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The perceptions of success in the personal -social styles of school superintendents

Daniel Jerome Schartz, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The purpose of this study was to examine the success of school superintendents as measured by years of experience, and by their versatility rating using TRACOM's Social Style Profile. Versatility was examined to discover its predominance in personal-social styles, and its relationship to tenure. TRACOM is a research company for business-trade organizations. ^ Superintendents in Kansas and Nebraska were used in this study. Seven years experience in the same position was used as one measure of success. Versatility was used as a second measure of success. There were 199 of 948 superintendents (21%) who were in the same superintendency seven or more years. Enrollments of 200 to 3000 students was the criteria for district size. There were 603 such districts in Kansas and Nebraska. ^ Superintendents completed TRACOM's Social Style Profile. Board members completed the same instrument on their superintendent. The profile measures consensus from the group on perceptions of how a person acts in interpersonal situations, and how the raters are impacted by that person's behavior. This produces a picture of a person's style. One part of a person's social style is versatility. TRACOM's Social Style Profile research shows a significant relationship between versatility and effectiveness or being successful. In this research study, statistical procedures were used with the data to discover relationships between superintendents' versatility and tenure. ^ The hypothesis was: high versatility has a positive relationship with longer tenure in the same position. The null hypothesis of this study was that no relationship existed between versatility and longevity. The statistical conclusion verified the null hypothesis. The most important finding was that superintendents score higher versatility than leaders in all other careers. That may show us that good school leaders could make good leaders in all fields. ^ This study examined how superintendents perceive their personal-social styles, and how school boards perceive their superintendents' styles. Only 40% of the superintendents perceived themselves the same way their boards perceived them. In contrast, 60% of superintendents perceived themselves differently from the way their board perceived them. Predominance in personal-social styles among superintendents was also presented. Most importantly, perceptions of success in superintendents as measured by the high ratings of versatility from boards who work with them, presented strong evidence that good school leaders may make good leaders in many fields. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration

Recommended Citation

Schartz, Daniel Jerome, "The perceptions of success in the personal -social styles of school superintendents" (2001). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3022662.