Date of Award

Spring 4-9-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Patricia White

Second Advisor

Dr. Julie Hadden

Third Advisor

Dr. Marilou Ryder


Purpose: The purpose of this phenomenological study was to identify and explore how exemplary female superintendents who have achieved extraordinary results influence employees through personal motivation, personal ability, social motivation, social ability, structural motivation, and structural ability.

Methodology: This phenomenological study identified and explored how 11 exemplary female superintendents who have achieved extraordinary results influence employees through personal motivation, social motivation, structural motivation, personal ability, social ability, and structural ability to achieve extraordinary results. Respondents were chosen from exemplary female superintendents in three Southern California counties who met the study criteria. Data were collected through interviews, observations, and artifacts. Data collected were coded and triangulated to identify study findings.

Findings: Exemplary female superintendents use the following influence strategies to produce extraordinary results: recognizing, appreciating, and celebrating meaningful work; creating a culture of collaboration and teamwork; building capacity through professional learning opportunities; knowing, caring for, and valuing employees; building strong connections and relationships; developing a culture of mutual respect; providing resources and support; recognizing and celebrating their successes; and creating an environment that promotes open communication.

Conclusions: This study concluded that female superintendents who wish to influence their employees to achieve extraordinary results must recognize, appreciate, and celebrate meaningful staff work and create a culture of collaboration and teamwork. They must also build capacity in their employees through professional learning opportunities and build strong connections and relationships with their staff by knowing, caring for, and valuing their employees, which creates a culture of mutual respect. Female superintendents who meet the needs of their employees by providing them with the resources and support they need to be successful recognize and celebrate the successes of their employees and create environments that promote open communication are more likely to achieve extraordinary results.

Recommendations: Further research is recommended on influence strategies that leaders from positions in and outside of education use to achieve extraordinary results, and on similarities and differences of influence strategies based on gender or where in the United States the leaders reside. Also recommended is using a mixed methods approach to study influence strategies that leaders use to achieve extraordinary results.