Date of Award

Winter 2-13-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Doug DeVore

Second Advisor

Carol Woo

Third Advisor

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 method was decided by 8 thematic researchers to study the high school principals’ perceived impact of the 7 servant leadership constructs developed by Patterson (2003) on establishing a culture of high performance. This method was selected to investigate the experiences, perceptions, and impact of the participants to help identify how the establishment of a culture of high performance in a high school setting is achieved. The population for this study was high school principals within Riverside County.

Findings: The qualitative data from the 8 high school principals participating in this study indicated a variety of findings. The data revealed 15 themes and 233 references across the 7 servant leadership constructs. There were 15 key findings and 15 major findings.

Conclusions: The study supported five conclusions drawn from the data findings that described the perceived impact of the 7 servant leadership constructs for establishing a culture of high performance for high school principals. Principals who established a culture of high performance must (a) allow for construct alignment, (b) empower staff and stakeholders, (c) foster relationship building, (d) show genuine care for others, (e) create a spirit of service.

Recommendations: Further research is recommended on the seven servant leadership constructs. The study should be replicated at high schools nationwide to gain national perspective. A comparative study should be conducted between high school principals and assistant principals who’ve adopted Patterson’s servant leadership constructs. A quantitative study would provide insight into use of servant leadership constructs and its correlation to high levels of student performance. A comparative qualitative study should be done to engage principals of high and low performing schools. Another thematic team should continue the study how servant leadership impacts a culture of high performance in schools with underrepresented populations.