Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Uldis Smidchens

Second Advisor

Dr. Patrick Jenlink

Third Advisor

Dr. Stan Olson


In this study, Michigan public school principals reported their perceptions regarding differences in the degree to which nine intervention strategies helped to overcome 10 impediments to change that are often encountered by principals. The intervention strategies and impediments to change used in this study were chosen as a result of a content analysis of literature on change.

A two-part pilot study was conducted. In part one, principals were asked for comments regarding the effectiveness of the letter of introduction, clarity of instructions and questionnaire items, and ease and time of completion. In part two, information was gathered to determine whether the survey would be completed in a manner consistent with the instructions and what the expected response rate would be.

The population for this study, 3,094 principals from Michigan public schools, were potential participants for a survey used to gather the data. A proportional stratified sampling procedure was used to select a sample of 350 practicing public school administrators from elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools in Michigan. Two hundred thirty-four surveys were mailed to elementary school principals, 62 to middle school principals, and 53 to high school principals.

Low response rate (28%) was a source of concern for the interpretation of findings. Data were analyzed, and responses indicated there were few differences among the principal subgroups. The findings are reported but should be interpreted with caution.

Principals reported that four intervention strategies (nonthreatening atmosphere, inservice education, persuasion by opinion leaders, and decentralized authority) were generally effective strategies for overcoming the impediments to change. Principals reported that five intervention strategies (long- and short-term planning, new materials, research-based studies, parental pressure for or against a change, and legislative mandate) were generally less effective strategies for overcoming the impediments to change.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access