Organization Development



Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Organization Development (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



John Conbere

Second Advisor

Alla Heorhiadi

Third Advisor

Megan Rounds


The transition to a new principal in any school setting is an important time for both students and teachers because principals play a large part in shaping school culture. No research to date was found that focused on the teacher experience when a new principal is hired. This interpretive case study sought to understand the teacher experience during a principal transition and the teachers’ perceptions of the role that the principal played in the transition. The study site was Lincoln Elementary, a public elementary school located in Minnesota of the United States. Interviews were conducted from November 2014 to January 2015, with 12 participants, including specialists, English learner teachers, classroom teachers, a former dean of students, and a principal who formerly taught at Lincoln. Teachers revealed their experience during a recent principal transition, which was reported to be positive. Four major themes emerged regarding what teachers experienced: an improved school work environment, a graphic vision for the school’s future, more systems to support students and learning, and more building-based professional development. While this study may not be applicable to other principal transitions, it added to the body of knowledge by filling a gap regarding the teacher experience during one principal transition. It highlighted the need for principals to examine the impact of their actions on teachers, likewise for managers regarding their employees. This study provided a rare view into what teachers experienced.

Creative Commons License

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