A cross-case study exploring former school board member's perceptions when selecting and hiring a superintendent




Reininger, Roxanne

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title




The purpose of the present study was to explore the nature of hiring a public-school superintendent in a context, which challenged school board trustees to select a particular type of leader. The researcher’s intent was to study three former school board trustees who were initially involved in what they considered a complex change process, exploring their perceptions about change and the leader they hired to effect change. The use of a qualitative cross-case study comprised the appropriate research design for this approach to investigate a contemporary phenomenon, seeking to understand real-world context (Yin, 2018). Three questions guided the research, (a) What events/situations are characterized by school board trustees as needing change within a district? (b) From the perspective of the school board trustee, what skills, values, and competencies are important for the work of the superintendent to effect change? And (c) What mental models are used by school board trustees when hiring a superintendent? Data were initially organized into general themes, including, context, necessary change, and superintendent changes. Subsequently, a cross-case analysis generated several themes, including (a) Called to Serve, (b) Motivated by Concerns, (c) Committee to Purpose P, (d) Hiring Processes Utilized, and (e) Superintendent Staying Power, and (f) Gender Absence: A Constant Refrain. Implications for practice and future research were discussed.



educational leadership, superintendent, school board



This material is made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user assumes full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used should be fully credited with its source. All rights are reserved and retained regardless of current or future development or laws that may apply to fair use standards. Permission for publication of this material, in part or in full, must be secured with the author and/or publisher.