This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
RESEARCH


Prior to the takeover, a laissez-faire style of leadership was present. Bass (1990) refers to this type of leadership as withdrawn, isolated, passive, uninvolved, unconcerned, inactive, and abdicating. Furthermore, Bass considers this a non-leadership style, as there is no evidence of leadership characteristics in this type of leader. In the implementation stage of the takeover when the power shift occurred, an authoritarian style of leadership was deemed necessary. This style was confirmed in two of the seven interviews. Bass describes this type of leadership as directive, arbitrary controlling, production-oriented, task-concerned, coercive, and power-oriented. However, this style of leadership eventually evolved into a transformational style of leadership by the State-Appointed Superintendent as well as the superintendents that followed. It was the transformational style of leadership that was considered to impact and promote sustainability. Transformational leaders are described as confident, intellectual stimulating, self-determined, inspirational, empowering of others, and possessing strong conviction (Bass, 1990; Quinn, 1996). However, sustainability could not have occurred if the authoritarian style of leadership was not present, according to two of the seven administrators interviewed.


For the most part, school systems are operated under dual leadership. This leadership is a merger of the superintendent and the board of education. In West Virginia school systems, boards of education have high levels of power and can, at any time and without reason or just cause, remove the superintendent from office. A superintendent can be evaluated and receive high marks only to find that the board of education has decided to not renew his or her contract. Therefore, with such power, a board of education can punish a superintendent who refuses to perform the desires of the board, regardless of the ethics or legality of the request. There is no prerequisite of skill or educational degree required for holding a board position. In each of the 55 West Virginia counties, the position is among the lowest paid political positions compared to similar political roles. School board members range in drive, from civic-minded members who want to better the system they represent, to scorned citizens with a personal vendetta towards an employee in the system or towards the entire system itself. It is not uncommon for superintendents to lose contract renewals because of political disagreements or power struggles with the school board (Schlechty, 1997).


Interpretation of Findings While sustainability is desirable in all organizations, this study suggests there is vulnerability in school systems as organizations. A school board of education has a great deal of power, and this power does not have a system of checks and balances other than the voting of the general public. Most board members in West Virginia are elected to 4-year terms. Therefore, a board of education that uses its authority in a harmful way can destroy a school system


Spring 2011 Vol. 8 No. 1 Virginia Educational Leadership 89


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93
Produced with Yudu - www.yudu.com