Date of Award

Spring 5-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education & Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Jody S. Piro, EdD

Second Advisor

Patricia Cosentino, EdD

Third Advisor

Helena Nitowski, EdD


This research focused on the transformational leadership traits of principal participants from a sample bound within the geographic regions of Westchester County, New York and Fairfield County, Connecticut. The mixed methods case study utilized three different instruments to gather data from principal participants. Using the online program SurveyMonkey to distribute the Phase 1 instruments, the researcher-created demographic questions were administered first to each participant. Upon completion of the demographic questions online, the participants proceeded to complete the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI). The survey results were analyzed descriptively, including mean and standard deviation. Using a sample of convenience, participants were selected to participate in Phase 2 of data collection to develop a deeper understanding of the case study of the phenomenon of transformational leadership. Twenty-eight individual qualitative interviews were conducted with principal participants to gain further insight into the phenomenon.

At the completion of Phase 2 qualitative data collection, qualitative data analysis occurred. Inductive, emergent coding guided the researcher and three finding statements arose from the data analysis process. Three finding statements emerged from the data analysis process, with categories and sub-themes emerging from the participants’ words and experiences. The first finding statement was that participant principals believe themselves to be, or were transformational leaders. Three categories emerged from the participants, which included “Yes,” “No,” and “At Times and I try” categories. The second finding statement that emerged was that change was a central tenet to the participant principals’ interpretations of transformational leadership. Several themes emerged from the finding statement, including definition of transformational leadership, communication, collaboration, vision or big picture, transforming people, and self-perceptions. The third finding statement was that the intangible, human elements of leadership were a central tenet to the participant principals’ perceptions of transformational leadership. The first theme that emerged was communication, with sub-themes of acknowledgement, building relationships, listening, and value placed on communication. The second theme that emerged was model the behavior, with sub-themes of praise, visible or being open, leading people, self-perceptions, and vision. The third theme that emerged was relationship building, with sub-themes of acknowledgment, trust and respect, vision for the school and themselves, and self-perceptions.