Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Major Professor

Darlene Bruner, Ed.D.

Committee Member

William Black, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Bobbie Greenlee, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Yi-Hsin Chen, Ph.D.


School Reform, Organizational Change, Transformational Leadership, Transactional Leadership, School Accountability


This study examined the commitment of teachers to the implementation of ninth grade academies and their perceptions of school leadership during the reform process. Concern for successful high school completion prompted the redesign of ninth grade into a school-within-a-school format within a Florida school district. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the type of commitment and form of leadership evident in this reform initiative along with the relationship between them. As a mindset for change, commitment was represented as affective, normative, and continuance. Leadership styles were delineated as transformational, transactional, and passive/avoidant along with related outcomes of effectiveness, satisfactions and extra effort. This study utilized an electronic survey with purposive sampling. Five questions concerning the type of commitment, the form of leadership and outcomes, and the correlation between commitment and leadership guided this research. Descriptive analysis of the responses from 105 teachers produced findings of both affective and normative commitment to change and evidence of transformational leadership as well as the contingent reward dimension of transactional leadership. Leadership outcomes of effectiveness, satisfaction, and extra effort were also expressed by teachers. The results validated the presence of affective and normative commitment of teachers responsible for reform efforts and indicated a relational influence between transformational and transactional leadership behaviors with these two forms of commitment to change. Current pressures of accountability have channeled schools into models of continuous improvement. If schools are to enact lasting change, an understanding of commitment and leadership is needed to produce sustainable school reform.