Effective Superintendents: Communication and Team Leadership

Lars G. Björk, Tricia Browne-Ferrigno, Theodore J. Kowalski

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Since the introduction of the school district superintendent position in the United States during the middle of the nineteenth century, multiple social, economic, political, and technological changes have profoundly affected the nature of public schooling and redefined superintendents’ work. In order to appreciate the nature of superintendents’ work, one must also understand the decentralized, state-based system of public education in the United States as well as the institutional characteristics of school districts. The diversity of performance expectations for school district superintendents provides insight into the multiple and diverse roles they play in educational reform. The top seven problems facing superintendents are: district finances, school board relations, assessment of student-learning outcomes, planning and goal setting, changing priorities in curriculum, management problems, and accountability and credibility. Five role conceptualizations of the superintendent are grounded in an analysis of historical discourse on the superintendency: teacher-scholars, organizational managers, democratic leaders, applied social scientists, and communicators.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Applied Communication Research
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 1: Volume 2
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781119399926
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 John Wiley and Sons, Inc. Published 2020 by John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (all)
  • Social Sciences (all)


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