Navigating School Leadership: An Exploratory Case Study of the School Business Manager Implementation
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ABSTRACT Title of Document: NAVIGATING SCHOOL LEADERSHIP: AN EXPLORATORY CASE STUDY OF THE SCHOOL BUSINESS MANAGER IMPLEMENTATION Helga Einhorn, Doctor of Philosophy, 2015 Directed By: Assistant Professor, Thomas Davis, Department of Teaching, Learning, Policy and Leadership This case study explored the conceptualization and actualization of the school business manager position in one school district. The study sought to identify the tensions that emerge when traditional norms of school leadership are altered to reflect a more shared approach to leadership and how principals and school business mangers navigate those tensions to enact their roles. Through qualitative methods and case study design, the study examined the initial implementation of the role from the perspective of three school business managers and three principals. Semi-structured interviews, document analysis, and observation of school business manager meetings were used to collect data. Leadership theory, shared leadership in schools, and micropolitics served as the theoretical perspectives that guided the analysis of data. The study found that tensions that arose included principals’ difficulty in ceding control, discord associated with differing leadership styles, and issues of trust. The study also found that principals were more likely to navigate these tensions by relying on strategies associated with their authoritative role while school business managers were more inclined to activate influence strategies to mediate the tensions.