influenced by the principals social construction of gender, as various researchers,
such as Kanthak (1991), Kowlaski et al. (1992), Regan and Brooks (1995), and
Tashkandi (1991) have suggested.
Gender and Leadership Skills for the High School Principal
of .the .199Qs .and. 2QOQs
The problem Kanthak (1991) explored was the premise that men and women
are oriented to the role of school principal differently. She based this premise on two
factors: (a) women are more collaborative in dealing with others while men are more
bureaucratic, and (b) women are more skilled and comfortable as instructional leaders.
This directly relates to another aspect of the problem that Kanthak studied: the model
58


of the ideal school principal has changed from the bureaucratic administrator to a
collaborative instructional leader, especially since 1985. She addressed two questions
as part of her problem statement: (a) Do identifiable subgroups of principals hold
distinctive work orientations defined by the way they view collaboration and
instructional leadership? (b) Can the work orientation of principals be predicted based
on their gender and the date they were hired into the principalship? Kanthak believed
that a definite relationship existed between these two questions as well as with her
original premise. These elements became the foundation for her conceptual
framework.
DistincliQns.Bstw.sea Task-Oriented
and -Collaborative-Styles
Being careful to explain that she did not want to judge or predict the behaviors
of principals, Kanthak (1991) developed a conceptual framework which could be used
to prove that principals brought particular attitudes to their position which, to a large
degree, were influenced by their gender. She considered two factors, which she
defined as concepts, which represented ... not-directly-observable factors
constructed from the variables measured by the survey instrument (p.50): (a) the
distinction between whether the principal embraces a task-oriented bureaucratic
leadership style or a person-oriented collaborative one; and (b) the inclination of the
principal to see instructional leadership as a high priority (p. 51). For her framework,
Kanthak used the research of Mitchell, Ortiz, and Mitchell (1987), who identified four
distinct work orientations of principals: administrator, leader, supervisor, and
manager. These, as Kanthak explained, according to the research of Mitchell et al.,
59


demonstrate specific criteria which help to explain the principals work orientations
primarily by the ways they typify teaching and define the overall mission or purpose of
schooling. Kanthaks actual framework became an adaptation of the one used by
Mitchell et al. where she used their terms of administrator, leader, supervisor, and
manager but overlaid them with her concepts of bureaucratic leader, collaborative
leader, old-guard males, old-guard females, new-guard males, and new-guard females.
Old Guard Males are Bureaucratic
While New Guard Females are Collaborative
Kanthak (1991) found that old-guard male principals most closely aligned with
the administrator work orientation because they scored lowest on both collaboration
and instructional leadership. They best fit the expectation of the bureaucratic
administrator, the preferred model at the time they were hired. Old-guard female
principals scored low on instructional leadership but higher than old-guard males and
new-guard males on collaboration. This researcher asserted that this finding supported
her premise about gender socialization and placed them in the role of supervisor on her
model.
New-guard male principalsthose hired since 1985scored higher on
collaboration than did their old-guard male colleagues, although they did not value
collaboration as highly as either their old-guard or new-guard female colleagues. New-
guard male principals scored higher than any other group on instructional leadership, a
fact which surprised Kanthak; she placed them in the role of leader on her model.
New-guard females scored higher than old-guard male and female principals on
collaboration and instructional leadership.
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Gender Socialization of Females
and Males in the Principalship
Consequently, Kanthak (1991) found that gender socialization of females and
males plays an important role in the work orientation of the principalship. She asserted
that the reason why women principals have increased over men since 1985 was that the
skills of collaboration were needed in that role over the skills associated with top-down
management. Additionally, she found that instructional leadership was a significant
factor in women principals who also valued collaboration. Kanthaks conclusions
support the premise that both men and women can demonstrate effective leadership
skills.
Collaborative Style of High School Principals
for the 1990s and 2000s
The research of Kowalski et al. (1992) supports this collaborative leadership
style for the high school principal of the 1990s and the 2000s. Utilizing the research of
the 1985 National Association of Secondary School Principals, Sergiovanni (1987),
and Katz (1955), Kowalski et al. studied the perceptions of desired skills for effective
principals. Their methodology included developing a survey instrument based from
various listings of skills commonly associated with the principalship. Following the
model of Katz, the researchers categorized these skills into technical skills, conceptual
skills, and human skills. Eight representative skills were selected for each category for
inclusion on the twenty-four item instrument. Technical skills were defined as the
following:
. . proficiency of a specific kind of activity, primarily concerned with
working with things, and requiring specialized knowledge and facility in using
relevant tools and techniques, (p. 302)
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Human skills were defined with the themes of (a) .. proficiency in working with
people ... including (b) .. the ability to work effectively as a group member .
. and (c) to build ... cooperative effort within a team (p. 302). Conceptual skills
were defined with the themes of (a) .. proficiency in seeing the enterprise as a
whole ... including (b) .. the ability to see interrelationships within the
organization and with the outside world (p. 302). Their sample consisted of thirty-six
Indiana public schools selected in a random, stratified manner; stratification was
according to type and size of school. Each school received a packet of surveys, ten for
teachers and one for the principal.
Using one-factor and two-factor analysis of variance, Kowalski et al. (1992)
found that Human skills were perceived to be most important to principal
effectiveness by elementary, middle, and high school teachers (p. 304). Technical
skills were perceived to be the least important by all three groups of teachers.
Additionally, when principal ratings were compared with teacher ratings as a whole (all
skills combined), Kowalski et al. found no significant difference. The four skills high
school teachers ranked most important to principal effectiveness and three of the four
that high school principals ranked most highly were each human skills defined as the
following themes: [effective principals] (a) communicate effectively, (b) evaluate
teaching performance, (c) listen to others, (d) and inspire others (p. 306). These skills
could be associated either with mens styles or with womens styles as Bass (1981),
Blake and Mouton (1964), Cartwright and Zander (1960), Halpin (1966), Hersey and
Blanchard (1988), Fiedler (1967), Stogdill and Coons (1957), and Vroom and
Yetton (1973) posited with their assertions about situational leadership, behaviors, and
62


style differences of leaders. Regan and Brooks (1995) have also asserted that women
have been more socialized to be collaborative school leaders, one which they define
with the theory of relational leadership.
Relational Leadership
Regan and Brooks (1995) have developed a double helix, like DNA, to define
the themes of relationship leadership. One strand of the helix is feminine and the other
strand is masculine (p. 21). They explain the way in which these strands work
togetheror should work togetherin the effective school leader:
The double helix . symbolizes and expresses the concept of relational
administering for us. Its power lies in its inclusiveness, itself a feminist way of
being, encompassing and legitimizing as it does both terms [masculine and
feminine] . and ways of being, each strand depending upon the other. As
the antithesis of hierarchical organization, the double helix makes it clear that
both genders need to move back and forth from the conceptualization of the
world primarily associated with their gender to that associated with the other,
and that both knowledge and praxis are incomplete if articulated through the
perspective of one gender only, (p.21)
Regan and Brooks, furthermore, have asserted that leadership attributes stem from the
research on feminist theory and what they call their own research, out of womens
experiences (p. 24). Collaboration is one theme which they suggest stems from
feminist theory because females have been socialized to be more collaborative whereas
males have been socialized to be more competitive (p. 7):
The first [feminist] attribute we have named is collaboration:: We define
collaboration as the ability to work in a group, eliciting and offering support to
each other member, creating a synergistic environment for everyone.
Cooperativeness as women have practiced it through the ages is one of
womens hidden sources of power (Lenz & Myerhoff, 1985, p. 10). This
story comes up time and time again as we listen to stories women tell of their
experiences. Their behavior is inclusive. They reach out to other people; they
ask for help when they need it; they gather people in, collaborating to get the
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job done. A significant by-product that often results from this approach is the
development of new leadership and greater self-esteem for those empowered
through shared ownership, (p. 26)
The attributes listed in this definition of collaboration are similar to those found in the
research of effective principals by Kanthak (1991) and Kowalski et al. (1992).
However, as Tashkandi (1991) studied, being a principal who effectively collaborates
may not lead to equal treatment in the hiring process of female and male high school
principals.
Credentials Do Not Equate with Equal Representation
in the High School Principalship
Tashkandi (1991) explored the problem that, even though the requirements and
credentials are the same for females and males to be in the administrative position of
secondary school principal and that females dominated males in the teaching ranks,
females did not get selected as principals at the secondary level. Researching the
statistics on effective schools, including the role of the principal, the selection process
used for placement of junior and senior high school principals, characteristics of
effective secondary principals, and style differences of female and male secondary
school principals, Tashkandi found several significant points: (a) researchers agree
that the principal can be the key element in establishing an effective school, (b) no
single pathway existed for females and males to obtain the principalship, (c) mentoring
of females made a difference for them in becoming secondary principals, (d) womens
school leadership capabilities were not inferior to those of mens, and (e) mens and
womens thinking styles differ which may influence when and how women are
selected for secondary school principalships. So, even though the playing field has
64


become more equal in terms of womens being perceived as leaders, they still do not
enjoy equal representation in the high school principalship; this may be due to the
inhibiting factors and societal barriers initiated much earlier through early 20th century
leadership theorists. Yet, leadership attributesstyles and skillswhich could be
assigned to either female or male leaders depending on the situation, as promoted by
the leadership theorists of the later 20th century, should have enhanced womens being
selected as a high school principal.
Selection of Skilled High School Principals and
Subtle-Behind-the-Scenes Circumstances
Baltzell and Dentler (1984) conducted studies which revealed that there are
historically four procedures used in the selection of a principal; school districts usually
(a) list the vacancy, (b) screen the candidates, (c) interview, and (d) make a decision on
who should be selected and offer the individual the position. In the five case studies
citedthree males and two femalesBaltzell and Dentler found, as did Tashkandi
(1991), that merit and equity were not as important as support from mentors. Baltzell
and Dentlers (1984) findings point to ... subtle, behind-the-scenes matters related to
specific circumstances (p. 37), such as being in the right place at the right time or
having a strong, influential mentor who recommended the man or the woman for the
principalship. In each of the five case studies, therefore, Baltzell and Dentler (1984)
found no clear, single pathway which had helped either the two women and three men
studied to gain the principalship in the district in which each had worked for several
years. Neither educational background, years of experience, school size, school type,
nor outstanding performance in the school system truly influenced the selection of
65


these individuals as principal. These factors in the hiring practices of high school
principals may be influenced by other factors, such as those associated with social
construction of gender and mentorship.
Conclusions
To summarize, both men and women have demonstrated styles and skills as
successful high school principals, as identified by the research cited. Moreover,
women have demonstrated leadership styles and skills in collaboration and
interpersonal relationship, as well as in curriculum and instruction, which have been
identified as possibly those for the successful principal of the 1990s and 2000s.
Analyzing the repeated patterns of leadership theories and the themes which define
these theories, as they were revealed from the womens interview responses, has
helped to establish a relationship between them and the career paths of these high
school principals. These themes are presented in Appendix A. They have been
programmed into QSR NUD'IST software (1997) for data analysis. Analyzing the
connections the leadership patterns and themes have with those on social construction
of gender, discussed in Chapter Three, and with mentorship, discussed in Chapter
Four, have added more clarity to the relationship which existed between these patterns
and themes and the principals career paths. These findings are explained in Chapter
Six. The conclusions drawn from the repeated thirty-five patterns and themes on
leadership, social construction of gender, and mentorship are discussed in Chapter
Seven. These conclusionsalong with the patterns and themes which represent the
patternswill be available with other women who want to become high school
66


principals in hopes of aiding them in their own career path. They will also be available
to human resource department personnel and to those educators who prepare men and
women as high school principals so that the experiences of women may become an
integral part of the selection and preparation process of high school principalships.
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CHAPTER THREE
SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF GENDER
As explained in Chapter One, the introduction to this study, social construction
of gender is a term from feminist theory (Lorber & Farrell, 1991). It is a term used by
feminist theorists (Fausto-Sterling, 1985; Money, 1986; Money & Tucker, 1975;
Stoller, 1985) to define the differences among sex roles, gender, and gender roles as
society has perceived them historically. Lorber and Farrell explained the principals of
gender construction in the following manner:
Sex . sex roles . gender roles. In explaining the social construction
of gender, these terms can become very confusing. We live in a society that
for a long time left these categories unexamined. Many people, social scientists
included, still gloss over them as if everyone knows what they mean. The
term sex is assumed to be a biological category that stands for an understanding
of what is natural, what cannot be changed. However, biologists,
endocrinologists, and social scientists have started to examine the categories of
female and male more closely, because they have found that not everyone
fits into one or the other as neatly as had been previously assumed ... In the
social construction of gender perspective, both sex and gender are socially
developed statuses . which work in the presence and under the influence of
a set of environments (Fausto-Sterling, 1985, p. 7). (p. 7)
Lorber and Farrell continued to explain how boys and girls are socialized into
gender categories:
In reality, girls and boys, women and men, are more alike than they are
different, but. . societies impose a sameness taboo on them. Together with
race, ethnicity, and social class, gender categories are institutionalized cultural
and social statuses. These statuses or social locations shape every individuals
life from birth. Not only are sexual and procreative behaviors socially scripted,
but other seemingly physiological outcomes, such as birth weight,
musculature, time of menarche, and longevity are deeply influenced by the
social locations of class and racial ethnic group as well as gender category.
(P-8)
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These perceptions have been influenced by themes prevalent in Western culture, such
as class standing and biblical perspectives of men and women as Bern (1993) and
Gilligan (1993) pointed out.
Gender Themes in Western Culture
Throughout the history of Western culture, three beliefs, or themes, about men
and women have prevailed: (a) they have fundamentally different psychological and
sexual natures, (b) men are inherently the dominant or superior sex, and (c) both
female-male difference and male-dominance are natural (Bern, 1993). Until the
mid-nineteenth century, this naturalness was typically conceived in religious terms, as
part of Gods grand creation. As Gilligan (1993) wrote, It all goes back, of course,
to Adam and Eve, a story which shows, among other things, that if you make a
woman out of a man, you are bound to get into trouble. In the life cycle, as in the
Garden of Eden, woman has been the deviant (p.6). These differences have typically
been conceived in scientific terms, as part of biologysor evolutionsgrand creation
(Bern, 1993).
As a consequence, most Americans have not seen any inconsistency between
commitment to equality and denial of political rights to women until the appearance of
the womens rights movement in the mid-nineteenth century. This first wave of
feminist advocacy not only established womens basic political rights; it also made the
inconsistency between ideology and the treatment of women widely visible for the first
time in U.S. history. Consequently, the idea of sexism took hold in society because
the treatment which females received in situations differed from the treatment males
69


received in similar or the same kind of situations.
Sexism
Beginning in the 1960s, the second major wave of feminist advocacy raised
social consciousness still further by exposingand namingthe sexism in all policies
and practices that explicitly discriminated on the basis of sex (Bern, 1993). With the
publication of The Feminine Mystique (Friedan, 1963), people began to understand
this concept of sexism in terms of past psychological theories which attributed
womens lower status in society and personal problems to psychological qualities that
make both appear inevitable. Other writers (Sherif, 1964; Rosenthal, 1966; Weisstein,
1971; Stein & Baily, 1973) argued against these past psychological theories as well,
raising peoples awareness of sexism within society. This second feminist challenge
of the 1970s gradually enabled people to see that restricting the number of women in
professional schools or paying women less than men for equal work was not a natural
requirement of a womans biological and historical role as wife and mother but an
illegitimate form of discrimination based on outmoded cultural stereotypes (Sadker &
Sadker, 1994).
In the 1980s and 1990s, feminist writers (Figure 3.1) have posited several
themes in their literature in hopes of giving society a more objective view of females;
they have (a) argued against discrimination, (b) attempted to explain the female world
and social construction of gender, (c) discussed the sexuality of organizations,
(d) strategized how women might gain equality in the workplace, (e) argued gender
differences based on brain research, (f) shared secrets on leadership and power, and
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Figure 3.1 Social Construction of Gender Themes
Themes Sources
1. discrimination Bern, 1993; Hamrick, 1994; Friedan, 1963; Hill & Ragland, 1995; Konek & Kitch, 1994; Newton &Rosenfelt, 1985
2. the unique female world and differences between female and male styles Bernard, 1981; Belenky, Clinchy, Goldberger, &Tarule, 1997; Hess & Ferree, 1987; Henley, 1977; Lorber & Farrell, 1991; Radtke & Stam, 1994; White, 1995
3. how men and women are treated differently in organizations Hearn, Sheppard, Tancred-Sheriff, & Burrell, 1993; Jacobs, 1995; Kanter, 1977; Kanter & Millman, 1975
4. how women might gain equality in the workplace Adler, Laney, & Packer, 1993; Heim, 1993; Heim & Golant, 1995; Kanter, 1977; Mendell, 1996; Scheele, 1994; White, 1995
5. gender differences based on brain research Moor & Jessel, 1991
6. leadership and power perceptions of female and male styles Acker, 1991; Cantor & Bemay, 1992; Helgesen, 1990; Wolf, 1994
7. womens experiences in sociological and psychological studies Beck, 1994; Freeman, 1975; Gilligan, 1993; Grogan, 1996; Harding, 1987; Hamrick, 1994; Shakeshaft, 1989
71


(g) declared that womens experiences must be included in sociological and
psychological studies. Their desire has been to overcome the historical perspectives
associated with female and male roles in society, including leadership positions.
Additionally, they have attempted to overcome female stereotypes associated with those
roles in hopes of raising peoples awareness about sex, sex roles, and gender
categories. Feminist writers such as Kanter (1977), Kanter and Millman (1975),
Huber (1973), and Freeman (1975) promoted feminism as theory which needed to be
included in social science research.
Feminist Theory
Acker (1991) pointed out that the most powerful organizational positions are
almost entirely occupied by men, with the exception of ... the occasional biological
female who acts as a social man (p. 162). Power at the national and world level is
located in all-male enclaves at the pinnacle of large state and economic organizations.
These facts are not news, although sociologists paid no attention to them until
feminism came along to point out the problematic structure of organizations (Kanter,
1977; Kanter & Millman, 1975). Asa result, feminist writers publicized their views
about this problematic structure in hopes of gaining equal treatment for women.
Feminist Publications of the 1970s
Ferree and Hess (1987) asserted that one way of dating the feminist revolution
in this regard is to begin from the from the publication of Kanter and Millmans (1975)
Another Voice. This collection of feminist essays, although not the first, marked the
72


beginning of an era of feminist social science. This meant that womens experiences
and perceptions about themselves and their relation to sex, sex roles, gender, and
gender categories were legitimized as part of the social sciences and not separated
merely as womens studies (Ferree & Hess, p. 11).
Before the publication of Kanter and Millmans (1975) collection of essays,
many daring and original articles connected feminist concerns to the practices and
issues of social science but appeared primarily in movement publications. These
essays were only gradually collected into books aimed at a mass market (Gomick &
Moran, 1971; Morgan, 1970). By the early 1970s, researchers influenced by the
burgeoning womens movement began to frame their questions about the status of
women in social scientific terms (Acker, 1991). The first notable collection of such
work, Changing Women in a Changing Society, edited by Joan Huber (1973),
originally appeared as a special issue of the American Journal of Sociology. The first
edition of Jo Freemans work. Women: A Feminist Perspective (1975). also brought
together original synthesizing essays that challenged traditional theories and
conclusions about women. Kanter and Millmans (1975) Another Voice, however,
more than these or other early collections, began to move in the direction of developing
feminist theory (Ferree & Hess, 1987). They began to address, openly, provocative
problems about the equal treatment of women in various areas.
Provocative Problems Addressed
Kanter and Millman (1975) made it clear that there were feminist questions that
had not yet been imagined and that the answers would demand a fundamental
73


transformation of the social sciences. Ferree and Hess (1987) stressed that provocative
problems were posed in Kanter and Millmans volume, including many themes that
remain unresolved: (a) What class position do women hold? (b) Why is deviance for
women equated with sexuality? (c) What kind of work is housework and whom does
it benefit? (d) What does male-centered education do to women? By asking these
searching questions, of all the major institutional areas studied by the social sciences,
Kanter and Millmans Another Voice became a revolutionary book (Acker, 1991).
Other writers in the 1980s and 1990s have attempted to continue to address themes
within social construction of gender which help to define issues which are repeated in
the literature (Appendix B).
1980s and 1990s Feminist Research
Bern (1993) and Newton and Rosenfelt (1985) have argued against gender
discrimination by citing specific examples and the laws which have been enacted to
curb discrimination. Bernard (1981), Belenky et al. (1997), Ferree and Hess (1987),
Lorber and Farrell (1991), and Radtke and Stam (1994) have attempted to explain the
female world and social construction of gender in the hopes of raising peoples
awareness of stereotypes and how to counteract them. Hearn et al. (1993) and Jacobs
(1995) discussed the sexuality of organizations in terms of male-dominance and female
subservience. Adler et al. (1993), Heim (1992), Heim and Golant (1993), Mendell
(1996) , Scheele (1994), and White (1995) strategized how women might gain equality
in the workplace, encouraging women to understand the games men play. Moor and
Jessel (1991) argued gender differences based on brain research. Cantor and Bernay
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(1992), Helgesen (1990), and Wolf (1994) shared secrets on the female advantage in
leadership and power, asserting that the ways in which women have been socialized
have added to their marketability in leadership and management positions.
Gilligan (1993), Harding (1987), and Shakeshaft (1989) declared that womens
experiences must be included in sociological and psychological studies in order to help
prepare women for the world in which they live with men.
The fact that this body of literature covers such a comprehensive grouping of
subjects gives credence to the gaps which have existed in social science research. This
has led to feminist research as a legitimate study in the social sciences, including
separate departments in colleges and universities in the United States. Additionally,
this body of literature has helped people to understand the issues with which
womenand mendeal in working together, seeking promotions, and being perceived
as leaders, among other issues. Ferree and Hess (1987) have contended that a
recognition of the systematic nature of these gaps demands a rethinking of basic
conceptual frameworks, including a reexamination of how men and women are
differentiated, including social-structural perspectives.
Social-Structural Perspectives
Eagly (1987), Epstein (1988), and Eagly and Johnson (1990) have cogently
argued for the social-structural perspective on gender in recent years. Two of the best
known empirical studies in this tradition, however, were done in the 1970s.
Rossabeth Moss Kanter, in Men and Women of the Corporation (19771. argued that
women are less motivated than men to get ahead in the world of paid employment not
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because of any intrinsic differences in their personalities but because their mostly
low-level clerical and service jobs provide them with precious little opportunity for
advancement. Nancy Henley, in Body Politics 119771. argued that mens and
womens differing styles of verbal and nonverbal communication are similarly derived
from their differing status in the social structure.
Bern (1993) pointed out the psychological implication of the social structure:
change a womans position in the social structure, and her motivation and ability will
quickly change as well. Bern also said, The political implication should also be clear:
if women are ever to have political and economic equality, what needs to change is not
the psycheor even socialization~of the individual; what needs to change is the
androcentric social structure that operates systemically and in the here and now to
preserve male power (p. 133). This concept, to some researchers, has become
known as the glass ceiling.
The Glass Ceiling
Morrison et al. (1987) coined the term the glass ceiling to describe the
obstacles facing women managers who wish to move towards senior management.
Their research, based on seventy-six successful women led them to conclude that
barriers such as the lack of mentors, the problems of combining career and family life,
and lack of support from senior executives work together to create an invisible ceiling
which prevents movement from middle level to senior level management. According to
Goldin (1990) and Koneck and Kitch (1994), historically, employers have limited
womens chances to exercise power. For example, the majority of office firms
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surveyed by the U.S. Womens Bureau in 1940 barred women from senior
management positions. Over the next thirty years, womens share of occupations
classified by the Bureau of Census as managers and administrators rose slowly: from
one in nine to one in six (Reskin & Ross, 1995). During the 1970s, women posted
unprecedented gains in management occupations, and in 1980 and 1990, respectively,
they claimed 30% and 40% of the jobs the Census Bureau classified as managerial,
executive, and administrative (Reskin & Ross, 1995). However, social science
researchers and feminist writers have contended that barriers exist for women in the
1990s who desire positions as managers, executives, or administrators.
Writers (Adler et al., 1993; Heim, 1992; Heim & Golant, 1995; Konek &
Kitch, 1994; Mendell, 1996; Scheele, 1994; White, 1995) have described barriers that
women managers and leaders face in the 1990s. Indeed, the incorporation into popular
speech of the term glass ceiling (Hymowitz & Schellhardt, 1986) points to a
widespread feeling that invisible barriers separate women from top jobs in which they
are the major decision-makers. These, barriers, in turn, have led to reform movements
in both educational leadership and business leadership which have helped women to
overcome these barriers.
Reform Movements in Educational Leadership
and in Business Leadership
Grady et al. (1994) have proposed that two powerful movements in the
United States have helped women to overcome these invisible barriers: (a) the reform
movement in education with its emphasis on restructuring schools, and (b) the shift in
leadership attributes to those associated with collaboration and consensus processes.
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The school restructuring movement began in the 1980s and involves understanding the
social, political, and legal context within which schools operate, according to
Simpson (1992); it also involves redefining school programs and practices in ways that
optimize student performance and achievement (Colorado Department of Education,
1993). Simpson stated, The educational crisis today is not an isolated phenomenon
but is part of the larger social, familial, and value crises that defy a simple solution,
i.e., better schools (p. 238). Grady et al. asserted that because of the complexity of
the issues involved in this reform movement, educational leaders needed to move away
from the .. traditional, hierarchical, control-and-command environment. In
complex environments, educational leaders have to be more than technical managers
(p. 157). This statement is supported by the research of those who promoted
situational leadership such as Bass (1985), Blake and Mouton (1964), Burns (1978),
Hersey and Blanchard (1988), Fiedler (1967), and Vroom and Yetton (1973). It is
also supported by the research of those such as Kanthak (1991), Kirby et al. (1992),
Kowalski et al. (1992), Regan and Brooks (1995), and Tashkandi (1991), who have
found that leadership skills, like collaboration and curricular and instructional
knowledge, are attributes of successful high school principals.
The second reform movement according to the study by Grady et al. (1994)
was a parallel one with the education reform movement of the 1980s in which business
leaders began to initiate structures which valued leadership over management and
emphasized collaboration, consensus-building, and empowerment. These structures
are reflected in the literature of Aburdene and Naisbitt (1992), Beck (1994), Covey
(1990), Helgesen (1990), Murphy and Louis (1994), Naisbitt and Aburdene (1990),
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and Peters (1994). Exercises and examples which help individuals understand the
leadership skills associated with this type of leadership are found in the research of
Astin (1994), Astin and Leland (1991), Bass (1985), Barth (1997), Bennis (1991),
Bennis and Goldsmith (1994), Daresh and Playko (1997), Graham (1995),
Guzman (1997), MacKay and Ralston (1999), Rossener (1990), Rost (1993), and
Sergiovanni (1987, 1994).
Social construction of gender, social science research, and feminist theory
seem to have evolved with leadership theory from the male-dominated military-type
hierarchy, promoted by the classical theorists of the early 20th century, to the
situational theory, promoted by researchers in the 1970s, to the value-laden leadership
of collaboration, consensus building, and empowerment, as demonstrated by the
management and educational researchers of the 1980s and 1990s. Since the 1970s,
and certainly since the 1980s and 1990s, women have been included in this shift in
leadership theory and models of successful leadership. Additionally, women have
increased in the position of public school principal, a leadership position which is
dominated by white males (Educational Research Service, 1998; National School
Boards Association, 1998). Fewer women than men are employed as high school
principals, however (Colorado Department of Education, 1998; Educational Research
Service, 1998; National School Boards Association, 1998).
The Glass Ceiling for Women in Education
Women are still underrepresented in educational administration, including the
high school principalship (Educational Research Service, 1998; Hodgkinson &
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Montenegro, 1999). The question is: Why? Do gender barriers exist for women to
become educational administrators? Is there a glass ceiling for women in educational
administration? Are these themes, relative to social construction of gender, which
emerge in the career paths of females in the high school principalship? At the root of
these possible themes may be the ways in which boys are socialized differently from
girls, which have been shown to influence their leadership styles and skills, such as
collaboration and curricular and instructional leadership, as discussed in Chapter Two.
Lessons Boys Learn and Lessons Girls Learn
Sadker and Sadker (1995) gave specific examples, based on their research and
observations, of how boys are treated differently from girls and the lessons each
gender learns from this treatment. One example, which they use to demonstrate how
embedded in our society are Hardball Lessons Boys Learn and House and Doll
Lessons Girls Learn (Heim, 1993), is found within a situation the Sadkers designed
themselves. In this situation, the Sadkers dressed two babies alike, covering their
heads and bodies, except one baby was dressed in blue and the other in pink. The
Sadkers brought these babies to a baby clinic, leaving them in the waiting room. As
the babies parents, they encouraged the men and women in the clinic to play with
the babies. Time and again, the Sadkers recorded that the blue baby was thrown in
the air and handled with rough play while the pink baby was cuddled and cooed.
The Sadkers asserted that the societal stereotypes of females and males resulted in the
babies being treated differently.
These themes of socialization of gender (lessons for boys and lessons for girls)
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have been promoted by feminist writers in the 1990s as well. Cantor and
Bemay (1992) referred to these themes as sandbox dreams (p. 127) where they
discussed how boys and girls dream differently of greatness. They asserted that
.. men have always been encouraged to have sandbox dreams of doing great things
for themselves and for the world at large ... while ... women seldom dream of
what is possible for them to be in life (p. 127). Similar to Heim (1993),
Mendell (1996) referred to these themes as boys games and girls games (p. 20) as
she argued that women need to learn seven lessons of the business game in order to
make it in a mans world. She describes what boys learn from their games:
In their games, boys learn about conflict and competition. They learn
about the importance of resolving conflict and they learn conflict-resolution
skills. They learn to fight and to play with their enemies. Because they play in
large, heterogeneous groups and their games require coordinating the activities
of many diverse people, boys learn leadership and organizational skills. They
learn how to attain and maintain ones status in the male hierarchy, (p. 21)
Mendell also describes what girls leam in their games:
Girls games teach a completely different style of interaction. Girls games
stress the importance of cooperation and the development of noncompetitive
skills. Games like house or dolls are role-playing games with no competitive
aspects. In their competitive games, like hopscotch, girls leam individual
rather than group skills . .
Because they play in small, cooperative groups, girls arent forced to leam to
play by the kind of complicated and rigid mles that a large group of boys need
to play team sports, (p. 22)
White (1995) also referred to the themes of how boys can be socialized
differently from girls in the nine secrets she promotes as the reasons why good girls
dont get ahead but gutsy girls do (p. 1). White describes the attributes of gutsy
A gutsy girl isnt a bad girl. She can be conscientious, hardworking, kind
to her subordinates, and respectful of authority. But she also takes risks,
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charts her own course instead of doing exactly what shes told, asks for what
she wants, gives the grunt work to someone else so she can focus on whats
important (and fun), makes certain that the right people know of her
accomplishments, and doesnt spend every moment trying to please people.
(P-7)
Hill and Ragland (1995) have argued that these lessons for boys and lessons
for girls have been promoted in high school, as well. Citing the research facilitated by
the American Association of University Women (1992), Hill and Ragland stated the
following about the ways in which girls are treated in American public schools:
Female students are not just unevenly treated; they are harassed and abused
by their male peers and by school personnel. . Early, consistent treatment
conveying the message that females are less deserving and less worthy erodes
self-esteem with life-long effects, (p. 16)
The Sadkers (1995) gave a poignant example of this type of treatment and its
effects on the self-esteem of a female high school student:
My English teacher asks the class, What is the purpose of the visit to
Johannesburg?. .1 know the answer, but I contemplate whether I should
answer the question. The boys in the back are going to tease me like they
harass all the other girls in our class.. I want to tell them to shut up. But I
stand alone. All of the other girls dont even let themselves be bold. But I
stand alone. Perhaps they are all content to be molded into societys image of
what a girl should be likesubmissive, sweet, feminine.... In my ninth
period class, I am actually afraid of what [the boys] might say ... As my
frustration builds, I promise myself that I will yell back at them. I say that
everyday . and I never do it. (Sadker, Sadker, Fox, & Salata, p. 3)
Like Sadker and Sadker, other researchers contend that this type of unequal treatment
of females and males in educational systems has played a role in social construction of
gender and its influence on women in educational administration.
Educational Administration
Weber et al. (1981) concluded that Women who seek careers in educational
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administration find that, in practice, equality of sexes is an illusion (p. 320). Three
years prior to this study, Loomis and Wild (1978) asserted that the educational system
in the United States is generally structured along the lines of what has been considered
the traditional home: men run the schools and women nurture the learners (p.943).
Weber et al. also asserted that the influence of social construction of gender on women
in educational administration can be discerned in
. . employment practices which facilitate leadership and mobility for men
and discourage it for women. Not only do men dominate education in terms of
administrative positions and dollars earned . but they also dominate the
decision-making processes, which may discourage women from entering the a
administrative ranks, (p. 321)
Weber et al. based their premise on what they called the typical adult male role, defined
by the traits of dominance, autonomy, achievement, and aggression (p. 107). These
traits align with the historical perspectives of males as leaders before the educational
and business reform movements in leadership in the 1970s, as delineated in Chapter
Two. Weber et al., like other researchers in the 1970s to the 1990s, asserted that these
traits have led to male-dominated school systems and internal barriers. Shakeshaft
(1989), Grady and OConnell (1993), Goeller (1995), and Hill and Ragland (1995)
have studied these internal barriers and have defined what women need to overcome in
order to be appointed as a school administrator. Their definitions contain repeated
themes from their research about the barriers women have encountered when they have
sought educational administrative positions.
Male-Dominated School Systems and Internal Barriers
Citing a dearth of books about womens experiences in educational
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administration, Shakeshaft (1989) synthesized research data from more than 200
dissertations and 600 articles in this area, from 1970 to 1985. Alluding to this
male-dominated model of educational administration, Shakeshaft cited male dominance
as the primary reason for limitations placed upon women as educational administrators.
Shakeshaft argued that internal barriers such as low self-esteem, lack of confidence,
and lack of motivation are the major internal barriers for womens advancement into
educational administrative positions (p. 83). However, Shakeshaft did not see these
factors as the root cause of the problem for womens lack of advancement in
educational administration, as she said:
Internal barriers are merely camouflage for deeper, societal roadblocks
to womens advancement. By accepting as fact that inequities toward women
occur because of some lack of ability or action by women, we are not forced to
look elsewhere for explanations, neither are we pushed to question the concepts
and frameworks that conclude that the victim is at fault. Questioning these
concepts and definitions helps to point out alternative ways of seeing womens
conditionways that find reasons other than the woman herself as the cause.
(p. 84)
Grady and OConnell (1993) have posited that hiring preferences, discrimination,
encouragement, and socialization are factors which have influenced womens
appointments to educational leadership positions.
Hiring Preferences. Discrimination.
Encouragement, and Socialization
Grady and OConnell (1993), in their research analysis of dissertations about
women in K-12 educational administration from 1957 to 1989, found gender barriers
in the areas of hiring preferences, discrimination, encouragement, and socialization
issues. Fourteen (8%) out of 194 dissertations analyzed reported six gender barriers
which blocked females being hired into educational administrative positions: (a) male
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applicants were preferred, (b) boards of education prefer male superintendents,
(c) hiring of women administrators is dependent on superintendents attitudes, not the
board of educations, (d) male superintendents do not hire women administrators, and
(e) males are selected over females with equal credentials. However, Grady and
OConnell also found that older male superintendents and male principals who have
worked for female administrators will hire female administrators.
In the area of discrimination, Grady and OConnell (1993) found that eleven
(6%) of the 194 dissertations included findings that discrimination existed. In the area
of encouragement, they found that seven (4%) of the dissertations included findings
about the lack of encouragement for women to go into administrative positions. In the
area of socialization, Grady and OConnell found that one dissertation reported
findings that men are socialized to educational administrative positions differently from
women. Other writers asserted that these factors, as well as stereotypical views of
females, have become gender barriers for women who want to become high school
principals.
Gender Barriers for Women
in the High School Principalship
Goeller (1995) cited the results of a survey conducted by the American
Association of School Administrators (Pellicer et al., 1988) as potential gender barriers
for women being placed as educational administrators. These gender barriers,
according to survey respondents, included
. . stereotypical views of female administrators by male superintendents
and male school board presidents who described females as enjoying routine
tasks, not long-range goals, desiring less responsibility, being sensitive to
criticism, being less aggressive, crying more easily, and being unable to handle
85