Date of Award

Spring 3-18-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Philip Pendely

Second Advisor

Melissa Bazanos

Third Advisor

LaFaye Platter


Purpose: The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to describe the experiences of district teams that created and implemented systems of continuous improvement as part of the Systems Leadership Collaborative using the Coherence Framework.

Methodology: This phenomenological study used semi-structured interviews to provide a narrative of four California school districts’ experiences with the transformation process. Data were collected from interviews and coded for patterns and themes, using Fullan and Quinn’s (2015) Coherence Framework for analysis.

Findings: Key findings illustrated that selecting 2-3 actionable goals to focus and guide the district, creating collaborative structures, and developing collective capacity are key elements of transformation. In addition, the findings in the study indicated that foundational to these practices, building mutual trust through relational capacity, consistency and a commitment to communication are imperative.

Conclusion: The research and literature confirmed that implementation teams with senior leader participation and stakeholders of every level of the organization are necessary to success. In addition, a focus on building relational capacity, transparency and communicating ownership of both the problem and the solution.

Recommendations: Further research with the same districts is recommended to determine the extent and sustainability of continuous improvement systems and the impact on student learning.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.