Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Keith Larick, Ed.D.
Robert Leri, Ed.D.
Marylou Wilson, Ed.D.
Purpose: The purpose of this qualitative multiple-case study was to identify and describe strategies exemplary superintendents of urban elementary K–8 school districts in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Diego counties used to lead in crisis using the five critical tasks of strategic crisis leadership (CTSCL; sense making, decision making and coordination, meaning making, accounting, and learning; Arjen Boin et al., 2017) during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. In addition, it was the purpose to understand and describe the experiences of exemplary leaders during a time of crisis.
Methodology: Through a qualitative multiple-case study, interviews were obtained to collect qualitative data. Qualitative data were collected through one-on-one interviews and artifacts from exemplary superintendents of elementary urban K–8 public school districts in Southern California. Semistructured interview questions were tied directly to the CTSCL (sense making, decision making and coordination, meaning making, accounting, and learning; Arjen Boin et al., 2017). After data collections from each study participant, a narrative report detailing each case in the multiple-case study was developed to share empirical findings and to identify and describe the strategies exemplary superintendents of urban elementary K–8 school district used during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 and describe their experiences during a time of crisis.
Findings: Exemplary superintendents of urban elementary K–8 school districts interviewed for this research study described the importance of prioritization, communication, trust, incorporating lessons learned, strategic crisis leadership, and management related to the five CTSCL of sense making, decision making and coordination, meaning making, accounting, and learning.
Conclusions: By identifying and describing strategies exemplary superintendents of urban elementary K–8 school districts used to lead during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is concluded that current and aspiring superintendents be supported with strategies to address crises to better lead their organizations successfully.
Recommendations: Further research is recommended for replication with broader populations, including superintendents in rural areas and as a mixed methods study. It is recommended to include principals and the five CTSCL be incorporated into aspiring superintendent academies and standards for educational leaders.
Andry, Raymond, "Crisis Leadership of Exemplary Superintendents of Urban Elementary K–8 Districts During the COVID-19 Crisis of 2020" (2022). Dissertations. 461.