Date of Award

Spring 5-2008

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership and Research

Committee Chair

Ronald Styron

Committee Chair Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Member 2

David Lee

Committee Member 2 Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Member 3

Linda McDowell

Committee Member 4

James T. Johnson


Residential schools fill a significant role in the academic and social education of deaf and hard-of-hearing students worldwide. Progress has been made in these schools as a result of a collaborative effort between schools and community working together. Administrators at the residential schools play essential roles in the academic and social processes of education and as such they must be aware of their own power bases and usages. Hersey and Blanchard (1993) maintained that it is essential for school administrators to be able to distinguish the power sources and to be knowledgeable about which power sources to use in a particular situation.

This study examined the power base perceptions of principals in residential schools for the deaf in the south area of the United States. Principals were distributed a demographic questionnaire and the Power Perception Profile—Perception of Self. Also, demographic questionnaires and the Power Perception Profile-Perception of Others were sent to 18 superintendents and 175 academic teachers of state operated and supported residential school for the Deaf that have a total student population of over 75 students.

The purpose of this study was to determine the self perceived bases of power used by principals in residential schools for the deaf, to examined the power base perceptions of the principal's power base usage and their ability to influence others, and to identified administrative profiles for the residential schools, as well as recognized those individual characteristics related exclusively to those holding administrative positions. Analysis of the data included: descriptive statistics, Paired Sample t-Test, Independent Sample t- Test, and correlation analysis. The level of significance was set at .05.

Findings showed that the principals' self perceived power bases scored high in the legitimate power source. The principals perceived themselves as being able to influence others and make decisions because of their title or position. Superintendents perceived the principal as being able to induce compliance of others by using the coercive power base, which is based on fear. Hearing academic teacher's rated their perceptions of their principal's use of coercive power base higher than that of the deaf academic teachers.