Leadership Studies Ed.D. Dissertations


Perceptions of Administrative Support and Follower Readiness in Middle School Teachers

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Judy Jackson May

Second Advisor

Jeanne Novak (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Patrick Pauken (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Rachel Vannatta Reinhart (Committee Member)

Fifth Advisor

Jamie Hollinger (Committee Member)


Twenty first century educational trends in the United States include increased accountability as well as standards that have served to challenge our expectations, practices and perceptions of teaching and learning. Educators, at all levels, are expected to do more with less and therefore must examine, modify, and improve current practices to create more effective systems. Research strongly supports the development of the principal-teacher relationship as a vital element in creating a positive learning environment laying the foundation for increased student achievement. The purpose of this correlational study was to examine how K-12 teachers perceived administrative support and how these perceptions were predictive of teacher self-reported follower readiness (Willingness and Ability) to engage in practices that enhance the learning community. Middle school teachers from three districts completed the Methner Administrative Support Survey (MASS) to ascertain their perceptions of principal support and the correlation between perceived support and their willingness and ability. Significant findings were revealed in four areas of the study. Forward multiple regression analysis found that Reflection and Growth was a significant variable in teacher Willingness and Overall Follower Readiness. Significant differences were also found relative to teacher years of experience in the areas of Instructional Improvement and Feedback. Additionally, Reflection and Growth, Overall Follower Readiness, and Ability were shown to be significant variables where teachers believed that Efforts to Build Teacher-Principal Relationships were present. And lastly significant mean differences were found between the three school districts in their perceptions of administrative support. Conclusions drawn from this study suggest that principals might improve teacher willingness by focusing on strategies that promote teacher growth and reflective inquiry. These strategies include but are not limited to: 1) journaling; 2) peer-collaboration; 3) teacher self-analysis of videotaped lessons; and more broadly 4) by establishing schools as learning communities. Additionally, teachers of varying stages in their careers may benefit from individualized and contextualized administrative support, frequent observation and systematic feedback, and mentorship from multiple sources. Central office decision-making frameworks may also consider the value of individualization/contextualization regarding staffing choices for individual buildings. The results of this study seek to provide valuable insight relative to: 1) what teachers perceive is appropriate administrative support; and 2) what skills administrators need to possess to enhance the school learning community.