The relationship of leadership style and gender to superintendents' perceptions of the importance of select professional standards

Date of Completion

January 1999


Education, Administration




In an attempt to identify the skills and knowledge necessary to successfully lead contemporary school organizations, the American Association of School Administrators developed professional standards for superintendents. The purpose of this research was to determine if there is a relationship between leadership behaviors exhibited by practicing superintendents, their gender, and their perceived importance of three select AASA standards: Leadership and District Culture; Organizational Management; and Human Resources Management. ^ This study employed quantitative data analysis procedures. The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ-5x) was used to assess leadership behaviors of practicing female and male superintendents in the state of Connecticut. A survey of the select AASA standards was used to collect data on their perceived importance. A questionnaire on demographic data was used to gather additional information on superintendents. ^ Data analysis included chi-square analysis, t-tests, analysis of variance procedures and correlational statistics. Chi-square procedures and t-tests were used to examine demographic data. ANOVA procedures were used to measure main effects and interactions among the variables of performance standards, leadership style, and gender. Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient was used to analyze the relationship of the three select standards, gender, and leadership style. All analysis was evaluated at an alpha level of .05. ^ Results of data analysis indicated that, for this group of superintendents, there was no statistically significant difference in perceived leadership style by gender. There was a correlation between transformational leadership and the two standards “Leadership and District Culture”and “Human Resources Management.” There was no correlation between transactional, laissez-faire leadership, or transformational leadership and the standard “Organizational Management.” Suggestions were made for further investigation of the standard “Organizational Management” and the other five standards not examined in this study. ^ Results of data analysis indicated a homogeneity among participating superintendents and suggested that they perceived the three professional standards studied as important to successful administrative practice. ^