Leadership actions and structures superintendents believe to enhance superintendent longevity : a qualitative study
MetadataShow full item record
The modern American superintendency faces many challenges, including a national concern that there is a demonstrated shortage of qualified school superintendents in the United States. Reported superintendent tenure ranges from 2.5-4.8 years. Various research and anecdotal data identify and illustrate the complex factors influencing superintendent tenure, and in turn, organizational stability and student achievement. In Texas, superintendents identify strained relationships with the school board president, superintendent/school board communication and relations, and the inability to accomplish goals with the board as significant factors in their length of tenure. Superintendent success in creating and sustaining effective working relationships with his or her boards of trustees and various stakeholder groups is predictive of his or her longevity. Superintendents must successfully navigate interactions with their boards of trustees, as well as internal and external special interest groups, and the greater voting community. Studies abound, regarding causal factors in truncated superintendent tenure, as well as the intrinsic challenges of effectively managing the myriad functions of the superintendency. Those studies primarily focus on interactions with the school board, or describe failed superintendencies from a postmortem perspective. However, the research literature lacks qualitative studies that focus attention on successful superintendent leadership strategies, which have contributed to increased superintendent tenure, and have resulted in increased organizational stability and higher levels of student achievement.