Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Leadership (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Sarah J. Noonan; Kathleen M. Boyle; David W. Peterson


I conducted a phenomenological study to determine how the Minnesota merit pay bill Quality Compensation for Teachers (Q-Comp) affected the roles and responsibilities of principals. I reviewed scholarly literature regarding changes in the historical role of principals and fluctuations in educational pay-for-performance plans since the 20th century. I examined supervision responsibilities of principals and similarities in the role of the peer coach. Analytical theories, including Fullan’s (2007) change theory and Bolman and Deal’s (2013) multi-frame thinking, added to the conceptual framework of the study. In-depth interviews with principals with experience in their roles both prior to and during the implementation of Q-Comp revealed initial uncertainty and subsequent adjustments to changes in the evaluation of tenured teachers, including collaboration with peer coaches in a shared leadership role. Principals also shared their perceptions of the impact peer coaches had on the roles and responsibilities of their positions over the course of ten years. The data revealed four factors representing changes in principals’ roles due to the implementation of Q-Comp: (a) supporting and evaluating tenured teachers, (b) addressing concerns regarding poorly performing tenured teachers, (c) maintaining oversight of school culture, and (d) improving the quality of learning and teaching through collaborative efforts with teachers and peer coaches. Based on the findings, my recommendations focus on the need for principals to (a) adapt to change and develop new symbols to represent the culture of the school, (b) recognize peer coaches as instructional leaders, (c) maximize the leadership role of principals, and (d) improve school culture through growing professionalism.


merit pay, commitment, teachers, professional development, principals’ roles

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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