The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Educational Administration and Leadership, K-12: Ed.D.


Educational Administration and Higher Education


School of Education

First Advisor

John Eller

Second Advisor

Kay Worner

Third Advisor

Frances Kayona

Fourth Advisor

Roger Worner

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of decentralization reform on the principals’ perceptions about their role(s) and capacities, and decentralization‘s strengths, weaknesses, and barriers that principals experienced in a southern Albanian school district from June 2008 through June 2013. The results of this study will be used to assist educational leaders in the implementation of decentralization reform in Albania as it moves toward its next phase.

A wealth of studies have identified differences in the role(s) and capacities of principals, as well as their perceptions of the strengths, weaknesses, and barriers resultant from decentralization reform in education systems worldwide. The reasons behind such a difference lie in the social, economic, and political context of the country in which the decentralization reform takes place. This study affirmed some of the ideas pertaining in research, as well as identified other elements that are particular to the context in Albania.

The participants of this study reported changes of the principal’s roles and capacities in textbook selection, teacher employment, School Board/Community Relations, OLM and OLD classes (academic enrichment activities), teacher professional development, management of school finances, accountability for outcomes, and class offerings after the decentralization reform. The reported strengths of decentralization reform were school-based management and stakeholder relationships. The subjects reported lack of accountability, principal’s leadership capacities, inadequate funding, teaching licensing, and interventions to textbook selections as weaknesses of decentralization reform. The reported barriers included people’s culture, management of school finances, bureaucracy and political influence, resources, and imprecise legal framework.

This study is significant because it provides insights about the impact of the decentralization reform in the Albanian education system from June 2008 through June 2013. Thus, it provides educational policy makers with valuable data for examining and modifying the policy to achieve the goals of the decentralization reform. It also helps school principals as it indicates the areas where principals need to work to improve their school effectiveness and leadership.


I would like to acknowledge those who have provided personal and professional support in my dissertation journey. A sincere thank you to: 

  • The Subjects of this study in a southern Albanian school district; 
  • Dr. John Eller, Dr. Roger Worner, Dr. Kay Worner, and Dr. Frances Kayona; 
  • Eglantina Cenolli (M.A.); 
  • Members of Cohort III of the Doctoral Program in Educational Administration and Leadership at St. Cloud State University; 
  • My parents, my spouse and my daughter.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.