Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Forde, M. Connie

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Elementary, Middle, and Secondary School Administration

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


The purpose of this non-experimental study was to investigate teacher empowerment and the participatory management within the schools’ cultures. Also, the study investigated the teachers’ expectations of their students’ social skill competency needs and classroom behavioral practices within the existing school culture. Pearson r coefficients were used to determine the degree of relationship between teachers’ perceived empowerment and school culture. Independent t-tests were run on the mean scores between middle school and high school teacher perception of autonomy and collaborative leadership. Responses to an open-ended questionnaire were analyzed as qualitative data on teacher expectations of student social skill competency. Descriptive profiles of the administrators’ strategies in the process of decision making and the formal structured participative management system were calculated. Cross tabulation of school, gender, and years of experience for the administrators’ participatory leadership was included. After data was analyzed, a positive correlation was determined for teacher empowerment and school culture from both the middle school and the high school. The independent t-tests indicated statistically significant differences between the two groups of teachers for autonomy and collaborative leadership. The data from the open-ended questionnaire indicated that teachers’ expectations of social skills in the classroom include cooperation and self-control, but not necessarily assertion. Administrators from both the middle school and the high school agreed that there exists a degree of participatory management. The male administrators with more years experience indicated that explicit procedures for participatory management are only used some of the time and exist infrequently at their schools. It was concluded that overall, the middle school fostered a school climate where teacher empowerment was facilitated by the administration and the teachers. Recommendations included a future study involving teacher empowerment in elementary schools and participatory leadership style in relationship to gender.