Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Teaching & Learning


The purpose of this study was to identify the power strategies used by elementary principals in North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. It also examined the relationships between the power strategies used by those principals and the organizational climates of their schools. Schools' climates and principals' power strategies were measured based on teachers' perceptions.

The Organizational Climate Description Questionnaire was used to measure the schools' climate profiles, openness scores, and mean scores of the eight dimensions of school climate. The Perception of Principal Power Tactics Survey was used to measure teachers' perceptions of principals' uses of power strategies.

Three hundred one teachers in fifty schools participated in the study. Teachers who participated had taught in their schools for two or more years under the supervision of the same full-time principal. The data were analyzed using analysis of variance, Pearson product-moment correlations, and t-tests.

The principals were perceived to use a combination of power strategies, but were not perceived to use all power strategies equally. Rationality was the most frequently used power strategy followed by Ingratiation, Upward Appeal, Coalitions, Exchange, Assertiveness, and Sanctions.

There were significant differences between principals' use of Rationality, Ingratiation, Assertiveness, and Sanctions and the school climate profiles. The pattern with which principals used these power strategies appeared to affect teachers' perceptions of the schools' climates.

The more open teachers perceived schools' organizational climates the more teachers perceived principals to use Rationality, Ingratiation, Coalitions, and Exchange. The more closed teachers perceived the schools' climates the more often teachers perceived principals to use Assertiveness and Sanctions.

Principals' use of Rationality was related to the teacher behaviors Disengagement and Esprit. Principals' use of Assertiveness and Sanctions was related to teachers' Hindrance behaviors. Principals' use of Exchange was related to the Intimacy felt among teachers.

Teachers' perceptions of principals' behaviors were apparently based on perceptions of the principals' attempts at influencing teachers. Principals' Thrust and Consideration behaviors were related to perceptions of principals' use of Rationality, Ingratiation, Coalitions, Exchange, Assertiveness, and Sanctions. Principals' Aloofness and Production Emphasis behaviors were related to their use of Upward Appeal, Assertiveness, and Sanctions.