The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type





Educational Administration and Higher Education


School of Education

First Advisor

Frances Kayona

Second Advisor

John Eller

Third Advisor

Amy Christensen

Fourth Advisor

David Lund

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 examine Minnesota public school superintendents’ perceptions as it relates to the sixteen attributes of authentic leadership as well as the four constructs of authentic leadership. This quantitative study used independent variables of gender, number of years serving in the superintendency, and district size to compare the four constructs of authentic leadership practices. After an extensive literature review on the historical role of the superintendent, current roles and issues faced by superintendents, leadership background and an authentic leadership overview, the Authentic Leadership Questionnaire (ALQ) was the survey tool selected and implemented to answer the research questions. Qualtrics, an online tool, was used to administer the survey.

A total of 145 Minnesota public school superintendents completed the survey, equating to a 45% return rate. The results of the survey showed 14 of the 16 ALQ items had a mean score between 3 (Fairly often) and 4 (Frequently, if not always), with Ethical conduct having the highest mean (3.80). The combined mean scores of the four major authentic leadership constructs of self-awareness (3.07), relational transparency (3.29), balanced processing (3.33), and internalized moral perspective (3.54) were between 3 (Fairly often) and 4 (Frequently, if not always) with combined standard deviations for each construct of less than one. Internalized moral perspective had the highest combined mean score for every disaggregated demographic category while self-awareness had either the lowest or tied for the lowest combined mean score for every demographic category.

This study found Minnesota public school superintendents self-report high levels of authentic leadership practices, according to the Authentic Leadership Questionnaire (ALQ). Minnesota public school superintendents also self-report a high degree of authentic leadership practices based on the four constructs of self-awareness, relational transparency, balanced processing and internalized moral perspective. Finally, this study found no differences in the four constructs based on the independent variables of gender, district enrollment and numbers of years serving in the superintendency.



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