A Correlational Study of a Random Stratified Sample of Superintendents in Michigan – Analyzing the Relationship Between MBTI® Reported Personality Preference Types and FIRO-B™ Interpersonal Leadership Styles, MBTI® Perceived and
Abstract (Summary)In a search of educational leadership literature for models of school leadership that consider personality type, this researcher found that most scholars have avoided the topic of personality in favor of a focus on leadership skills (Richard, 2000; Shibley, 2002); or issues of certification and professional training (Holloway, 2001); or a focus on the office of the superintendency, rather than on the type of person who is most effective in that office (Keedy & Bjork, 2001; Muffs, Sullivan, & Fried, 2003). Three research questions were developed to guide this correlational study where one statistically significant relationship was found between the MBTI® preference type Sensing and the FIRO-B™ leadership style Expressed Control. Superintendent respondents with the Sensing preference expressed a greater need to be influential and responsible in their districts than other preference types. Three instruments were used to collect the data about the 44 participants: the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) Form M, the Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation-Behavior ™ (FIRO-B™), and a brief demographic questionnaire. The findings include the following: 96% of the Michigan superintendent respondents were Caucasian; 88.6% were male. Forty and nine-tenths percent were aged 56 or older. Close to half (47.7%) had been in their positions for five or fewer years. All (100%) of the respondents had advanced degrees beyond the bachelor’s. Forty-six percent held a master’s degree and 30% held an earned doctoral degree. One fourth of the respondents held specialist degrees. Twenty-three percent fit the MBTI® profile of ISTJ (Introvert-Sensing-Thinking-Judging) followed by ESTJ (Extravert-Sensing-Thinking-Judging), describing 21% of the superintendents. On the FIRO-B™, 41% of the participants exhibited low Expressed Control characteristics and an identical proportion exhibited medium Expressed Control attributes. On the dimension of low Expressed Control and low Wanted Control, 23% of the superintendents exhibited the aspects. No respondent scored high on Wanted Control for any of the Expressed Control categories. The quality of district leadership would benefit by systematic research on the interaction of superintendents’ behavior and educational outcomes. It would follow, then, that there is also a definite need for exploring the attributes of educational leaders and their relation to situational factors and educational outcomes.
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:01/01/2006