Culminating Project Title
Date of Award
Culminating Project Type
Educational Administration and Leadership, K-12: Ed.D.
Educational Administration and Higher Education
School of Education
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Keywords and Subject Headings
principals, positive psychological capacities, critical incidents, authentic leadership, hope, self-efficiency, resilience, optimism
The foci of the study are the impacts of positive psychological capacities (PsyCaps) of hope, resilient, self-efficacy, and optimism on the authentic leadership of Minnesota secondary school principals during professional critical incidents. A critical incident is “defined as an interruption in the expected behaviours and developments in one’s life that produces strong emotions and a need to ‘make sense’ of the situation” (Weick, 1995; WorksafeBC, 2002, as cited in Lenarduzzi, 2015, p. 254). A professional critical incident is a reminder that leadership consists of successes and failures. Critical incidents make and remake leaders who are courageous enough to participate in self-reflection for personal and professional growth (Ackerman & Maslin-Ostrowski, 2002, 2004a, 2004b; Badaracco, 1997; Bennis & Thomas, 2002b, 2007; Maslin-Ostrowski & Ackerman, 2000; Quinn, 2005; Yamamoto, Gardiner, & Tenuto, 2014). While there is research on critical incidents and authentic leadership, there is no research on the impact of PsyCaps on select Minnesota secondary school principals’ authentic leadership performances during professional critical incidents.
The research approach adopted in this dissertation is a mixed methods approach. The quantitative component of the study utilized an online survey to gather data regarding the attitudes and behaviors associated with self-efficacy, hope, resilience, and optimism that Minnesota secondary school principals reported they utilized during professional critical incidents. A modified Psychological Capital Questionnaire (PCQ) survey was used in agreement with the copyright holders of the survey. The qualitative component of the study involved interviews with three principals who voluntarily submitted their contact information on the survey. Data from the survey and the interviews were analyzed to determine the attitudes and behaviors associated with positive psychological capacities a sample of Minnesota secondary school principals perceived they utilized to lead authentically during professional critical incidents and which of the positive psychological capacities they perceived had the greatest impact on their authentic leadership performances during professional critical incidents. Data from the interviews were analyzed to determine the impacts of the positive psychological capacities of hope, self-efficacy, resilience, and optimism on the successful leadership performances during professional critical incidents as perceived by select Minnesota secondary school principals.
The findings from the study provided evidence that select Minnesota secondary school principals perceived themselves as having high positive PsyCaps during critical incidents. All survey items were rated by principal respondents in the above average to high range on a 6-point Likert scale since all items had a mean score above a 4.0. The PsyCaps of confidence in analyzing situations, confidence in communicating building needs to superordinates, and confidence in successfully communicating strategies had the highest mean scores on the PCQ by select Minnesota secondary school principals during critical incidents. The study provides principals with information about psychological capacities, authentic leadership, and behaviors during critical incidents. It may also provide insight into future professional growth opportunities for principals in the area of psychological capacities.
Welch, Marcia, "The Perceived Impacts of Positive Psychological Capacities on the Authentic Leadership of Minnesota Secondary School Principals During Professional Critical Incidents" (2018). Culminating Projects in Education Administration and Leadership. 49.