The selection, organization, and role of senior executive leadership teams in three urban school systems in a southwestern state : a phenomenology




Bryantt, Jharrett Mykle

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Under the direction of a superintendent, senior executive leaders of large urban school districts in the southwestern United States, defined as having an enrollment of at least 10,000 students and being located 25 miles from a major city, share a common challenge of leading essential operations, including the human resources, operations, finance, and academic functions. Superintendents across the nation are tasked with hiring and organizing their leadership teams in order to maximize the effectiveness of the school system. There is a need to further explore the role that politics, human capital, and symbolism play as the superintendent decides how to hire for and distribute the responsibilities of his or her senior executive leadership team. This study shared the perspectives of retired superintendents as they reflected upon the individuals and realities that impacted their decisions to hire and organize the members of their senior executive leadership teams. This study may benefit urban school superintendents who will encounter similar challenges and opportunities during their careers. Aspiring and current superintendents will be able to use these findings to make informed decisions regarding how to engage stakeholders and approach obstacles to organizing and selecting their senior executive leadership teams how they see fit to lead complex school systems.


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