Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Education (Ed.D.)


Administrative and Instructional Leadership

First Advisor

Anthony Annunziato

Second Advisor

Richard Bernarto

Third Advisor

James Campbell


This study was an examination of the extent to which a relationship exists between teachers’ perceptions of self-empowerment and teachers’ perceptions of their administrators’ leadership effectiveness. The study focused on human relations theory to explore and describe the leadership styles of administrators through the perceptions of teachers’ self-empowerment. The participants in this study were general education teachers employed at two secondary schools (Grades 6–12) within a public school district located in the northeastern part of the United States, consisting of 150 teachers. A total of 73 general education teachers were part of the study with 12 study participants volunteering to participate in one of two focus groups with six participants in each focus group. Through a series of triangulated analyses and an explanatory mixed-methods approach, the teacher participants were administered a self-empowerment, Likert-scaled survey, the School Participant Empowerment Scale, developed by Paula M. Short, to determine their perceptions of leadership styles. The study explored the subscales of leadership styles researched by Harvard graduate and Happiness Coach, Shawn Achor. Several sources of data, such as the survey answers and the information drawn from the two focus groups, were analyzed into a mixed methods explanatory study. The study also focused on the domains of leadership styles relating to relationships, climate/structure, and task orientation. The teachers’ perceptions of self-empowerment were measured through the subscales of involvement, decision making, and responsibility. This study compared the culture of the school buildings with a focus on change theory to compare transformational leadership styles. Utilizing the framework set forth by Achor, the theory of positive psychology in the workplace determined the correlation between the teachers’ perceptions of self-empowerment and their administrators’ leadership styles.