Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Deborah Worley


Given the recent surge of interest in educational leadership development in Saudi Arabia, a qualitative study was undertaken to evaluate the perspectives of participants in one intensive leadership training program called the Saudi Oxford Program for Educational Leaders (SOPEL). Using interview data with SOPEL participants and an analysis of their final projects, a holistic understanding of the participants’ experiences emerged. Findings included a confusion/conflation of concepts of leadership and management; a desire for more responsiveness and sensitivity to feedback on the part of the participants; logistical, linguistic, and administrative hurdles; quality control concerns; and a need to evaluate programs’ effectiveness independently. An exploratory qualitative study model called the HORSE framework provides clarification of participants’ experiences as well as recommendations for future educational leadership training initiatives.