Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. David Cowden

Second Advisor

Dr. Charles Warfield

Third Advisor

Dr. Don Cooney


The study examined educational leadership behaviors among elementary school principals in Qasim region of Saudi Arabia. Seven independent variables using a survey questionnaire among a randomly selected sample from the identified population. Self-reporting elicited, first, critical background information and, second, data concerning 60 specific leadership behavior items important to work issues, critical areas of educational administration, professional relationship situations, and leadership problems ordinarily confronted. Items were grouped according to five categories of twelve items each.

Ninety-six principals or 80% of the survey sample of 120 responded. Focus of the study derived importantly from an extensive and complex review of literature incorporating six sections of inquiry. These were: Principal Behavior and School Effectiveness, Organizational Leadership Behavior, Educational Leadership Behavior, Principal Organizational Leadership Behavior, Principal Length of Experience and Effectiveness, and Education and School Administration in Saudi Arabia. Preliminary research assumptions indicated that principals' length of administrative experience was importantly related to leadership behavior.

Twelve research null hypotheses were tested using one-way analysis of variance ANOVA with alpha level at .05 of significance. Relationships between principal organizational leadership behavior and three independent variables included academic degree, length of additional administrative training, and school district were confirmed. Length of administrative experience was determined to be related to leadership behavior within only one of the five subcategories. This was principals' relationship with students. Four independent variables determined to not be related to leadership behavior included principal length of classroom teaching experience, length of assistant principal experience, length of administrative experience, and age.

Principal leadership behavior was discussed as a function of transformational leadership considered in its macro (Burns, 1978) sense. Conflict between organizational socialization experienced by school principals within the administrative capacity and the professional socialization school principals experience primarily as part of academic education and through subsequent additional administrative training was examined. Principals' assertion of transformational leadership intervention was discussed in term of leadership behavior and educational improvement. Organizational socialization process was presented as characteristically submerging principal transformational potential within organizational transactional routine. Organizational process and socialization were proposed as limiting professional educational experience.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access