Date of Award

Fall 12-22-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Douglas DeVore

Second Advisor

Dr. Carol Anderson-Woo

Third Advisor

Dr. Alan Enomoto


Purpose: The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore and describe the perceived impact of Patterson’s (2003) 7 servant leadership constructs on high school principals in establishing a culture of high performance.

Methodology: The qualitative phenomenological study described the lived experiences of high school principals who lead schools that have implemented Patterson's (2003) 7 servant leadership constructs for establishing a culture of high performance in Los Angeles County, California. The researcher was a part of 8 peer researchers and 2 faculty advisors. The data collection included virtual face-to-face semi structured interviews using a protocol developed by the thematic team. Observations and artifacts for triangulation were utilized, and data were coded for emergent themes.

Findings: The data revealed 16 themes and 329 references across the 7 servant leadership constructs of agapao love, humility, altruism, vision, trust, empowerment, and service. Sixteen key findings and 7 major findings were discovered.

Conclusions: Five conclusions were drawn from the data and findings that described the perceived impact of the 7 servant leadership constructs for establishing a culture of high performance for high school principals. High school principals who establish a culture of high performance must (a) adopt and connect all the 7 constructs and understand how the constructs work in relationship to each other, (b) make the need for serving others key, (c) have a compassionate love for all, (d) have a vision of growth and change, and (e) develop trust through their actions.

Recommendations: Further research is needed on servant leadership and the associated constructs. Replications of this study should focus on gaining a deeper depth of knowledge regarding high school principals, including low-performing schools, specific genders, and broader geographic locations. All aspiring administrators must be trained in Patterson’s (2003) 7 servant leadership constructs. To conclude, a meta-analysis research study should be considered, using data from all 8 thematic team members' studies to deepen the understanding of servant leadership across all fields of K-12 education.