Date of Award

Summer 1998

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Curriculum, Instruction, and Leadership

First Advisor

Randall Parker


This study was conducted to determine whether a statistically significant relationship exists between the leadership styles of principals and teacher morale in the public secondary schools of north Louisiana, as perceived by teachers. The Ohio State studies and Getzels and Guba's Social Systems Model for educational organizations provided the theoretical framework for this study. Selected demographic variables of gender of the teacher, years of teaching experience, and race of the teacher were considered in this study. Information on teacher morale was collected from teachers in 14 randomly selected schools of north Louisiana. Data were obtained concerning teacher morale using the Purdue Teacher Opinionaire. Teachers also completed the Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire, indicating their perception of the principals' leadership style. Two primary areas of concern were consideration and initiating structure levels exhibited by the principals. In addition, teachers completed a questionnaire that provided demographic data for the study that was developed by the researcher. The researcher also conducted structured interviews with each principal. After completing the interviews with each principal and receiving the completed questionnaires from the teachers involved in the study, the researcher scored the data according to the instructions from the original authors. A rejection level of less than .05 was established prior to analysis. Analysis of variance (ANOVA), Duncan's New Multiple Range Test, Levene's Test for Equality of Variance, and t test were used to analyze the data. Content analysis was used to analyze the interview data. Statistical analysis of the data was accomplished through use of the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS-X) computer program. The major findings of the study were: (1) The teachers' perception of leadership style significantly affects teacher morale. Varying levels of consideration produced significant differences in levels of teacher morale. (2) According to the perceptions of the teachers in the study, high and low levels of initiating structure exhibited by the principals produced significantly different levels of teacher morale. High initiating structure produced high levels of teacher morale, while low initiating structure appeared to produce lower levels of teacher morale. (3) The demographic variables of gender, years of teaching experience, and race played no significant role in the morale levels of the teachers in the study. (4) The overall morale level in the 14 schools examined fell in the high range in mean scores.

Interview data suggested that the principals perceived the morale level of their schools as high. The principals believed that their own leadership style played no major role in the level of morale among their teachers. The principals, in general, considered themselves to be high in consideration and more democratic in leadership style.