Examining transformational leaders’ motivation to make a difference in a West Texas school district: A mixed methods study
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ABSTRACT Transformational school leaders at all levels are responsible for student achievement in public education in the 21st century. The purpose of this study is to examine transformational leaders’ motivation in a West Texas school district. This study utilized a sequential explanatory mixed method design. The study included a questionnaire that measured leadership style that was given to 113 principals and assistant principals; 44 surveys were voluntarily returned (39% response rate). Multiple regression analysis revealed a significant contribution to the prediction of the amount of ethical training and the self-reported score measuring transformational leadership with p < .05. Based on that self-reported survey score, six-purposefully selected participants were interviewed in an open-ended, semi-structured interview that contributed to the qualitative portion of the study. The qualitative findings revealed five themes: shared leadership/vision, innovation/creativity, morals/ethics, drive/motivation, and mentor/coaching. The quantitative phase results indicate a correlation between ethical training and self-reported transformational leadership. The qualitative theme of drive/motivation expanded upon the intrinsic motivation to be a transformational leader, and the quantitative results further substantiated ethics training as a component of transformational leadership. Implications of the study are that further research in transformational leadership as a tool for increasing student achievement is needed especially in the areas of ethical and intrinsic motivation research. Future research is needed on the entrepreneurial actions of transformational school leaders, and if those actions contribute to overall student achievement.