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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Educational Leadership and Policy

First Advisor

Roger DeMont


The purpose of this study is to determine if a relationship exists between teachers' stages of concern and perceptions of the leadership styles of their principals. The secondary purpose of this study was to determine if differences existed on the stages of concern and perceived leadership style of the principal between teachers in high and low achieving elementary schools. A nonexperimental, descriptive research design was used to examine perceptions of teachers' concerns about an innovation that was implemented in an urban school district. A total of 122 teachers from six elementary school completed the Stages of Concern Questionnaire and the Least Preferred Coworker Survey, and a short demographic survey. Results of the study indicated that perceived leadership styles of the principals were not related to the seven stages of concern. Teachers in high performing schools perceived that the leadership style of their principal was more relationship oriented, while teachers in low performing schools considered their principal's leadership styles to be more task oriented. Significant differences were found between the teachers in the two schools in terms of their concerns on personal, collaboration stages of concern, with teachers in high performing schools having greater concerns on these scales than teachers in low performing schools. Educational level of the teacher was a significant predictor of information and management stages of concern, with number of students taught each day a significant predictor of refocusing, the highest stage of concern. The findings of this study indicate that teachers in high and low performing schools have similar concerns about the innovation, with teachers who had lower levels of education having stronger concerns regarding information and management stages of concern. Based on the findings of this study, central office and building administrators should provide professional development programs as well as continuous support and reinforcement at every stage in the implementation of an innovation.

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