Perceived leadership effectiveness of male and female directors of schools

Susan Marie Gore, Tennessee State University


This study investigated the leadership effectiveness of female directors of schools compared to male directors of schools as perceived by principals in Middle Tennessee. An abbreviated version of the Diagnostic Survey of Leadership Improvement consisting of ten items was used to measure principals' perceived satisfaction with selected leadership behaviors. The study sought to determine if statistically significant differences existed in perceptions of leadership effectiveness when comparing male directors of schools to female directors of schools as reported by male principals, by female principals, and by the total group. The study further determined if statistically significant differences exist in principals' perception of leadership effectiveness based on whether the school district was considered rural or urban. All seven systems having a female director of schools in Middle Tennessee and seven randomly selected systems having a male director of schools were used for this study. The survey was sent to all 134 principals within these fourteen school systems with 108 principals responding. Following statistical analysis of the data, it was found that male and female principals did not perceive leadership effectiveness of male directors of schools as equal based on their mean intensity scores. Female principals perceived gender as a factor in leadership effectiveness for male directors of schools. However, when comparing the overall total group of male and female principals, it was found that gender of the director of schools was not a factor in perceived leadership effectiveness. It was further found that location of the school district (rural vs. urban) was a factor in perceived leadership effectiveness for directors of schools. It was recommended that a national study be conducted by the U.S. Department of Education to determine the number of qualified female administrators, the number of females who applied for top educational executive positions, and the number of females who were rejected.

Subject Area

School administration|Womens studies

Recommended Citation

Susan Marie Gore, "Perceived leadership effectiveness of male and female directors of schools" (2000). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3007604.