Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


School superintendents--Social networks--Iowa;


The purpose of this study was to describe the informal communication network of public school superintendents in the state of Iowa. This investigation was initiated because the literature on the superintendency remains silent to the topic of communication relationships among superintendents. For purposes of this study, networking was defined as activities leading to the formation of peer relationships resulting in the acquisition of useful information, advice, moral support, or socializing and mentoring opportunities.

The collection of data was made possible by means of a self-reporting survey mailed to all public school superintendents in Iowa. The survey reflected the standard approach taken by sociometric researchers in that respondents were asked to identify other Iowa superintendents they perceived of as admired colleagues, as effective leaders, and as direct sources of information or support.

A multi-step analysis of the data, highlighted by the computation of numerous connectedness ratios, was undertaken to determine the extent to which the informal communication network of Iowa public school superintendents was influenced by the attributes of group affiliation, accessibility, status, and task relationship. Group affiliation was operationalized as age, ethnicity, gender, and graduate school attended. Accessibility meant geographic proximity as determined by the area education agencies (AEAs) serving the districts of the superintendents studies. Status included salary, years of experience as a superintendent, and school district enrollment. Task relationship assumed that some superintendents influence other superintendents because of their personal qualities rather than as a result of the performance skills they possess.

Findings associated with the four research questions included in this study revealed differences in networking patterns among Iowa public school superintendents because of age, gender, geographic proximity, salary, enrollment, and personal qualities. In addition, 23 individuals were identified as networking stars because of the high frequency of namings attributed to them.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Educational Administration and Counseling

First Advisor

David K. Else, Co-Chair

Second Advisor

Patricia R. Krysinski, Co-Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (ix, 192 pages)



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