A micropolitical perspective of strategic communication between a principal and teachers in a productive, innovative elementary school
Moore, Valerie Vogler
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The purpose of this qualitative study was to focus on strategic communication between a principal and teachers in a productive, elementary school. The research questions were: What strategic communication does the principal at Walters Elementary School use when communicating to her teachers? and What strategic communication do teachers at Walters Elementary School use when communicating to their principal? Based on the findings of this study, I have three insights. First, strategic communication is the process through which micropolitical behaviors are implemented. Second, people have purposes behind their actions. Third, people respond to others' behaviors as if they are purposeful. Strategic communication between the teachers and principal in this school were found to fall into three categories. First, strategic communication was used to build or strengthen the relationship between the teachers and principal. This communication centered around ceremonial events, trust, respect, friendship, empathy, and humor. Second, strategic communication empowered teachers. This communication focused on training, money, support, extra work, involvement, and creativity. Third, strategic communication was used to relay expectations. Expectations centered around children, appraisals, the suggestion box, the basket, nonnegotiables, and praise. However, these three broad categories, relationships, empowerment, and expectations, were not mutually exclusive because I observed that people can use strategic communication to attempt to accomplish several goals simultaneously. This was a single-case study, and I recognize that different people may have different methods through which they strategically communicate their messages. This study describes how the principal and teachers at Walters Elementary School strategically communicated.