Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




The problem addressed in this study was ascertaining what constitutes effective leadership for the role of school superintendent in the state of Iowa. In turn, therefore, one purpose of this study was to determine in which dimensions of management effectiveness (management functions) exemplary Iowa superintendents differ from other Iowa superintendents. A second purpose was to determine if certain dimensions of management effectiveness contribute significantly to the prediction of a superintendent's overall effectiveness. To accomplish these purposes, comparisons were made between a group of thirty (30) Iowa superintendents identified by their peers as being exemplary and a group of thirty (30) randomly selected Iowa superintendents;Two researcher-developed questionnaires were employed to gather data. First, demographic data were collected from each of the sixty (60) participating superintendents to build profiles of the two superintendent groups. A second instrument involved school board members, administrators, and teachers in the assessment of superintendent leadership behavior in reference to twelve (12) dimensions of management effectiveness. Through this second instrument, the following variables were examined: problem analysis, judgment, organizational ability, decisiveness, leadership, stress tolerance, sensitivity, oral communication, written communication, financial management, personal motivation, educational values, and overall effectiveness. The data gathered were subjected to the appropriate tests of significance with a .05 level of significance required for rejection;The findings revealed that a significant difference existed between the exemplary and randomly selected superintendent groups on two dimensions of management effectiveness: "Written Communication" and "Personal Motivation." Also, four of the dimensions were found to make a significant contribution to the prediction of a superintendent's overall effectiveness: "Judgment," "Leadership," Organizational Ability," and "Stress Tolerance.";The results of this study yielded information regarding the leadership behavior of superintendents and have contributed to the growing body of research regarding leadership and the role of school superintendent.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Larry Lee Erion



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

101 pages