Date of Award

Spring 5-22-2022

Document Type

Dissertation - University of Massachusetts Global access only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Timothy McCarty

Second Advisor

Keith Larick

Third Advisor

Carlos Guzman



Effective School Board Presidents: Team Dynamics and Teamwork Strategies

During Times of Complex School Board Decisions

by James Vaughn, Jr.

Purpose: This qualitative multicase study described the task and relationship team dynamics of school board presidents and their governance teams and described strategies and recommendations as perceived by exemplary school board presidents based on Parker’s (2008) model.

Methodology: A qualitative multicase study research design described the team dynamics, strategies, and recommendations of school board presidents. School board presidents were interviewed.

Findings: School board presidents need to develop a culture of compromise for governance teams to make effective decisions. Respectful communication and interactions build cohesion in teams. Adhering to norms and protocols promotes best practices such as giving all team members an equal voice in decision making. Shifting the purpose of governance teams can be influenced by historical and cultural values, and professional development needs to be improved through retreats and special study sessions.

Conclusions: For governance teams to be effective, school board presidents need to cultivate a climate of trust, compromise, and open communication; to maintain a respectful culture and climate; to establish norms and protocols such as active listening; and to establish a clear purpose that assists the board to maintain focus. School board presidents also need to prioritize professional development training.

Recommendations: Further research is recommended: (a) a qualitative multiple case study to broaden this study by incorporating data from school board presidents and superintendents, (b) a qualitative multiple case study conducted with school board presidents from other states within the boundaries of this study, (c) a Delphi study conducted with school board presidents regarding the strategies they use to transition their school board into a team, (d) a qualitative phenomenology study that examines how school board presidents facilitate common ground with the school board, and (e) a qualitative case study conducted to address the strategies school board presidents use to foster a psychologically safe environment.