This dissertation describes the formation and practices of the Leadership Team (LT) in the Metropolitan School District of Decatur Township (MSDDT), focusing on the attendance patterns of its members (e.g., arriving late, leaving early, not attending). The purpose of this dissertation was to improve the guidance offered by the Guidance System for Transforming Education (GSTE) to the MSDDT (i.e., guidance on the implementation of their district-wide systemic change efforts) by prescribing preventive measures that could reduce attendance problems of members in their LT.
This dissertation presents a brief summary of an extensive literature review on the importance of the problem studied, as well as what is currently known about the problem (i.e., existing design theories and empirical research studies on attendance for similar teams).
The research questions that guided this dissertation focus on what happened (LT member attendance history - trends and patterns), why it happened (factors that impacted LT attendance), and how it could be improved (what changes in activities and practices could have a positive impact on LT member attendance).
The methodology followed a Formative Research design (Reigeluth & Frick, 1999), which for this research study consisted of the (1) selection of a design theory (i.e., GSTE), (2) selection of an instance (i.e., aspects of the systemic change effort in MSDDT that influenced attendance at LT meetings over an eight-month period), (3) collection and analysis of data (i.e., observations and interviews, and categorization, coding, member checking and triangulation), and finally (4) offering of tentative revisions to the theory (i.e., possible enhancements to the GSTE and practices implemented at MSDDT).
Results indicated that personal emergencies, meeting design practices, and not forming an attendance task-force are factors that influenced attendance rate over time. The LT members' suggestions to improve their attendance at LT meetings were found to be of merit by the researcher, though some suggestions were identified as limited or out of scope for the current systemic change effort. The researcher also made several suggestions to supplement the ones offered by LT members, with the advice that all recommendations offered in this research study should be considered for implementation in combination with each other, for they are complementary.