Date of Award

Winter 12-7-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Laurie Goodman

Second Advisor

Keith Larick

Third Advisor

Phil Pendley


Purpose: The purpose of this mixed methods study was to determine whether there was a relationship between the small school elementary principal organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs) as measured by the Principal School OCB Survey and the student academic achievement on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) in California small school districts. An additional purpose was to determine how small school elementary principals identify and describe the impact of their personal behaviors on school culture and climate.

Methodology: This is a mixed methods study. Archival data were collected from the California Department of Education (CDE) Dashboard, and additional data were collected from the Principal School OCB Survey for comparison analysis. In addition, qualitative data were collected by conducting in-depth interviews with 12 principals of rural small schools. In particular, the study focused on the variables of organizational citizenship behaviors and student achievement in two groups: principals and students in small elementary school districts in California.

Findings: This study identified the personal behaviors (as delineated by the elements of OCB) of small school elementary principals and their impact of trust and courtesy on student achievement. In addition, the study looked at decision-making, openness, risk-taking, and altruism and the impact they have in school culture and climate on student achievement. The study also sought to understand the degree to which principals’ vi perceptions regarding trust, courtesy, decision-making, openness, risk-taking, and altruism help to create a strong, cohesive culture and climate.

Conclusions: The study concluded that principals’ organizational citizenship behaviors in relation to school culture and climate could have a profound impact on the school environment and academic achievement.

Recommendations: It is recommended that a replication study be conducted using a secondary panel of principals with the same criteria to examine the representation of high school principals. It is also recommended to conduct a qualitative study to explore the personal behaviors of principals in elementary schools in California who came from different countries. Their perceptions and attitudes toward this construct may provide interesting viewpoints.