Rural Superintendents' Experiences with Empowerment and Alignment to Vision in the Application of Principle-Centered Leadership

Shelby Lynn Davidson, Jennifer Butcher


This qualitative phenomenological narrative inquiry research study used narrative inquiry to investigate rural superintendents’ experiences with the application of principle-centered leadership in their districts. Ten superintendents from rural districts in east Texas were interviewed. Narratives were analyzed by organizing, describing, classifying, and interpreting data collected from the interviews. The study results support the notion that the application of principle-centered leadership helps superintendents to become effective leaders in their districts. Other findings from this study include the notion that effective superintendents practice the tenets of principle-centered leadership with different actions and methods based on their beliefs and personalities. Findings also emphasized that trustworthiness and trust is the foundation of principle-centered leadership, which allows for empowerment and alignment to vision. This study provides superintendents and other educational leaders with practices critical to practicing principle-centered leadership in order to become more effective leaders in their districts.


superintendents, principle-centered leadership, trust, trustworthiness, empowerment, alignment to vision, rural district

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Publication of the National Rural Education Association -

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