Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Teaching & Learning


The purpose of this study was to determine the perceived value of principal transfer by examining and describing superintendent and principal perceptions of school division transfer processes and of anticipated and actual succession effects. Five superintendents and ten principals--the superintendent, one elementary principal, and one secondary principal from each of five of the ten metropolitan school divisions located in Winnipeg, Manitoba--were interviewed by the researcher. The superintendents described one of two general types of transfer used in moving principals--a long-term career/organizational development process and a short-term vacancy chain process. The principals reacted to these descriptions and gave their perceptions of the anticipated and actual effects. The responses of superintendents were compared with the responses of their principals in order to determine the amount of agreement that existed in their descriptions of transfer processes and the anticipated and actual effects of these transfers.

There was evidence of more agreement between superintendents and principals who were involved in the long-term career/organizational development process. There was general agreement that the principal transfers had been successful and that the optimum tenure for principals ordinarily should be seven or eight years. Agreements between the principals and their superintendents on the anticipated effects of the transfers ranged from moderate to very high. Both groups anticipated that positive effects would occur in the majority of anticipated effect areas. Agreements between the principals and their superintendents on the actual effects of the transfers ranged from low to high. Low agreements were reported for the actual effects on teacher job satisfaction and community relations. Moderate agreements were reported for the actual effects on principal personal and professional growth, student learning, and division principals (group morale, collegiality, and/or openness to increased mobility). Higher agreement was reported for the actual effects on principal job satisfaction.

This study has lent empirical support to the common sense notion that principal transfer can rejuvenate principals and/or renew the schools. However, consultation between principals and superintendents was a very important step in facilitating the transfer process and appeared to be essential for achieving the anticipated positive transfer effects.

Included in

Psychology Commons