Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



Number of Pages



The study sought answers to the following questions: (1) How are school administrators portrayed in American novels? (2) Can any trends or patterns be established by an analysis of the portrayals? (3) How do these fictional portrayals compare with descriptions in the professional literature? (4) Are the fictional portrayals stereotypes?;Chapter 1 introduced the topic; examined its significance contending that fictional writers mirror society and, adversely, affect society; listed assumptions and limitations; and defined terms; Chapter 2 provided a survey of related studies. Other cross-discipline studies were cited. Then, studies which emphasized personal characteristics of the administrator, the nature of the job, and stereotyping were examined; Next, sampling, instrumentation, and research procedures were summarized in Chapter 3. The sample consisted of fifty American novels written since 1940 containing references to public or private school principals or assistant principals; superintendents; or college or university deans or presidents. Grounded theory, which is not based on a priori assumptions, was employed in the research. Additionally, content analysis was used in analyzing excerpted passages; The selected novels were examined in Chapter 4 which was organized into subsections: public school administrators, private school administrators, superintendents, college or university deans and presidents. The coding categories devised were demographic characteristics, task areas, leadership styles, organizational theories, and power sources; Chapter 5 summarized the findings, drew conclusions, made recommendations, and offered suggestions for further research. The major conclusions were as follows: (1) the overall portrayal of school administrators was negative; (2) public school administrators were most often depicted in the task areas of pupil and staff personnel; private school administrators in pupil personnel and community school leadership; and college or university administrators in community school leadership, staff, and finances; (3) the leadership style most often employed by the characters was a 9,1 style--a high concern for task and a low concern for people; (4) the administrators were most often portrayed as bureaucrats; (5) the administrators studied most frequently used coercive power; (6) school administrators were not often characters in novels and even less frequently were they heroes; (7) there was often a discrepancy between the novelists' descriptions of school administrators and descriptions in the professional literature; and (8) a stereotype of the school administrator existed.


Administrators; American; Novel; School

Controlled Subject

School management and organization

File Format


File Size

11489.28 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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