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The mediating role of sense of community in the relationship among principals' characteristics, district characteristics, and self-efficacy beliefs of public school principals in Florida

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The mediating role of sense of community in the relationship among principals' characteristics, district characteristics, and self-efficacy beliefs of public school principals in Florida
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Waskiewicz, Mildred Van Kessel
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THE MEDIATING ROLE OF SENSE OF COMMUNITY IN THE RELATIONSHIP
AMONG PRINCIPALS' CHARACTERISTICS, DISTRICT CHARACTERISTICS,
AND SELF-EFFICACY BELIEFS OF PUBLIC SCHOOL PRINCIPALS IN
FLORIDA














By

MILDRED VAN KESSEL WASKIEWICZ


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2002













This dissertation is dedicated to my parents, Mildred and Michael Van
Kessel, and to my daughter, Kristin. My deepest appreciation and gratitude go to
my parents for their unending support and encouragement throughout this
doctoral program. From my early years, my parents not only taught me to value
education but also to understand the importance of perseverance. They also
taught me to appreciate and look for the humorous side of life. All of which was
essential to this process. Their lives as my role models and mentors were also
instrumental in my career choice of social work in education. Their collective
wisdom has been a tremendous asset throughout my professional and
educational career.

I also thank my daughter, Kristin, whose encouragement and
understanding has been unwavering. While my career and educational
endeavors throughout her childhood and adolescence kept me very busy, we
were always there for each other. We continue to be an inspiration for and huge
supporter of each other. She has become a beautiful young adult who is vibrant
and will undoubtedly touch the future in her unique way.













ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to express my gratitude to my parents, Mildred and Michael

Van Kessel, and to my daughter, Kristin, for their support and encouragement

during this arduous process. I wish for my daughter the same love of learning

and spirit of determination that my parents instilled in me.

I am grateful to my chair, Dr. Jim Doud, for his warmth and compassion

throughout this process. Dr. Doud served to guide, inspire and lift me towards

this achievement. I am also appreciative of the other members of my committee

whose belief in me is heartfelt. I am grateful to Dr. Anne Seraphine for her time,

encouragement, and support in helping me to appreciate and better understand

statistical research. Her ability to make her love of research come alive for all of

her students is truly remarkable and unique. I want to thank Dr. Tom Oakland for

his time and support throughout this process. His thoughtful input and

contributions were invaluable. I also want to thank Dr. Fran Vandiver for her

guidance and support. Dr. Vandiver unknowingly challenged me to always

stretch a little farther.

I also give special thanks to Connie Weber-Sorice, my dear friend and

colleague, and her family. Connie helps others to understand that in every

journey, there is meaning; in every conflict, there is growth; in every action, there

is purpose; and in every moment of doubt, to remember to believe in yourself.

Connie has helped to make this doctoral program not only a destination, but also








a journey. Her steadfast support and encouragement has helped to make this

dream a reality for us both. For that I am eternally grateful.

I also want to acknowledge and thank the special ladies "back at the

office," including Agnes, Sue, Tammy, and Pat, for their moral support, words of

encouragement, and genuine interest throughout this process.

I also want to thank my other family members, many friends and

colleagues who were always supportive and helped to keep me focused. To the

other members of our doctoral cohort, those of whom who have graduated before

me as well as those of whom whose time has yet to come, I appreciate the

experiences we created and shared together.

I also appreciate the assistance of Barbara Smerage, my format editor, for

her assistance in the final stretch of this research project. And finally, I owe

special thanks to Dr. Patterson Lamb, my manuscript editor, whose thorough

review and critique in the final stages of this dissertation were invaluable. The

laughs we shared always helped to lighten to my spirit.














TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

ACKNOW LEDGM ENTS ................................................................................... iii

LIST OF TABLES ........................................................................................... Viii

LIST OF FIGURES ..................................................................................... ix

ABSTRACT....................................................................................................... x

CHAPTER

1 INTRODUCTION ...................................................................................... 1

Statement of the Problem ......................................................................... 8
Purpose of the Study ........................................................... .............. 14
Research Hypotheses ............................................................................ 15
Definition of Terms.................................................................................. 16
Significance of the Study ........................................................................ 17
Delim stations .......................................................................................... 21
Limitations .............................................................................................. 21
Organization of the Study ....................................................................... 22

2 LITERATURE REVIEW .......................................................................... 23

Principal Leadership ............................................................. ............. 23
The Role of Com munity in the W workplace .............................................. 27
Theoretical Perspectives on Self-Efficacy............................................... 37
Theoretical Frameworks on Sense of Community.................................. 44
Com munity Research ............................................................................. 47
Summary of Research Findings.............................................................. 67

3 M ETHODOLOGY ................................................................................... 69

Mediational Model................................................................................... 70
Participants............................................................................................. 75
Institutional Review Board Procedure and Approval....................... 75
Population....................................................................................... 76
Sample ........................................................................................... 77








Instrum entation................................................................ ................... 82
R e liability ..................................................................................... 82
Community Assessment Guide...................................................... 84
Personal and District Demographic Variables................................ 88
Principals' Self-Efficacy Scale ........................................................ 88
P procedures ............................................................................................. 9 1
D ata A nalysis.......................................................................................... 94

4 RESULTS AND ANALYSIS OF DATA ................................................... 98

Mediation Model Analyses...................................................................... 99
Research Hypotheses Analysis............................................................ 100
Follow -up A nalysis................................................................................ 106
Condition 1 Follow-up Analysis .................................................... 108
Condition 2 Follow-up Analysis .................................................... 110
Condition 3 Follow-up Analysis .................................................... 112
S um m a ry ............................................................................................. 113

5 CONCLUSIONS, IMPLICATIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS ........ 115

O ve review ............................................................................................. 1 15
Summary and Discussion of Results.................................................... 120
Hypothesis 1: Sense of Community.............................................. 120
Hypothesis 2: Self-Efficacy........................................................... 124
Hypothesis 3: Sense of Community as a Mediator Between
Antecedent Variables and Principals' Self-Efficacy................ 127
C o nclusions .......................................................................................... 12 9
Im plicatio ns .......................................................................................... 13 1
A additional Lim itations............................................................................ 134
Recommendations for Future Research............................................... 135

APPENDIX

A UFIRB PROTOCOL FOR THE RESEARCH STUDY........................... 140

B UFIRB APPROVAL OF PROTOCOL FOR THE RESEARCH STUDY. 144

C LETTER OF INFORMED CONSENT FOR THE RESEARCH STUDY. 146

D UFIRB APPROVAL TO INCREASE SAMPLE SIZE FOR
RESEA RC H STUDY ............................................................................ 148

E COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT GUIDE.................................................. 150

F PRINCIPALS' SELF-EFFICACY QUESTIONNAIRE............................ 158








G PERMISSION FOR USAGE OF THE COMMUNITY
ASSESSM ENT G UIDE......................................................................... 163

H COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT GUIDE STUDENT USER
A G R E E M E N T ....................................................................................... 165

I PERMISSION FOR USAGE OF THE PRINCIPALS' SELF-
EFFICACY QUESTIONNAIRE ............................................................. 167

J GIFT CARD PREFERENCE FORM ..................................................... 169

K REQUEST FOR INFORMATION FROM THE FLORIDA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION......................................................... 171

L LETTER TO PRINCIPALS-SECOND MAILING ................................... 173

M THANK YOU CARD TO RESEARCH PARTICIPANTS........................ 175

R E FE R E N C ES ............................................................................................. 176

BIOG RA PHICAL SKETCH .......................................................................... 183













LIST OF TABLES

Table pae

3-1 G e nder ........................................................................................... 79

3-2 Race/Ethnicity ................................................................................ 79

3-3 School Level................................................................................... 81

3-4 Total Number of Years' Experience as Principal in their District..... 81

3-5 District Enrollment Group ............................................................... 81

3-6 Principal Referents ......................................................................... 82

3-7 Reliability Coefficients .................................................................... 83

4-1 Model Summary, Unstandardized Regression Coefficients,
Standardized Regression Coefficients, t-test Statistics, and
Semi-Partial r-squares for Hypothesis 1 ....................................... 102

4-2 Model Summary, Unstandardized Regression Coefficients,
Standardized Regression Coefficients, t-test Statistics, and
Semi-Partial r-squares for Hypothesis 2....................................... 104

4-3 Model Summary, Unstandardized Regression Coefficients,
Standardized Regression Coefficients, t-test Statistics, and
Semi-Partial r-squares for Hypothesis 3....................................... 107

4-4 Model Summary, Unstandardized Regression Coefficients,
Standardized Regression Coefficients, t-test Statistics, and
Semi-Partial r-squares for Condition 1-Follow-up Analysis........ 109

4-5 Model Summary, Unstandardized Regression Coefficients,
Standardized Regression Coefficients, t-test Statistics, and
Semi-Partial r-squares for Condition 2-Follow-up Analysis........ 111

4-6 Model Summary, Unstandardized Regression Coefficients,
Standardized Regression Coefficients, t-test Statistics, and
Semi-Partial r-squares for Condition 3-Follow-up Analysis........ 113













LIST OF FIGURES


page


Conceptual model of sense of community as a mediational
variable........................................................................................... 14

M ediational M odel .......................................................................... 71


Figure













Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the
University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the
Degree of Doctor of Philosophy


THE MEDIATING ROLE OF SENSE OF COMMUNITY IN THE RELATIONSHIP
AMONG PRINCIPALS' CHARACTERISTICS, DISTRICT CHARACTERISTICS,
AND SELF-EFFICACY BELIEFS OF PUBLIC SCHOOL PRINCIPALS IN
FLORIDA

By

Mildred Van Kessel Waskiewicz

December 2002

Chairman: James L. Doud
Major Department: Educational Leadership, Policy, and Foundations

The problem addressed in this study was to determine the role of sense of

community among principals' demographic variables, district demographic

variables, and self-efficacy beliefs. A stratified random sample of 180 principals

were selected from four district enrollment groups in Florida (small, medium,

large, very large) by three school levels (elementary, middle, high). A total of 94

surveys were returned yielding a response rate of 52.2%.

Sense of community was determined by principals' self-reported

responses to the Community Assessment Guide, as developed by M. A. Royal

and R. J. Rossi, described in Individual-level correlates of sense of community:

Findings from workplace and school, in the Journal of Community Psychology,

1996. Principals' characteristics included gender, tenure (number of years as








principal in the district), school level (elementary, middle, high) and race/ethnicity

(African American, Hispanic, White). District characteristics included the

principals' referent group, and district enrollment group (small, medium, large,

very large). Self-efficacy beliefs were determined by principals' self-reported

responses to the Principals' Self-Efficacy Questionnaire, as developed by C.

Dimmock and J. Hattie, described in School principals' self-efficacy and its

measurement in a context of restructuring, in the journal School Effectiveness

and School Improvement, 1996. Three research hypotheses were constructed to

test for mediation and guided this study. Multiple regression analyses and semi-

partial correlations were analyzed for the association among the variables of

interest. A mediational model guided the development and testing of mediational

hypotheses which served as the framework for this study.

In the full model using both sets of antecedent variables, sense of

community did not serve as a mediator between personal/district demographic

variables and self-efficacy beliefs. However, after removing the district

demographic variables the results of this study supported earlier research that

found sense of community acting as a mediating factor. Because this study

demonstrated that all three conditions of mediation were met for the reduced

model, sense of community was concluded to mediate, or help account for the

relationship between gender and self-efficacy. In summary, female principals

were more self-efficacious than male principals due to the mediated effect of

sense of community in the workplace.













CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Schools operate within broader political, social, and normative contexts

that form the attitudes and behaviors of educational leaders. Recent school

reform initiatives have altered many long established beliefs about roles and

relationships (Dimmock & Hattie, 1996). The importance of relationships in the

educational environment helps to account for the confidence with which

principals can cope with change in the context of restructuring. Educational

leaders work within a variety of settings including their school, their district, with

other principals, within their community, and with their colleagues in professional

organizations. Characteristics of those settings affect the development of

principals' leadership behaviors and their self-efficacy beliefs (Bandura, 1986).

Principals also bring personal characteristics (i.e., gender, tenure, race/ethnicity)

to those settings which also influences their behavior. In recent years,

community psychologists and educators have given greater attention to the

influence on behavior of an individual's competence in solving problems and

building relationships. Attention to schools in the context of community reflects

trends in the research literature that examines building and strengthening the

networks of relationships within the workplace that support student outcomes

(Royal & Rossi, 1996). Confidence in one's ability to solve problems and build

relationships contributes to a sense of self-efficacy (Bandura, 1997).





2


Consequently, the performance of principals depends, in part, on strengthening

educational institutions and the formal and informal networks of caring

relationships that operate within the workplace.

Following years of viewing business organizations as machines driven by

the bottom line and workers as dispensable, an increasing number of leaders are

beginning to see their organizations as vital systems led by people with a shared

vision about the future of the organization and myriad needs for interpersonal

relationships, interdependence, and the incorporation of diversity. A major

leadership challenge in today's world is in forming connections in the workplace

to determine and meet the needs of all individuals. Strength in organizations

comes from collaborations and partnerships. Many organizations are developing

mechanisms for internal connections among their workforce. Work teams,

committees, and partnerships are being formed to confront problems and invent

new solutions (Shaffer & Anundsen, 1993).

However, despite what is known about the importance of work

relationships and mutual support, the staff culture in many schools is marked by

independence and autonomy, especially in secondary schools. Interestingly, "a

growing body of research suggests, however, that experiencing a sense of

community at work may benefit teachers personally and advance their

instructional efforts" (Royal & Rossi, 1999, p. 259). Royal and Rossi (1996) have

also found that sense of community has been associated with greater feelings of

self-efficacy and fulfillment with work.








In the decade before the National Commission on Education released A

Nation at Risk (1983), researchers in community psychology were beginning to

examine the concept of sense of community, what it is, and its significance to

their field. Sarason (1974) defined a psychological sense of community as "the

perception of similarity to others, an acknowledged interdependence with others,

a willingness to maintain this interdependence by giving to or doing for others

what one expects from them, the feeling that one is part of a larger dependable

and stable structure" (p. 157). Although Sarason paved the way for and lauded

sense of community as an overarching value of community psychology, no

definition had been operationalized or empirically tested at that time.

During the 1980s, community psychologists examined the phenomenon of

community (Chavis & Newbrough, 1986; Dunham, 1986; Heller, 1989; Klein &

D'Aunno, 1986; McMillan & Chavis, 1986; Shinn, 1987); central to each

discussion was an attempt to define the elements of community, acknowledge

that community is not tied to a place, and identify factors contributing to the

decline of community. Broadly defined, community can describe any

organization or institution with which a person identifies and finds meaning

(Heller, 1989). McMillan and Chavis (1986) defined a sense of community as "a

feeling that members have of belonging, a feeling that members matter to one

another and to the group, and a shared faith that members' needs will be met

through their commitment to be together" (p. 9).

Chavis and Newbrough (1986) noted the importance of those factors that

had been included in studies of community such as the growth of nonterritorial








communities, the support and networks within various communities, the benefits

of community, the needs that communities can meet for individuals, and the role

of leadership for effective communities. Klein and D'Aunno (1986) posited that

"the workplace may be a key referent for the psychological sense of community.

Unfortunately, community psychologists have devoted little attention to workers

or work organizations" (p. 365).

Goodlad (1981) contented that "it is difficult for schools to go beyond

indoctrination and inculcation" (p. 344). He cited diminished expectations and

the lowering of visions by some in leadership positions. He also asserted that

"communities and a sense of community will continue to wither so long as our

institutions, educational and other, are preoccupied with their own survival rather

than with the human conditions and needs they are supposed to serve" (p. 353).

He favored an ecological perspective to education, one that fostered healthy

relationships among individuals and institutions. Goodlad advocated

strengthening relationships among institutions and educating for the development

of a sense of community.

Not until the 1990s did educational researchers begin to seriously

examine the concept of sense of community within schools and educational

settings (Barth, 1990; Bredeson, 1995; Bryk, Camburn, & Louis, 1999; DuFour &

Eaker, 1992; Furman, 1998; Louis, Marks, & Kruse, 1996; Merz & Furman, 1997;

Newmann, Rutter, & Smith, 1989; Royal & Rossi, 1996,1997; Sergiovanni, 1994;

Starratt, 1996). The researchers focused on the meaning of community within

educational settings and its importance to educators and stakeholders. They








examined community in terms of what it means for education, as well as the

features that foster community, such as structural, human, and social resources.

The Sense of Community Index, a theory-based measure of an

individual's sense of community, was developed by Chavis based on the work of

McMillan and Chavis (1986). It has been widely used since that time in a variety

of settings (Chipuer & Pretty, 1999). During the 1990s, community researchers

began to measure sense of community in the workplace (Burroughs & Eby, 1998;

Catano, Pretty, Southwell, & Cole, 1993; Lambert & Hopkins, 1995; Pretty &

McCarthy, 1991; Pretty, McCarthy, & Catano, 1992; Royal & Rossi, 1996, 1999).

The researchers, in their studies, endeavored to operationalize the construct of

community in the workplace as well as to identify antecedents and consequences

of community in relation to a variety of factors. Royal and Rossi (1996, 1999), in

their studies of sense of community in schools, have developed a set of

assessment instruments for use in school and workplace settings. In addition to

the development of their Community Assessment Guide, Royal and Rossi

examined predictors of sense of community, including time-related variables,

work arrangement schedules, and school organizational variables.

Thus, while the importance of community in territorial terms has declined,

the importance of community as relational has grown. Royal and Rossi (1996)

contended that

if individuals are indeed increasingly relying on ties developed through
various organizational affiliations for the support and feeling of attachment
they once drew from communities of place, it is important to attend to the
community experiences of individuals in these settings. (p. 395)








School reform initiatives during the past two decades added tremendous

pressure and different kinds of challenges to the work environment of school

administrators. As a result, these restructuring activities may interfere with or

change long established roles and relationships, shift the bases of power, and

alter widely held beliefs about teaching and learning. Newmann and Wehlage

(1995) contended that school reform activities are likely to fail unless they are

firmly based on sound interpersonal relations within the school. Rossi (Royal &

Rossi, 1996), in his national research on dropout prevention, cited examples of

programs that often failed as a result of any real efforts to build community

among staff members. "Yet, amid the focus on pedagogy, curriculum, and

school structures many prominent reform efforts have seemingly overlooked the

important role played by interpersonal factors in the implementation of new

approaches" (Royal & Rossi, 1996, p. 399).

Bandura (1997) acknowledged that, historically, social changes are not

new, but what is different is the acceleration and degree to which society is

experiencing tremendous informational, social, and technological changes.

"These challenging realities place a premium on people's sense of efficacy to

shape their future" (p. vii). Bandura added that many contemporary theorists

place individuals as onlookers to events shaped by environmental factors.

However, he argued that individuals are in fact active participants in defining

"their own lives and the social systems that organize, guide, and regulate the

affairs of their society" (p. vii).








The ability to manage change, often with. unforeseen and overwhelming

obstacles, requires that individuals use their judgment and skills to respond

optimally in accordance with the presenting situation. "Effective functioning

requires both skills and the efficacy beliefs to use them well" (Bandura, 1997, p.

37). However, Bandura cautioned that personal functioning is more than just

knowing what to do. Instead, "perceived self-efficacy is a judgment of one's

ability to organize and execute given types of performances, whereas an

outcome expectation is a judgment of the likely consequence such performances

will produce" (p. 21). Bandura (1997) added that self-efficacy beliefs are good

predictors of choice and direction of behavior.

Self-efficacy beliefs are constructed from four principal sources of
information: enactive mastery experiences that serve as indicators of
capability; vicarious experiences that alter efficacy beliefs through
transmission of competencies and comparison with the attainments of
others; verbal persuasion and allied types of social influences that one
possesses certain capabilities; and physiological and affective states from
which people partly judge their capableness, strength, and vulnerability to
dysfunction. (p. 79)

It is through the cognitive processing of efficacy information and reflective

thought that any judgments about personal capabilities become instructive.

Research has demonstrated that the principal is a requisite part of an

effective school. In developing first-class schools, principals are charged with

providing the leadership necessary to respond to continual changes, not only in

responsibilities brought about by accountability and other related demands for

increases in academic achievement, but in response to myriad social changes

occurring within schools of the 21st century (DuFour & Eaker, 1992). The

National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) has recently








released Leading Learning Communities: Standards for What Principals Should

Know and Be Able to Do (2001). With Leading Learning Communities, NAESP

has taken a fresh new look at the role of principals. NAESP's Call to Action

proposed 10 ways districts, states, and the federal government can support

school leaders. One of the ways is to "build learning opportunities and networks

of principals" (p. 81). To further elaborate:

Just as teachers are isolated in their classrooms, so are principals often
isolated in their buildings. School leaders need support and resources
from other principals. Districts, states, and regions should provide a
means of linking effective practices in the principalship, through principal
mentoring, coaching, list serves, study groups and conferences. (p. 81)

Schlechty (2001) offered some answers to questions posed to educational

leaders working to meet the current expectations that all children will succeed in

school. To principals, he advised:

Learn to see yourself as a member of the district-level team as well as the
head of your own team at the building level. Recognize that your school is
not the only system you need to consider; it is a part of a larger system.
Other schools and other principals are not, or should not be, your
competition. They are your allies and co-inventors. Your competition lies
elsewhere, especially in the newly emerging purveyors of education,
entertainment, and edutainment that are even now capturing the hearts
and minds of our children and youths. (pp. 213-214)

Statement of the Problem

Many of the current problems faced by educators are a result of the loss of

community in our schools as well as in society itself. "Though most principals,

superintendents, and teachers have a desire to do better and are working as

hard as they can to provide a quality education to every student they serve, the


road is rough and the going is slow" (Sergiovanni, 1994, p. xi).








Community is important because it ties individuals together in ways that

foster shared values and beliefs. It elevates individuals to higher levels of

commitment and performance. Community can help organizational members be

transformed from a collection of singular individuals to a collective "we," hence

giving them a unique sense of identity and belonging. The need for community is

experienced by all members of society. Our lives are made meaningful by a

sense of belonging, of being connected to others. These connections are what

make our lives significant. The loss of community often results in a search for

substitutes, sometimes manifested in dysfunctional ways (Sergiovanni, 1994).

Community is not without its problems. By its nature, community can be both

inclusive and exclusive. Sergiovanni (2000) argues that these are serious issues

because the world is in conflict. However, current communities are communities

of difference. The challenge is to base our beliefs on the ethics of acceptance of

others and the appreciation of differences. These universal values are at the

heart of feelings of belonging and trust. These "core values place a high priority

on building a community of relationships as a central part of a school's

community of heart and mind" (p. 69).

In communities, the connections individuals have with each other are

based on commitments. Communities are organized around relationships and

interdependencies (Blau & Scott, 1962). Communities depend on norms,

purposes, values, and collegiality. This sharing of norms and values that

community members feel results not from a system that forces people to work

together, but more from within individual members. Members of a community








make connections based on felt interdependencies and mutual obligations

(Sergiovanni, 1994).

Researchers have attempted to identify reasons for loss of community in

schools and organizations (Merz & Furman, 1997; Sergiovanni, 1994). A familiar

framework in which to understand community is through Tonnies' (1957) theories

on society and communities and his use of gemeinschaft and gesellschaft as

metaphors. In essence, gemeinschaft translates to "community" and gesellschaft

translates to "society." The relationships in gesellschaft are formal and distant,

but in gemeinschaft, they are meaningful and personalized.

Tonnies (1957) noted that gemeinschaft or community exists in three

forms, (a) by blood or kinship, (b) of place or neighborhood, and (c) of mind or

friendship. Essentially, kinship-related identity is derived from families and

extended families. Kinship provides family members with the feeling of support,

peace, and cooperation that usually fosters the enjoyment of being in the

company of family and relatives. Second, neighborhood or place identity comes

from sharing common habitat or locale. This feeling of neighborhood community

results from interactions among the community's members and fosters

cooperation in working together and assisting one another in times of need.

Even when members no longer share proximity of habitation, this feeling of

neighborhood community often persists if supported by habits of reunion and

customs. Third, gemeinschaft of mind or friendship is not aligned with kinship or

neighborhood. Rather, it results from similarity of work and intellectual attitude.

It usually develops from relationships based on similar callings. This type of








community is not based on a place but rather lives in the consciousness of its

members. It is based more upon chance or free will (Tonnies, 1957). As schools

or organizations transform from a collection of individuals to a community of the

mind, they begin to have an understanding and an embodiment about what is

shared.

Tonnies' (1957) theory of gesellschaft

deals with the artificial construction of an aggregate of human beings
which superficially resembles the gemeinschaft in so far as the individuals
live and dwell together peacefully. However, in the gemeinschaft they
remain essentially united in spite of all separating factors, whereas in the
gesellschaft they are essentially separated in spite of all the uniting
factors. (p. 64)

Tonnies stated further that in the gesellschaft society, actions by an

individual are not taken on behalf of others. Everyone is an individual and has no

desire to produce for anyone else. This separation results in the lack of common

values among its members. When a loss of community is experienced

(gesellschaft), individuals may create substitutes for the loss or live without

community. Some consequences of the loss of community (gesellschaft) include

feelings of isolation, distrust, or aloofness. Sergiovanni (1994) believes that "it is

time that the metaphor for school was changed from formal organization to

community" (p. 14).

A number of studies have examined sense of community in the workplace

(Burroughs & Eby, 1998; Catano et al., 1993; Lambert & Hopkins, 1995; Pretty &

McCarthy, 1991; Pretty et al., 1992; Royal & Rossi, 1996) from a variety of

perspectives; this study examined the mediational role of sense of community

among principals in relation to their self-efficacy beliefs when coping with change








in the context of restructuring. An authentic sense of community among

principals, from a district level perspective, would provide powerful opportunities

to develop a shared accountability for performance of all district schools.

To begin to understand the shared responsibilities of community in the

workplace, an understanding of the elements of community as well as the

community building process is essential. Royal and Rossi (Rossi & Shank, 2000)

identified 11 defining elements of community from their studies of critical

incidents in more than 50 large and small companies across the United States:

1. Shared Vision
2. Shared Values
3. Shared Purpose
4. Trust
5. Respect
6. Caring
7. Recognition
8. Communication
9. Participation
10. Team Work
11. Incorporation of Diversity

Each element in isolation is not a new concept; however, together they

define community. Building community in the workplace results from what

people do. Community is created by individuals who take the lead in building

community with others. "They do this by teaching and selling and thereby

encouraging others to work together in a coordinated, mutually supportive

fashion to achieve shared goals" (Rossi & Shank, 2000, p. 8). Leaders in the

workplace help others to look at community in different ways. Leaders often talk

about values, trust, and respect, and sometimes they model the behaviors that

are congruent with community. Rossi and Shank suggested that the most








challenging task is to create opportunities that support community building

among other staff. This requires creativity, commitment, and the ability to

motivate. School districts that are organized with leaders who model a full-time

commitment to excellence and provide opportunities for collaborative

achievement promote community-building practices among employees.

In an effort to distinguish ways in which sense of community in the

workplace may account for differences in principals' self-efficacy, this study was

guided by a mediation model (Baron & Kenny, 1986). In this model, "a given

variable may be said to function as a mediator to the extent that it accounts for or

explains the relation between the predictor and the criterion" (p. 1176). Because

studies of the construct of sense of community in the workplace, especially

among principals, are limited, additional research was needed to determine the

construct's potential as a mediational variable in relation to principals' self-

efficacy. Figure 1-1 depicts the conceptual model for this study. Solid lines

represent paths in the model where sense of community might be most important

in explaining the relationships among the antecedent variables and the outcome

variables.

In this study, sense of community was believed to function as a

mechanism (the mediator) through which personal/district demographic variables

(antecedent variables) were able to influence principals' self-efficacy beliefs (the

outcome variable).

Guided by Baron and Kenny's (1986) model, sense of community was

tested for mediation. According to this model, when the following conditions










ANTECEDENT VARIABLES
/ Personal Demographic
/ Variables:
[ Gender (xi)
\ Tenure (x2) / .....
\ School Level (x3) J ...
\^ ~Race/Ethnicity (X4) '..



SMEDIATIONAL OUTCOME VARIABLE
VARIABLE Self-Efficacy (Y2)
Sense of Community (Yi)


>^ ANTECEDENT VARIABLES ^,.
/ District Demographic Variables: .........
( Referent Group (xs) ...
\^ District Enrollment Group /




Figure 1-1. Conceptual model of sense of community as a mediational variable.


occur, a variable is functioning as a mediator: (a) the antecedent variables have

significant positive relationships with the presumed mediator, (b) mediator

variations account for variations in the outcome variable, (c) the antecedent

variables are associated with the outcome variables, and (d) when adding the

mediator, any previous associations between the antecedent and outcome

variables are no longer significant. Mediation is strongest when there is no

longer any relationship between the antecedent and outcome variables.

Purpose of Study

The purpose of this study was to examine principals' sense of community

as a mediator between personal and district demographic variables and self-

efficacy beliefs.








Sense of community was measured by school principals' self-reported

responses to the Community Assessment Guide (Royal & Rossi, 1996). The

personal and district demographic variables were obtained from principals' self-

reported responses to Part Two-Background-of the Community Assessment

Guide. Personal demographic variables (one set of antecedent variables) were

defined as principals' gender, tenure, school level, and race/ethnicity. District

demographic variables (one set of antecedent variables) were defined as the size

of the principals' referent group and district enrollment group. Self-efficacy was

measured by school principals' self-reported responses to the Principals' Self-

Efficacy Questionnaire (Dimmock & Hattie, 1996). Dimmock and Hattie's (1996)

measurement scale is specific to the self-efficacy of principals when coping with

change in the context of restructuring. The following section delineates the

specific hypotheses and model that were used to guide this research study. The

hypotheses for this study were constructed to test for mediation and guided this

study. The mediating role of sense of community is hypothesized in the section

below.

Research Hypotheses

Hypothesis 1: Personal/district demographic variables are related to sense

of community in the workplace.

Hypothesis 1 was constructed to test the first condition of mediation (i.e.,

the antecedent variables have significant positive relationships with the

presumed mediator).








Hypothesis 2: Personal/district demographic variables are related to

principals' self-efficacy.

Hypothesis 2 was constructed to test the second condition of mediation

(i.e., the antecedent variables are associated with the outcome variable).

Hypothesis 3: Principals' sense of community will mediate the relationship

between personal/district demographic variables and self-efficacy beliefs.

Hypothesis 3 was constructed to test the third condition of mediation (i.e.,

mediator variations account for variations in the outcome variable; and when

adding the mediator, any previous associations between the antecedent and

outcome variables are no longer significant).

Definition of Terms

For the purpose of this study, the following terms were defined as stated

below:

District enrollment group is defined by the Florida Department of

Education as small, medium, large, and very large.

Gemeinschaft is a metaphor for a theory used to characterize

relationships among individuals who voluntarily associate because of shared

values (Tonnies, 1957).

Gesellschaft is a metaphor for a theory used to characterize relationships

among individuals that tend to be formal and distant, lack trust and loyalty, and

are often shaped by contractual expectations (Tonnies, 1957).

Principal is the administrative leader of the school.








Psychological sense of community is "the perception of similarity to others,

an acknowledged interdependence with others, a willingness to maintain this

interdependence by giving to or doing for others what one expects from them, the

feeling that one is part of a larger dependable and stable structure" (Sarason,

1974, p. 157).

Referent groups are the individuals with whom one aligns or associates.

In this study a principal's referent group is made up of principals of other schools

of the same or different level (e.g., elementary or middle) in the same area of the

district.

School level refers to elementary, middle, and high.

Sense of community is "a feeling that members have of belonging, a

feeling that members matter to one another and to the group, and a shared faith

that members' needs will be met through their commitment to be together"

(McMillan & Chavis, 1986, p. 9).

Significance of the Study

Sociologists have long been interested in the changing nature of

community. Historically, the sense of community originated from rural life, barn-

raisings, and quilting bees, where individuals were on a first-name basis with

each other. This was the breeding ground for the qualities associated with the

concept of community, homogeneity, interdependence, shared responsibility, and

common goals. Toward the end of the 19th century, sociologist Emile Durkheim

(1947) noted an increase in the changing nature of relationships from those

based upon mutual interests and values to relationships that are characterized as








more impersonal and functional in nature. Tonnies (1957) also recognized

changes in community and characterized them through the development of his

concepts of gemeinschaft and gesellschaft. "Since the introduction of the

concept 'psychological sense of community' by Sarason in 1974, there have

been many attempts to operationalize, qualify, and apply it" (Pretty, 1990, p. 60).

Sarason (1974) wrote that the

concept of psychological sense of community is like that of hunger:
neither is easy to define, but there is no mistaking it when an individual
experiences the lack of psychological sense of community, just as there
is no mistaking what we think an individual experiences as a result of
starvation. (p. 3)

Sarason contended that individuals are bound spatially and psychologically.

Furthermore, individuals want to be interconnected due to needs for intimacy,

diversity, usefulness, and belongingness.

A common thread throughout much of the literature continues to be the

breakdown of traditional social supports in communities and the resulting erosion

on sense of community. Glynn (1981) noted that sense of community, so integral

to Western culture, appears to be eroding and offered three views on the cause

of this erosion of community: industrialization, the increase in centralized

bureaucracies, and the "maintenance of an improper balance between local and

centralized structures" (p. 792).

Most descriptions portray sense of community as something desirable and

associated with a common bond among people. There are few who would argue

with the importance of maintaining these relationships. The loss or decline of








involvement in one's community is often associated with the inability to maintain

a supportive network of relationships (Glynn, 1981).

The growing importance in studying sense of community is evidenced by

continued research of the construct (Bishop, Chertok, & Jason, 1997; Burroughs

& Eby, 1998; Catano et al. 1993; Chavis, Hogge, McMillan, & Wandersman,

1986; Chavis & Pretty, 1999; Chipuer & Pretty, 1999; Davidson, Cotter, & Stovall,

1991; Glynn, 1981; Heller, 1989; Hughey, Speer, & Peterson, 1999; Klein &

D'Aunno, 1986; Lambert & Hopkins, 1995; Lorion & Newbrough, 1996; McMillan,

1996; McMillan & Chavis, 1986; Pretty, 1990; Pretty & McCarthy, 1991; Pretty et

al., 1992; Price, 1985; Puddifoot, 1996; Royal & Rossi, 1996, 1999; Sarason,

1974). In their effort to develop an operational definition of this construct,

researchers have since developed several different measurement scales

(Burroughs & Eby, 1998; Glynn, 1981; Lambert & Hopkins, 1995; McMillan &

Chavis, 1986; Pretty, 1990; Royal & Rossi, 1996). In doing so, they have

identified the properties of this construct, enabling measurement and a greater

understanding of the ways in which sense of community can be increased or

maintained among individuals in various contexts (e.g., work, neighborhood,

church, school). While researchers continue to theorize about sense of

community, there are still differences as to the exact dimensions that undergird

the construct.

Individuals are increasingly achieving the social and emotional support

they once obtained from family and neighbors through associations with

workplace, church, and professional groups. To examine the sense of








community in the workplace offers a range of possibilities. Further understanding

of antecedents and consequences of sense of community as well as whether

sense of community serves as a mediator among factors affecting school

principals' can be expected to have significant consequences for the work

experiences of educational leaders.

A number of instruments designed to measure sense of community in

various settings, including the workplace, have been developed. Royal and

Rossi's (1996) Community Assessment Guide, developed from their work with

corporations and schools, was especially designed to measure sense of

community in the workplace. Their "conceptualization was initially derived from

John Gardner's efforts to identify the critical ingredients of healthy and vital

communities" (p. 399). Following a review of social science literature, Royal and

Rossi (1996) conducted a variety of activities in order to refine and further

develop their conceptualization of community. These activities included the

collection and review of anecdotal reports of community experiences from

individuals in workplaces and schools across the country, administration of

surveys, focus group discussions, and pilot testing for validation purposes.

Concerning their Community Assessment Guide, they report that

correlations based on the Spearman-Brown prophecy formula
yield reliability estimates greater than 0.93 for the complete
instruments .... In addition, because high reliability
estimates have been obtained for each instrument using multiple
data sets, we can be confident of the stability of these estimates
across different populations. (pp. 403-404)

Because Royal and Rossi's Community Assessment Guide has been used to

assess dimensions of community in both work and school settings, further use of








this instrument to study sense of community among Florida principals is

warranted.

Delimitations

The following delimitations were observed while conducting this study:

1. The study was limited to data gathered from principals randomly
selected from school districts in Florida. No generalizations were
made to other states outside of Florida.

2. No generalizations were made about sense of community or self-
efficacy to other educational professionals.

3. Data collection was limited to principals' responses to the Community
Assessment Guide, including the demographic section, and the
Principals' Self-Efficacy Questionnaire. Results may not be compared
to other studies that use different measures due to the lack of a
common theoretical thread.

4. The study was limited to data gathered during the 2001-2002 school
year. No inferences were made to other time frames.

5. No generalizations were made to other settings or organizations.

Limitations

The following limitations were observed while conducting this study:

1. The data were collected by a single administration of the surveys. No
conclusions were drawn about causality.

2. For a thorough understanding of relationships concerning sense of
community in the workplace, future research is necessary.

3. Individuals who responded to these surveys may be more likely to be
involved in their organization, either positively or negatively. Thus, the
results of this study may not generalize to those who consider
themselves marginal.

4. An assumption was made that respondents had a common
understanding of the terminology in the Community Assessment Guide
as well as the Principals' Self-Efficacy Questionnaire.








5. An assumption was made that respondents would respond accurately
and truthfully to the survey questions.

Organization of the Study

This chapter included a conceptual introduction to the study, statement of

the problem, purpose of the study, research questions and hypotheses,

significance of the study, definition of terms, and study delimitations and

limitations. This first chapter also introduced the construct of interest and related

theoretical framework. Chapter 2 contains a thorough review of the related

literature. The literature review includes a detailed examination of the theoretical

framework of community, the construct of sense of community, historical

background, characteristics of sense of community, the importance of sense of

community in the workplace, factors influencing and outcomes relating to sense

of community in the workplace, and sense of community research. Chapter 2

also contains theoretical perspectives on self-efficacy, an examination of the

construct of self-efficacy, including influencing factors and conditions that create

a dissemblance between efficacy belief and action. Chapter 3 presents the

methodology and design of the research study. Chapter 4 includes the results

and data analyses. Chapter 5 provides a summary of the results, a discussion of

the conclusions, implications, and recommendations for additional research.













CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

In 1983 the National Commission on Excellence in Education issued A

Nation at Risk, which captured the country's attention with a bleak assessment of

education in America's public schools. That report served as the impetus for

subsequent educational reform efforts including the Excellence Movement of the

1980s and the Restructuring Movement of the 1990s. Since that time, research

has demonstrated that the principal is a requisite part of an effective school.

However, during the last decade, while there is still an emphasis on school

efficiency, the focus has shifted to accountability and the use of standardized

tests. In developing first-class schools, principals are charged with providing the

leadership necessary to respond to the continual changes in responsibilities

brought about by accountability and other related demands for increases in

academic achievement (DuFour & Eaker, 1992).

Principal Leadership

As a result of that shift in focus, districts have moved much of the

decision-making authority from the central office directly to the principal and

school staff. Currently, the decision-making process in most schools involves the

participation of a wide array of teachers, parents, and community members.

Doud and Keller (1998), in their A Ten Year Study The K-8 Principal in 1998,

found that principals' perceptions of their job have changed as a result of this








increased participation. They reported that over 60% of respondents cited the

following areas of changing responsibilities for principals: marketing to generate

support for school and education, working with social service agencies,

planning/implementation of site-based staff development, developing

instructional practices, developing curriculum, and working with site-based

councils/other constituencies.

Inherent in each of the aforementioned areas of change is the need to

utilize collaborative skills in an effort to embrace all available resources needed

to enhance learning. In the Doud and Keller study (1998), when principals were

asked to describe working relationships with school board members,

superintendents, central office staff, teachers, parents, students, school advisory

groups, and the community, 90% of those responding to the survey reported

good/excellent relationships with six of the eight groups. The most positive

relationships reported were with students (76%), teachers (62%), and school

advisory groups (54%). "The most positive relationships with the superintendent,

central office staff, and school board were reported by principals in small towns

and rural areas and by those principals with less than five years of experience"

(p. 7).

The dichotomy facing principals today is that they are expected to be

accountable for student performance while at the same time they are expected to

share the decision-making process with others. To this end, district staff must

support principals by providing them with opportunities for skill development,








fiscal resources, and sufficient time to realize the desired results (Doud & Keller,

1998).

The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) has

recently released Leading Learning Communities: Standards for What Principals

Should Know and Be Able to Do (2001). This replaced Standards for Quality:

Elementary & Middle Schools and Proficiencies for Principals, two documents

designed to help ensure the best leadership for our schools. With Leading

Learning Communities, NAESP has taken a fresh look at the role of principals.

In this report, principals were given the opportunity to identify the important

characteristics of instructional leadership. These characteristics helped NAESP

identify what principals should know and be able to do and are in the form of six

Standards for Principals:

1. Lead schools in a way that places student and adult learning at the
center.

2. Set high expectations and standards for the academic and social
development of all students and the performance of adults.

3. Demand content and instruction that ensure student achievement of
agreed-upon academic standards.

4. Create a culture of continuous learning for adults tied to student
learning and other school goals.

5. Use multiple sources of data as diagnostic tools to access, identify,
and apply instructional improvement.

6. Actively engage the community to create shared responsibility for
student and school success. (NAESP, 2001, p. 2)

Although principals are crucial to helping students meet learning expectations,

they must no longer be just managers; rather, they must be on the forefront in








elevating instruction and student achievement. "They must be the force that

creates collaboration and cohesion around school learning goals and the

commitment to achieve those goals" (NAESP, p. 1).

To further emphasize the importance of district staff to support and

provide opportunities to principals in their quest to achieve school learning goals,

NAESP's (2001) Leading Learning Communities, illuminated 10 ways districts,

states, and the federal government can support school leaders. One of the ways

is to "build learning opportunities and networks of principals" (p. 81).

Schlechty (2001) offered advice to school leaders working to ensure

educational success for all students. He advised that principals must begin to

view their schools as one part of the larger system. By recognizing that they are

a member of the district-level team, principals should be able to consider all of

the larger system and not just their individual schools when making decisions

and planning for the success of their students. Schlechty noted that principals

must begin to view other principals are their allies, not their competition, as their

competition lies outside the system.

Much has been written about the failure of past reform strategies. DuFour

and Eaker (1992) reported that studies have shown that school professionals

choose to focus on peripheral changes instead of the major issues of teaching

and learning. Fullan (1999) argued that in order to address complex change,

practitioners must examine change efforts in relation to theories of education and

theories of change. He postulated that educators should ask "what pedagogical








assumptions and associated components are essential... and what strategies

are formed to guide and support implementation" (p. 20).

Fullan (1999) contended that change is complex, and for change to be

effective, leaders must form relationships with people they may not like or

understand. Inevitably, differences and conflict surface in heterogeneous

relationships. "Conflict, if respected, is positively associated with creative

breakthroughs under complex, turbulent conditions" (p. 22). Organizations that

foster differences and promote inclusionary policies develop natural sources of

diversity. It is the collaborative diversity that is important. Supportive

relationships help individuals respond to change. "Collaborative cultures are

innovative not just because they provide support, but also because they

recognize the value of dissonance inside and outside the organization" (p. 27).

The Role of Community in the Workplace

Numerous researchers have written that collaborative schools, or learning

communities, are essential for sustained improvement (Barth, 1990; Brandt,

1998; Deal & Peterson, 1999; DuFour & Eaker, 1992; Hall & Hord, 2001; Louis &

Kruse, 1994; Merz & Furman, 1997; Newman & Wehlage, 1995; Sergiovanni,

1994, 2000; Snyder, Acker-Hocevar, & Snyder, 2000; Spady, 1998).

Researchers outside of education have also concluded that the way to success is

through a learning organization. Senge (1990) concurred that "the organizations

that will truly excel in the future will be the organizations that discover how to tap

people's commitment and capacity to learn at all levels in an organization" (p. 4).








The salient features of learning communities include shared vision and

values, collaborative teams, a sense of belonging, supportive relationships,

collective inquiry, a results orientation, purpose and direction, mutual

commitments, and risk taking ( Barth, 1990; DuFour & Eaker, 1992; Hall & Hord,

2001; Merz & Furman, 1997; Sergiovanni, 1994). Because the concept of

community has been advocated as desirable by a number of well-known

scholars, it is important to gain a clearer focus of what is meant by this construct.

According to Starratt (1996), many researchers consider community as a means

to an end. The learning community has as its focus the development of learning

and knowledge. "Learning was the end; community inquiry and performance

were the means" (p. 89). Starratt (1996), however, advocated community as an

end rather than a means, with its goal the creation of community. "The major

learning outcome now is the learning of community--how to be one, how to

sustain community in the face of divisive conflicts and centrifugal forces, and how

to become more of a community" (p. 89).

A familiar framework in which to understand community is through

Tonnies' (1957) theory of gemeinschaft and gesellschaft. In essence,

gemeinschaft translates to "community" and gesellschaft translates to "society."

Tonnies noted that gemeinschaft, or community, is manifested in three forms,

(a) through family, (b) through locale such as a neighborhood, and (c) through

mind or friendship. The family provides its members with the feeling of support

and cooperation. The community of locale results from interactions among

members and fosters cooperation and assistance during times of need. Often,








long after neighborhood members no longer share proximity of habitation, they

will continue to share feelings of community supported by habits of reunion and

customs. The gemeinschaft of mind or friendship results from similarity of work

and intellectual attitude and it usually develops from relationships based on

similar callings (Tonnies, 1957).

Gesellschaft, or society, is characterized by a lack of common values

among its members. When a loss of community (gesellschaft) is experienced,

individuals may experience feelings of isolation, distrust, aloofness, or alienation.

Often, actions by individuals are not taken on behalf of others, but rather on

behalf of themselves. As schools or organizations transform from a collection of

individuals to a community of mind, they begin to have an understanding about

what is shared (Tonnies, 1957).

To understand the potential of community for reinventing schools, Starratt

(1996) explored the roots of modernity to postmodernity. "One of the major

beliefs of modernity was that the individual was the primary social unit" (p. 89).

He cited the philosophies of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, from which "there

emerged a theory of 'possessive individualism'" (p. 89). Individuals thought of

themselves as private property. "Hence their talents, such as intelligence,

business acumen, creativity, and artistic potential, belonged to them independent

of their relationship to the community" (p. 90). Therefore any development of the

individual was for his or her betterment. Under this belief, society would advance

as a result of the combined achievement of individuals. "In this perspective,

community is simply made up of self-serving individuals who use the community








for their own individual purposes" (p. 90). This direction toward individuality was

a reaction against the centuries-old stifling of individual initiatives by tribes or

clans or those communities governed by religious orthodoxies, with systems of

power and class. Any freedom of individual expression had been controlled by

tradition or religious authority. Starratt (1996) maintained that even some

contemporary scholars fear the idea of community, believing that it may "stifle

dissent, smother creativity, and ostracize differences" (p. 90). Starratt (1996)

argued that

with our growing understanding of the interconnection of all natural
systems on the planet, our growing understanding of the interconnection
of living systems with cultural systems, our growing awareness of the
interconnection between human intelligence and the tacit or inchoate
intelligence in the universe as it has reflexively evolved, we are poised to
create ourselves as new kinds of communities and new kinds of
individuals. (pp. 92-93)

Moreover, he concluded that "the challenge of building a richer form of

community in our schools is a reflection of the challenge facing our society at

large, namely the widespread creation of richer forms of community life" (p. 93).

Starratt (1996) acknowledged that to achieve community is a struggle, the

struggle between human instincts. The first instinct is that the very nature of the

individual is to want to be at the center of attention, to be the focus. Individuals

are drawn by a proclivity for survival. Individuals want to be in control and to

arrange things to meet their needs. However, because individuals also want to

feel secure in their world, they are always looking outward for affirmation of how

they are doing. It is this social world that defines the individual. Individuals have

a second instinct, one that is more mature. It is the instinct of connection with








others, whether that is a spouse, a friend, an extended family, or a nation. The

connection with others leads to increased adaptability and creativity. Therefore,

the instinct for individual survival may be viewed as self-defeating and that

communities that close in on themselves may actually be threatening their own

survival. "The more mature community embraces the community of humanity,

the community of life, and the community of being, and finds through that

bonding an increased wisdom and strength that are the seeds of its own

transformation" (p. 96).

The influence that a principal has upon a community can be substantial.

The school leader can administer a process for building and maintaining

community. However, a community forms because the people of the community

make it a community. It is in consonance with teachers, parents, and students

that principals engage in eliciting the instinct of interconnectedness with others

(Starratt, 1996).

"In most vital organizations, there is a common bond of interdependence,

mutual interest, interlocking contributions, and simple joy" (DePree, 1989, p.

101). Although internal politics of one-upmanship continue to be present in

workplaces across the country, a new undercurrent of sense of community,

"we're all in this together, so let's support one another," is becoming increasingly

more common (Shaffer & Anundsen, 1993, p.113).

Shaffer and Anundsen (1993) interviewed CEOs, managers, and

employees of workplace organizations of various sizes across the country to








identify eight qualities that foster the development and maintenance of

community in the workplace.

1. Alignment of values-identification with the organization and pursuit of
a common mission align with personal values.

2. Employee-based structure-structures emphasize interdependent
networks and participatory decision making.

3. Teamwork-the organization supports continual opportunities for
employees to learn each other's skills and provides opportunities for
leadership.

4. Open communication-communications move upward, downward,
sideways, and outside in as well as inside out. The workplace
organization aggressively pursues feedback from outside and
welcomes internal questioning.

5. Mutual support-workers develop a level of trust that instills an
eagerness to assist one another with projects and initiatives.

6. Respect for individuality-building community is intertwined with
building individuals. The health of modern communities is based on
diversity. Better decisions and fuller community experiences arise
from organizations that value ethnic, racial, and gender differences and
actively seek the unique perspectives of all.

7. Permeable boundaries-an interdependence with all employees,
customers, and surrounding community is highly valued. Everyone is
viewed as part of the same system and an "us and them" mentality is
avoided. Employees' families are welcomed and made to feel a part of
the overall organization.

8. Group renewal-employee retreats, group renewals, and team building
are a regular part of healthy organizational communities. These
activities help to foster a sense of the group as community, as well as
clarify values and a recommitment to the organization's vision and
mission. The reviewing of organizational history and celebrations of
milestones and achievements during group activities aids in the
bonding process for all.

There are many questions related to the concept of community. While


numerous questions may be asked, for Sarason (1974),








the overall thrust is clear: a community is more than a political or
geographical area. It contains a variety of institutions which may be
formally or informally related to each other-or not related at all. It is
made up of a myriad of groups, transient or permanent, which may have
similar or different purposes and vary in size, power, and composition....
A community has changed, is changing, and will change again....
Communities have many characteristics in common, but each in some
ways possesses distinctiveness. (p. 131)

Gusfield (1975) characterized two ways a community can be viewed: (a)

proximal, such as neighborhood or city; (b) relational, "concerned with quality of

character of human relationship, without reference to location" (p. xvi). Heller

(1989) also acknowledged two ways that community is generally recognized, first

as locality and second as relational. In relational communities, the emphasis is

on human interactions within organizations and institutions. Heller maintained

that relational communities serve as a mediating structure, connecting

"individuals to the larger social order" (p. 6). Although some of the ideas on

community included in this study relate to location, the major thrust of ideas and

concepts in this study will pertain to relational communities.

Sarason (1974) acknowledged that there continue to be individuals as well

as groups who do not feel a part of the larger community, whose psychological

sense of community does not include the larger community, either spatially or

relationally. Similar to students who no longer identify with their university, a

growing number of individuals lack interest or affiliation with their community.

Some believe that a psychological sense of community was easier to achieve in

the past when communities were smaller and interpersonal contacts were more

frequent. Sarason (1974) maintained that it was not growth per se in our society,

but rather the type of growth that devalued our sense of community.








Individuals may have a variety of referent groups for their sense of

community. Individuals can experience sense of community from membership in

families, gangs, professional or work organizations, and churches. The members

of an individual's referent group may live in a variety of places throughout the

world. Sarason (1974) defined referents as those groups that provide structure

and meaning to the lives of the individuals within those groupings. He believed

that a feeling of aloneness that some individuals experience may be a

manifestation of loss of community. Within the workplace, we often encounter

individuals who lack identification with their family, profession, or other groups of

individuals. In exploring what can be done, Sarason thought the objective must

be "to create the conditions in which people can experience a sense of

community that permits a productive compromise between the needs of

individuals and the achievement of group goals" (p. 155). He further contended

that the characteristics of psychological sense of community are not hard to

articulate, maintaining that it is

the perception of similarity to others, an acknowledged interdependence
with others, a willingness to maintain this interdependence by giving to or
doing for others what one expects from them, the feeling that one is part of
a larger dependable and stable structure. (p. 157)

Klein and D'Aunno (1986) studied sense of community in the workplace.

They maintained that the workplace often serves as a significant factor in one's

identity, satisfaction, values, mental health, and recreational activities. The

psychological sense of community has also been defined as "a feeling that

members have of belonging, a feeling that members matter to each other and to

the group, and a shared faith that members' needs will be met through their








commitment to be together" (McMillan & Chavis, 1986, p. 9). Klein and D'Aunno

(1986) found that the psychological sense of community at work encompasses

membership, engagement, and a oneness with others. This sense of community

may include associations with a group as small as the company bowling team or

as large as the population of school superintendents across the country.

Klein and D'Aunno made a further distinction between sense of community

in the workplace and the concepts of job satisfaction and organizational

commitment. They believed that while job satisfaction may positively correlate

with sense of community, job satisfaction is not required for one to experience

the condition. Individuals may be satisfied with their tasks, remuneration, and

conditions, but may score low on sense of community due to working in isolation

from others. In contrast, members who are dissatisfied with their jobs may feel a

strong sense of community with other workers who feel similarly oppressed or

unhappy at work. In terms of organizational commitment, an individual's

identification or involvement with the organization can be characterized by an

acceptance or belief in the organization's goals, mission, and values; a desire to

work hard on behalf of the organization; and a feeling of wanting to be a member

of the organization. The two concepts are quite similar in that when a member's

referent for sense of community is the entire work organization, he or she may

also feel an attachment to the organization. Because individuals may have

several different referent groups for sense of community at work, concepts of

organizational commitment and sense of community are related, but not the

same.








In a study of organizational factors that affect school sense of community

and self-efficacy, Newmann, Rutter, and Smith (1989) argued that alienation of

teachers in high schools can be diminished through changes in school

organization. As previously noted, individuals may experience alienation as a

result of the loss of community (Tonnies, 1957). Alienation refers to relationships

that are characterized by feelings of detachment and isolation. Alienation may

affect relationships with other people as well as processes such as work.

Rosenholtz (1989) maintained that alienation may be reduced with the presence

of high efficacy, as under some circumstances, efficacy signifies a sense of

agency, engagement, and positive regard for work. Newmann (1981), in his

study on reducing alienation in high schools, contended that many educational

reform movements have not been successful due to their failure to recognize the

student's needs for affiliation, support, and clarity of purpose.

A sense of community among colleagues can counteract the

fragmentation of work and social isolation often felt among individuals by

conveying cooperative interdependence and relationships built on unity. A sense

of community should also provide the personal support and collegiality that

individuals need to better manage a demanding and stressful job (Newmann,

Rutter, & Smith, 1989). Rossi and Stringfield (1995) also noted that a strong

sense of community must be in place to help staff members respond effectively

to the challenges associated with the ever-changing school reform initiatives.








Theoretical Perspectives on Self-Efficacy

Individuals are better able to achieve desired results when they strive to

control the events that influence their lives. "The ability to secure desired

outcomes and to prevent undesired ones, therefore, provides a powerful

incentive for the development and exercise of personal control" (Bandura, 1997,

p. 2). Bandura (1995) contended that individual's motivation and actions are

more a result of their beliefs than what is objectively the case. Agency refers to

intentional acts, and among the mechanisms of agency, none is more essential

than beliefs of personal efficacy. "Perceived self-efficacy refers to beliefs in

one's capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to

manage prospective situations" (p. 2).

Efficacy beliefs affect human functioning through the interaction of four

major processes. They include cognitive, motivational, affective, and selection

processes.

Self-efficacy beliefs are the product of a complex process of self-
persuasion that relies on cognitive processing of diverse sources of
efficacy information conveyed enactively, vicariously, socially, and
physiologically. Once formed, efficacy beliefs contribute importantly to the
level and quality of human functioning (Bandura, 1995, p. 11).

Self-efficacy is important to educational leaders because it is central to the

production of results. If individuals believe they have no little or power to

produce results, they will not strive to make things happen. Research has shown

that the principal is an integral part of an effective school. In developing first-

class schools, principals are charged with providing the leadership necessary to

respond to continual changes, not only in responsibilities brought about by








accountability and other related demands for increases in academic

achievement, but in response to myriad social changes occurring within schools

of the 21st century (DuFour & Eaker, 1992).

Self-efficacy beliefs are constructed from four principal sources of
information: enactive mastery experiences that serve as indicators of
capability; vicarious experiences that alter efficacy beliefs through
transmission of competencies and comparison with the attainments of
others; verbal persuasion and allied types of social influences that one
possesses certain capabilities; and physiological and affective states from
which people partly judge their capableness, strength, and vulnerability to
dysfunction. (Bandura, 1997, p. 79)

Self-efficacy beliefs are often a better predictor of successes and failures

than past performance, because efficacy judgment involves more than just

executed actions. Efficacy beliefs are built on the cognitive processing of the

diagnostic information that performances convey about capability. Appraisal of

efficacy involves the inferential processing of the relative contributions of ability

and nonability factors to the performance (Bandura, 1997).

There are several related views of personal efficacy including self-

concept, self-esteem, and locus of control. Self-concept or self-appraisal has

often been compared to self-efficacy. Self-concepts are formed through direct

experiences and evaluations adopted from significant others. Self-concept

contributes to one's attitude and general outlook on life. Even if self-concept is

related to some aspects of functioning, self-efficacy beliefs "vary across different

domains of activities, within the same activity domain at different levels of

difficulty, and under different circumstances" (Bandura, 1997, p.11).

Self-esteem and self-efficacy have often been used interchangeably as

though they represented the same construct. Self-efficacy is "concerned with








judgments of personal capability, whereas self-esteem is concerned with

judgments of self-worth" (Bandura, 1997, p. 11). Locus of control concerns the

beliefs about whether actions affect outcome. In terms of their relationship to

behavior, efficacy has been shown to be a good predictor of different forms of

behavior, whereas locus of control has been an inconsistent predictor of the

same behaviors.

It is also important to note that there are sources of discordance between

efficacy judgment and action. Although efficacy is related to action, a number of

factors can affect that relationship. Efficacy beliefs can increase and maintain

motivation, but they will not produce performances if the requisite subskills are

wholly lacking. Through the efficacy belief of self-development, capacity is

converted to capability. "Belief in one's learning efficacy activates and sustains

the effort and thought needed for skill development. Conversely, self-efficacious

thinking retards development of the very subskills upon which more complex

performances depend" (Bandura, 1997, p. 61).

Bandura (1997) contended that there are several conditions that can

create a dissemblance between efficacy belief and action. Some of these

disparities are a result of deficiencies of assessment, ambiguities of task

demands, or the conditions under which thought is related to action. It is

important that any relationship between efficacy and action draw upon similar

capabilities; otherwise, it would be measuring different competencies. In

addition, efficacy beliefs have good predictive validity if they are measured in

terms of different degrees of attainment. Attainment efficacy is the preferred








measure rather than means efficacy because it is more predictive. "In judging

their attainment efficacy, individuals can consider all of the means they have at

their disposal to exercise control" (Bandura, 1997, p. 63). Also, global measures

of efficacy often hide the diversity of the behavior being predicted.

The most common form of judgmental discordance is that personal

efficacy exceeds performance. However, Bandura cautioned that optimistic

judgments are not necessarily due to an overinflation of individuals' views of their

capabilities, but rather, the disparities may stem from an inadequate knowledge

of task demands or of how the social system works. Another factor that impinges

on the degree of relation between efficacy and action is due to temporal

disparities. "Behavior is regulated by efficacy beliefs that are operating at the

time of the behavior, rather than by those held earlier, unless they have remained

unchanged in the interim" (Bandura, 1997, p. 67). It is preferable to measure

efficacy beliefs and action in close temporal proximity; otherwise, people may be

acting on altered self-beliefs. However, it would also be inaccurate to say that

efficacy beliefs cannot predict behaviors after long periods of time. The most

relevant factor is not the amount of time during the interim, but whether the

efficacy beliefs have been changed by an intervening experience. The stability of

efficacy beliefs over time is determined by their strength, the way in which they

were acquired, and the influences of intervening experiences.

If an activity involves an element of threat, efficacy beliefs have been

shown to exhibit a gradient of strength. As the task draws closer or begins to

appear more formidable, personal limitations may move to the forefront in one's








thoughts. However, firmly established efficacy beliefs remain tenacious despite

the temporal or physical proximity to the relevant activity. In contrast, weakly

held beliefs are subject to change. The seriousness of errors also influences the

accuracy of self-efficacy judgments. However, if the missteps carry no

consequences there is little incentive for self-appraisal, unless the errors become

public. "Concern over what others might think becomes more important than

how well one performs an inconsequential activity on some future occasion"

(Bandura, 1997, p. 68).

Incentives and resources also play a major role in performance.

Individuals may possess the necessary skills to perform the task, and they have

strong efficacy beliefs; however, they have no incentive to perform. In addition,

efficacy may not be expressed in action, if the necessary resources are not

available or are lacking (Bandura, 1997).

Faulty self-knowledge also affects self-efficacy beliefs. Sometimes people

do not fully understand what they have to do, they may have a limited basis on

which to assess their self-efficacy, there may be personal factors that distort their

self-appraisal, or they may have selective recall of personal successes or

failures. Nonability influences contribute to an individual's performance. Those

contributors include an interaction among motivational, self-regulatory, and

affective nonability determinants (Bandura, 1997).

If efficacy beliefs only reflect what people can do, they would in many

cases remain tied to habitual performances. The attainment of skills and the

growth in knowledge require perseverant effort in the face of adversity. A








resilient sense of personal efficacy is necessary .to overcome the many

deterrents to significant accomplishments. "An optimistic belief in one's efficacy

is thus a necessity, not a character flaw. Optimistic self-appraisals of capability

raise aspirations and sustain motivation in ways that enable people to get the

most out of their talents" (Bandura, 1997, p. 72).

Self-efficacy in occupational socialization predicts future success and

satisfaction. In the case of new members to an organization, the efficacy beliefs

that they bring and further develop during their initial training contribute to the

success of the socialization process. Newcomers with secure self-efficacy

beliefs fare much better than do their low self-efficacy colleagues. Organizations

that provide to their new employees mastery experiences, effective coworker

models, and performance feedback help to facilitate occupational efficacy which

leads to future success and a stronger commitment to the organization (Bandura,

1997).

Similar patterns in occupational self-efficacy for gender and ethnicity was

also noted. In their study of socioeconomic status and gender to occupational

choices, Hannah and Kahn (1989) contended that occupational efficacy is the

result of socioeducational experiences and cultural beliefs. Gender and social

class barriers may diminish occupational efficacy. Women's pursuits of non-

traditional careers are constrained by their lowered sense of efficacy for

traditionally male dominated roles (Bandura, 1997; Betz & Hackett, 1981).

Women's career choices are also shaped by their efficacy to handle both

occupational and familial responsibilities (Stickel & Bonett, 1991). Research on








minorities and occupational efficacy has been comparatively minor in relation to

research on gender differences and occupational efficacy (Bandura, 1997).

However, "because the sociostructural barriers for women and ethnic minorities

are similar, their patterns of perceived occupational efficacy are much the same"

(p. 438).

Rapid changes in the workplace require a high sense of efficacy and

versatility. Work within teams often helps to foster an enabling work environment

that produces a highly skilled and flexible workforce. Although the work life

becomes more diversified and challenging, it is through self-management that

more personal control is afforded. Team work often requires managers to give

up control and serve as facilitators who provide resources, guidance, and

support. It is interesting to note that this enabling work environment builds

managers' sense of efficacy to lead productive teams. The self-managing

structure must be genuine at all levels of the organization; otherwise, it will not

prove to be an effective approach. Efficacious adaptability is required if

organizations want to remain successful in the future. Rapid change requires

different forms of efficacy that determine growth and effectiveness. First is the

ability to recognize and respond quickly to changes that affect products or

services. The second type of change relies on efficacy to create continual and

incremental improvements through experimentation and modeling of other

successful practices. The third type requires creative innovations that develop

new products or services that foster market demands (Bandura, 1997).








Managerial decision making is affected by personal efficacy beliefs. One's

personal efficacy affects what information is gathered, how it is interpreted, and

how it is used for managing situational challenges. Managers must be secure in

their personal self-efficacy to remain task oriented, especially in the face of

adversity. "Effective decision making... requires a high sense of managerial

efficacy not only in analytic thinking but also in social persuasion, management of

power conflicts, and building coalitions" (Bandura, 1997, p. 451). To improve the

quality and productivity of an organization, requires that a leader be receptive to

innovations. Efficacy beliefs affect not only how receptive the administrator will

be to innovations, but also the readiness with which employees adopt them.

Theoretical Frameworks on Sense of Community

A number of researchers have proposed frameworks for understanding

sense of community in the workplace (Burroughs & Eby, 1998; Klein & D'Aunno,

1986; Lambert & Hopkins, 1995; Pretty & McCarthy, 1991; Royal & Rossi, 1996).

Klein and D'Aunno (1986) have proposed a framework for understanding

psychological sense of community in the workplace. Their framework includes

three components: "(1) factors hypothesized to influence or determine sense of

community in the workplace; (2) referents or anchor points for individuals' sense

of community; and (3) mechanisms that underlie and explain the relationship

between the hypothesized determinants and sense of community" (pp. 366-367).

Klein and D'Aunno's (1986) first component, determinants of workplace

sense of community, include the following characteristics: individual employee

characteristics such as homogeneity of group members and need for affiliation,








individual demographic characteristics such as employee tenure with the

organization, employee age, income, and education; job characteristics such as

task identity, task significance, and feedback; leader characteristics such as

modeling supportive behavior and providing opportunities for meaningful

participation in the group or organization; subgroup characteristics such as group

tasks and group process; organizational characteristics such as participative

management and information sharing, as well as organizational demographics

such as size, age, and profitability; and extra-organizational characteristics such

as environmental factors of supply and demand, and amount of bureaucracy.

Klein and D'Aunno's (1986) second component, workplace referents,

include friendship network such as a circle of friends who may socialize outside

of work; and functional subgroup that may include working together on a

common task or toward a mutual goal. Members may be from a small work

group or a department or division within the larger organization; the organization

as a whole may serve as a referent when members feel a sense of belonging or

membership; and the last two referents transcend the singular organization when

members feel a sense of community with their profession or job class. Those

individuals may not actually work together. The last referent is the work site,

such as a "one-company town."

Klein and D'Aunno's (1986) third component of the framework are those

mechanisms that impact the determinants of sense of community. This occurs

when the determinant "increases the individual's perception that a group or

'community' exists... increases the individual's positive appraisal of the








group... and/or fosters the individual's sense of active involvement in the group"

(p. 372).

McMillan and Chavis (1986) developed a sense of community model

consisting of four dimensions broad enough to include both geographical and

relational community. Those dimensions included membership, which fosters a

sense of belonging to and identification with the larger organization or group;

influence, which is demonstrated by reciprocal relationships that affect change in

each other; fulfillment of needs through cooperative behavior-this dimension

helps individuals get their needs met; and emotional connection, the sense of

support that arises out of the struggles and successes of the relational network.

Later, McMillan (1996) rearranged and renamed the four elements as follows:

"spirit, trust, trade, and art" (p. 315). In the decade that followed McMillan and

Chavis' (1986) initial model, McMillan (1996) came to see sense of community

"as a spirit of belonging together, a feeling that there is an authority structure that

can be trusted, an awareness that trade and mutual benefit come from being

together, and a spirit that comes from shared experiences that are preserved as

art" (p. 315).

Burroughs and Eby's (1998) definition of psychological sense of

community was developed from current literature and interactions with

community-building experts. Their elements of psychological sense of

community incorporated and built upon the McMillan and Chavis (1986) model.

The six dimensions of Burroughs and Eby's (1998) Psychological Sense of

Community Scale include coworker support, emotional safety, sense of








belonging, spiritual bond, team orientation, and truth-telling. Burroughs and

Eby's (1998) framework of antecedents and consequences of sense of

community include, as antecedents, individual, group, and organizational

characteristics, and psychological contracts; and their consequences of sense of

community include job satisfaction, and organizational citizenship behaviors of

loyalty, civic virtue, altruism, and courtesy. Their individual, group, and

organizational characteristics include need for affiliation, tenure, workgroup size,

and number of acquaintances in the workgroup as well as the psychological

contracts of organizational benefits, employee participation, and working

relationships.

Community Research

Studies have also investigated sense of community in a wide variety of

contexts, including the workplace (Burroughs & Eby, 1998; Lambert & Hopkins,

1995; Pretty & McCarthy, 1991; Pretty et al., 1992; Royal & Rossi, 1996; Royal &

Rossi, 1999), a job training center (Brodsky & Marx, 2001), a union setting

(Catano et al., 1993), a university residence hall (Pretty, 1990), early family

experiences (Davidson, Cotter, & Stovall, 1991), an alcoholic residential program

setting (Bishop et al., 1997), adolescents in social settings (Pretty, Andrews, &

Collett, 1994; Pretty, Conroy, Dugay, Fowler, & Williams, 1996), and the college

environment (Lounsbury & DeNeui, 1996).

Using the McMillan and Chavis model, Pretty and McCarthy (1991)

adapted the Sense of Community Index for use in the workplace. In their study

within a corporate environment, they examined characteristics of the








psychosocial climate that predicted sense of community. To investigate this

construct, 434 employees, managers and nonmanagers of both genders, from a

public utilities corporation completed the Sense of Community Index (SCI),

modified for the work community, and the Moos Work Environment Scale (WES).

In terms of sense of community, men experienced a stronger sense of

community than did women. Sense of community was significantly related to the

length of time employees had worked for the company for male managers only.

Even when the length of time with the corporation was removed, male managers

had a higher sense of community than any other group. Female nonmanagers

reported the lowest sense of community. "All correlations with relationship

components, i.e., involvement, peer cohesion, and supervisor support, were

positive and highly significant (p < .001) for men and women, managers and

nonmanagers" (Pretty & McCarthy, 1991, p. 357). In addition, autonomy and task

orientation were positive and significantly related to sense of community for men

and women, managers and nonmanagers. For women, work pressure was

significantly negatively related to sense of community for managers and

nonmanagers, but for male managers, it was significantly positively related.

Researchers also found "the more managers perceived their work to be under

the control of upper management, the lower their sense of community" (p. 357).

Work environment predictors of sense of community varied depending upon the

subgroup. Male nonmanagers' sense of community was predicted by the

amount of involvement and support they perceived from their supervisor. Male

managers, however, were more influenced by the amount of peer cohesion and








involvement they perceived from their colleagues. Similar to their male

nonmanager colleagues, female nonmanagers' sense of community was

predicted first by supervisor involvement and second by peer cohesion rather

than supervisor support. Female managers' sense of community was most

influenced by the amount of supervisor support they perceived and second by

the involvement of their colleagues.

Lambert and Hopkins (1995) conceptualized sense of community as a

commitment to the organization and a perceived sense of organizational support,

based on the McMillan and Chavis (1986) model. In this study, researchers

examined occupational conditions that affected sense of community in the

workplace. Specifically they postulated that a sense of community is affected by

job characteristics, workplace relationships, and workplace policies that are

supportive toward employees and their families. In this study, researchers

administered questionnaires to a random sample of 884 employees at an engine-

gasket manufacturing company in the mid-west. Of the 884 employees, 217

were supervisors. The remaining workers were blue collar (424) and white collar

(243). The overall response rate to the questionnaire was 67.9%. The company

employed about 2,000 workers; they were not unionized. The company had

been family owned during its 75-year history. The company had been named

one of the 10 best for whom to work and was always highly rated by Working

Mothers magazine for being a responsive company. Findings indicated that for

both men and women, "the extent to which workers' jobs require them to work

well with others in the workplace is positively related to a sense of community" (p.








167). They also found that challenging work and opportunities for advancement

are positively related to sense of community, but overwhelming job

responsibilities hinder it, which held for both men and women. They also found

that supervisor support and workgroup support were significantly related to men's

sense of community, but not women's. This was inconsistent with their

hypothesis that supportive workplace relationships would be important in

women's sense of community as well. Additionally, input into decision making

was particularly helpful in explaining sense of community among women.

Researchers found that having relatives work for the same company detracted

from sense of community for women. In terms of workplace policies, benefit

appreciation helped explain both men and women's sense of community, but was

significantly more important in explaining women's sense of community. Benefit

use was not significantly related to sense of community for either women or men,

and was still confirmed whether or not workers had children or were caring for an

older or sick adult. When race was examined, it was statistically significant for

neither women nor men. However, for African Americans, sense of community

was negatively related to women. Researchers speculated that the lower

response rate for African American men (45.9%) compared to women (71.5%)

could have affected this outcome, in that more women chose to relay their

experiences. If that "explanation has merit, then the interaction between race

and gender should disappear when the results are adjusted for the difference in

the response rates of African American men and women" (p. 171). In summary,

Lambert and Hopkins (1995) found that for men and women, sense of community








is positively related to the fair allocation of promotions, challenging jobs,

interaction among workers, and not being overwhelmed with work

responsibilities.

Royal and Rossi (1996) viewed sense of community as involving "a

complex set of transactions between an individual and a group. The functioning

of a group affects the sense of community experienced by its members both

directly, through their own interactions in the group, and indirectly, through their

observations of interactions involving others in the group" (p. 402). They

identified 11 elements of community including shared vision, shared values,

shared purpose, trust, respect, caring, recognition, communication, participation,

teamwork, and incorporation of diversity.

In this study, Royal and Rossi (1996) collected data from a social science

research firm and three high schools. In the research firm, all employees from

three offices were given the assessment instrument to complete. The three high

schools were representative of three school districts in the San Francisco Bay

Area. Each of the schools was affiliated with the Bay Area Region Coalition of

Essential Schools and was involved in restructuring. In the schools, all staff

members and a random sample of students received an assessment instrument

to complete. For the research firm, the assessment instrument addressed

individuals' attachment to the organization, job satisfaction, their intention to

leave the organization, their internal work motivation, and their psychological

health. For school staff, the instrument addressed job satisfaction, role conflict,

role overload, role clarity, and psychological well-being. The school assessment








form also included items related to perceptions about the success of school

reform efforts. Covariates included gender for both the firm and school staff, but

not race. The workgroups in the schools were small and relatively

homogeneous; for this reason, racial information was not collected as it might

have led to identification of the participants. Researchers found no evidence of a

relationship between tenure or status (job title) and sense of community. Only

one of the high schools met the study qualifications as having a learning

community and staff members were asked to identify whether they were affiliated

with one of the learning communities. Affiliation with a learning community was

found to be positively associated with sense of community for that school. In the

research firm, "sense of community was positively related to indicators of

organizational attachment, job satisfaction, and role clarity; sense of community

was negatively related to indicators of intention to leave the organization, role

conflict, role overload, and psychological distress" (pp. 409-410). In the three

schools, "sense of community was positively related to indicators of job

satisfaction and role clarity in two of the three sites and negatively related to

indicators of role overload, role conflict, and psychological distress in one of the

sites" (p. 410). Researchers also reported for all three schools that "staff

members experiencing a higher sense of community at school were more likely

to report that school reform activities have made the school a better place to

work, brought staff together, and benefited student learning" (p. 410).

In another study, Royal and Rossi (1999) examined predictors of within-

school differences in teachers' sense of community. This study was designed to








complement previous school-level research. In this study, data were collected

through a survey of faculty members in three public high schools in the San

Francisco Bay Area. The sense of community was assessed by the use of an

85-item measure, designed to capture the dimensions of the researchers'

definition of the construct. Referents included relations with site administrators,

colleagues, and students. The classes of predictors included

time related variables (employment tenure in a school and time spent in
interaction with other staff members and students), work arrangement
variables (participation in mentor programs and team-teaching
arrangements), and school organizational variables (perceived orderliness
of student behavior and support for innovation). (p. 259)

The results indicated that tenure is positively related to sense of community with

colleagues, unrelated to students, and negatively related to school and site

administrators. Researchers speculated that the negative relationship between

tenure and sense of community with school administrators may be the result of

"battle scars" from past reform efforts. It was also noted that time spent with

students was weakly positively related to teachers' sense of community with

students, yet negatively related to their sense of community with colleagues and

administrators. Possibly more time spent with students leaves less time to

develop a sense of community with adults. There was a positive relationship

between team teaching and sense of community with the school and site

administrators. Also, perceived support for reform was positively related to

teachers' sense of community with their colleagues and school and site

administrators. In conclusion, Royal and Rossi also found that positive student








behavior is positively (weakly) related to teachers' sense of community within the

school.

Burroughs and Eby (1998) studied sense of community in the workplace

to identify the antecedents and consequences of sense of community. In this

study, participants included 256 (160 women, 96 men) employees across 11

organizations holding a variety of job positions. The 11 participating

organizations were made up of four large companies and seven small

companies. Of the large companies, one was in the automotive industry, another

was in a manufacturing industry, and the other two were in the office supply

industry. The small companies employed less than 20 members each, and they

included retail, distributor, and service businesses. The researchers considered

using Royal and Rossi's (1996) Community Assessment Guide; however, the

scale did not contain the dimensions of truth-telling and spiritual bonds that were

inherent in Burroughs and Eby's definition of the construct. Therefore, this study

involved the development of a measurement system, an assessment of its

psychometric properties, and a test of the initial framework of antecedents and

consequences of sense of community.

Burroughs and Eby (1998) reported that their definition of the dimensions

of the construct had similarities to existing definitions found in the literature.

However, they added truth-telling based on McMillan's (1996) recommendation

that the community must make it safe for a member to tell the truth. This

"requires the member to have personal emotional courage to take a

psychological risk, and for the community to have empathy, understanding, and








caring" (p. 511). The researchers also added the dimension of spiritual bonds

because they believed that individuals need to have an understanding of what

enhances the human spirit and what about sense of community makes it

spiritual. Thus, Burroughs and Eby's definition of sense of community includes

the six dimensions of coworker support, emotional safety, sense of belonging,

spiritual bond, team orientation, and truth-telling. "Due to ... the exploratory

nature of the present study, several classes of antecedent variables were

examined, representing influences at the individual, group, and organizational

level" (Burroughs & Eby, 1998, p. 513). While the variables were not all

inclusive, they were representative of the variety of influences expected to impact

sense of community. The antecedents included the individual characteristics of

need for affiliation and tenure, and the group and organizational characteristics of

size of workgroup and the number of employee acquaintances. The researchers

also believed that transactional psychological contracts and relational contracts

will be related to sense of community. "A transactional contract is defined as an

economic exchange between employees and organizations characterized by

precise obligations related to an unwritten contract" (p. 515). Relational

contracts, unlike transactional, are not related to earning or obtaining something.

They involve intrinsically motivated efforts, such as covenantal relationships that

are deeper and are reciprocal between individual employees. The

consequences of sense of community included job satisfaction and

organizational citizenship behaviors (loyalty, civic virtue, altruism, courtesy). The

background variables of age, sex, race, job status (full/part time), tenure, and job








type were also included in the questionnaire. Results revealed that both

relational and transactional contracts had a strong correlation to sense of

community. The researchers believed that the correlation with transactional

contracts lends support to workplace benefits such as child care, fitness centers,

and university courses. Another finding was that sense of community was also

related to need for affiliation. These individuals may be supportive toward others

with similar attitudes and needs and that this support may assist in strengthening

one's sense of community. The researchers indicated that their findings

supported the belief that communities are important because they function to link

individuals to the larger social group while at the same time help to meet the

needs of individuals through group attachments. "This idea that there is a

relationship between the individual and the larger group, in this case the work

organization, appears key to defining a sense of community" (Burroughs & Eby,

1998, p. 526).

Pretty, McCarthy, and Catano (1992) examined psychological

environment and burnout by gender within the corporation. In this study,

researchers used the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), the Sense of Community

Index (SCI), and the Psychosocial Work Environment Scale (WES).

Researchers indicated that the literature has failed to find consistent gender-

related differences in burnout. They believed this was surprising as women and

men often do not have the same work experiences with regard to discrimination,

pay, and advancement opportunities. This study examined whether men and

women "share the same environmental vulnerabilities to burnout" (p. 702). The








two environmental characteristics of sense of community and the psychosocial

climate of the workplace served as covariates of burnout in male managers and

nonmanagers compared to their female counterparts.

In this study, 700 employees from a telecommunications company in

eastern Canada were randomly selected from the company's master list of all

full-time employees, both management and nonmanagement. A response rate of

62% of the sample was obtained. Respondents received the surveys in the

company mail and were given time at work to complete the surveys in private. In

addition, employees reported their gender, job classification

(management/nonmanagement), tenure, and highest education. Male

nonmanagers participated considerably less when compared to the other groups,

which resulted in a smaller N and less statistical power for analyses of this group.

The results indicated that "employees with high sense of community scores

tended to report less depersonalization, less emotional exhaustion and more

personal accomplishment. These relationships were consistent across all

subgroups" (Pretty et al., 1992, p. 708). All correlations between sense of

community and the components of burnout were significant "with the exception of

the correlation with personal accomplishment in the female nonmanager group"

(p. 708). Pretty, McCarthy, and Catano observed that when all groups

experienced a lower sense of community they also experienced more exhaustion

and depersonalization. Researchers reported "that sense of community ... may

moderate the relationship between burnout and indicators of commitment" (p.








710). Pretty, McCarthy, and Catano believed that "sense of community emerged

as an important variable for consideration in burnout research" (p. 709).

Bishop, Chertok, and Jason (1997) studied sense of community with 133

male addicts and alcoholics, all of whom were members of a residential program

for recovering alcoholics. In this study, researchers examined the relationship of

sense of community to stress, social support, and hope. The sense of

community scale was developed by the second author, Chertok, and focused on

three elements: mission, connection, and reciprocal responsibility. Findings

suggested that sense of community (full-scale) was most highly correlated with

the social support subscale, belonging, defined as the perceived availability of

others with whom to share activities. The second highest full-scale correlation

was with the social support subscale, tangible (i.e., availability of material aid).

Sense of community (full-scale) was also significantly related to the social

support subscale, appraisal. This indicated the perceived availability of

individuals with whom to share conversation. Bishop, Chertok, and Jason also

found a negative relationship between the sense of community subscale,

reciprocal responsibility-that is, members of an ongoing group who are mutually

responsible to each other-and the hope subscale, pessimism. Finally, no

relationship was found between sense of community and stress. The

researchers proposed that this study served to measure the sense of community

construct beyond the context of local residence.

Catano, Pretty, Southwell, and Cole (1993) studied sense of community

as a predictor of different criterion measures of union participation. These








researchers used the criterion measures of political activity that included "voting,

campaigning, contacting officials, talking politics, and working on public

problems" (p. 333). They believed that participation in unions is analogous to

participation in politics and they "proposed that sense of community would predict

membership participation in various union activities" (p. 333). For this study, data

were obtained by mail from 925 randomly selected union members, a 34% return

rate. The only significant predictor to emerge was grievance filing. Therefore,

the results indicated that workers with a high sense of community and a positive

perception of the work environment may be less likely to file grievances.

Brodsky and Marx (2001) investigated the presence and operation of

multiple senses of community in a job training and education center for

underserved women in a large urban city in the northeast. The goal of the job

center was to prepare women to obtain and retain employment with a living

wage. The center offered job training, GED classes, psychosocial services, and

family-related services to women leaving welfare as well as those working in

nonliving wage jobs. The women were predominantly African American and

were between the ages of 19 and 62. The researchers believed that exploration

of multiple senses of community at the macro and subcommunity levels could

enhance understanding of the community's operation and would have

significance for enhancing positive outcomes in multicultural communities. In this

study, 114 participants completed three revised versions of the Sense of

Community Index (SCI) in two different administrations. In the original index,

sense of community was measured in relation to respondents' neighborhood








community (McMillan & Chavis, 1986). In this study, the referent communities

were the two Caroline Center communities, defined as the macro or overall

Caroline Center community and the Caroline Center subcommunities, defined for

students as their Phase 1 class and for staff as membership in the staff

subcommunity. Therefore, respondents completed the first version of the SCI in

reference to their home community, as well as two additional versions: one for

the macrocommunity of Caroline Center and the second for either "Phase 1

class" or "staff at Caroline Center" for the subcommunity measures for students

and staff, respectively. Results indicated that for both students and staff, there

was a positive sense of community with the macrocommunity of Caroline Center.

In terms of their home communities, both students and staff described a less

than positive sense of community. Students also reported significantly higher

sense of community for Caroline Center as a whole than for their subcommunity,

although the subcommunity was in the positive range.

Findings of Brodsky and Marx's (2001) research suggested the existence

of multiple senses of community at both the macro and subcommunity levels and

that individuals can participate in a number of different communities at any one

time. "Many of our greatest social challenges today revolve around building

community in an increasingly diverse world" (p. 176). Historically,

the United States was once a "melting pot," which melded our differences
into a smooth blend. This is quite different from the current recipe, in
which the United States looks much more like a stew, with each distinct
flavor and texture adding to the whole while still maintaining its integrity.
(pp. 176-177)








Brodsky and Marx (2001) maintained that some individuals fear that by

promoting individual and group differences, the whole is somehow damaged.

They further state that some members of society worry that sense of community

at the subcommunity level will make the larger community less important and

integral. In conclusion, Brodsky and Marx suggested that the macrocommunity

respects and supports the contributions of the subcommittee while providing

opportunities for subcommunities to connect. The subcommunity serves to tie

individuals back to the larger community by providing needed local support.

"Thus the answer to the 'problem' of diversity isn't combining and erasing

differences, but promoting and recognizing the necessity of diversity as a rich,

textured whole" (p. 177).

Davidson, Cotter, and Stovall (1991) studied the development of sense of

community in relation to two types of social variables: one, the personality trait

"need for affiliation" and two, the nuclear family variable "the number of siblings

with whom one was raised." In this study, telephone interviews were conducted

through random samples in 41 of 67 counties in Alabama. The survey included

236 adults, 91 men and 145 women. The researchers wanted to examine the

personal predispositions or early social experiences that may cultivate the

development of sense of community in adults. They "reasoned that both

precursors promote later social contact basic to sense of community" (p. 817).

The respondents were administered the Sense of Community Scale, the need-

for-affiliation scale of the Personality Research Form-E, and were asked

questions regarding demographics and the number of siblings with whom they








were raised until age 10. The researchers conducted multiple regression

analysis with sense of community as the criterion variable and the predictor

variables of sex, race, education, age, need for affiliation, and number of siblings.

Davidson, Cotter, and Stovall (1991) found three significant predictors. "The

direction of the significant relationships indicated that people who were older,

who scored higher on the need for affiliation, or who were raised with more than

one sibling had higher scores on the sense of community scale" (p. 818).

Researchers reported that conclusions are limited due to the shortened versions

of scales and interpretations should be specific to the referent group for sense of

community, for which they used "city."

Pretty (1990) studied the relationship of sense of community to social

climate characteristics within the context of a university residence community

using the Sense of Community Index (SCI) and the University Residence

Environment Scale (URES). In this study, a convenience sample of 102 male

and female undergraduate residents of a university dorm was obtained when

students were approached at random in the dorm lobby. There were several

significant correlations between items on the two scales. Involvement and

support were highly significant and intellectuality and order/organization were

also significant. "Results of the stepwise multiple regression analysis indicated

that the psychological sense of community in a university residence can be

partially predicted from the amount of involvement, academic achievement, and

support perceived by the students" (p. 62). Pretty concluded that this study

"demonstrated that the relationship between psychosocial climate and sense of








community extends beyond the expected personal networks and support" (p. 64).

It also demonstrated the expectations of the environment. Students not only

conveyed perceptions of their interactions with others but also to what they

perceived was expected of them as a group-that is, academic achievement.

Pretty added that these conclusions added further support to Sarason's (1974)

findings in his original theory of sense of community. The two dimensions

recognized by Sarason included perceptions of similarity and interdependence as

well as meeting expectations of the community. The roots of this concept extend

to Murray (1938) when the social environment was initially described in terms of

the individual's "need" and the environment's "press." In this study, involvement

and support are the personal "needs" and academic achievement is the

environment's "press," (Pretty, 1990). Pretty also believed that this study has

implications for "engineering interventions in environments where the sense of

community is deteriorating" (p. 65). Pretty also concluded "as more behavioral

consultants realize the influence psychological sense of community has on

people in specific settings, such as work environments (Klein & D'Aunno, 1986),

it becomes essential to delineate the specific environmental characteristics that

affect it" (p. 65).

Pretty, Andrews, and Collett (1994) examined adolescents' neighborhood

and school sense of community. Participants in this study included males and

females who ranged in age from 15 to 19. The purpose of this study was to

investigate sense of community as an indicator of social environments in

neighborhoods and schools. Researchers found that school sense of community








was not related to the number of years students attended the school. School

sense of community was higher for students who indicated that most of their best

friends were at school rather than in the neighborhood. School sense of

community was significantly related to the number of supports and tangible

assistance. Both neighborhood and school sense of community were negatively

related to loneliness; however, school sense of community was the strongest

predictor of loneliness. Researchers indicated that these findings suggest the

importance of including ecological models as part of the pursuit for understanding

the adolescent development process.

Pretty, Conroy, Dugay, Fowler, and Williams (1996) studied sense of

community in relation to social support, loneliness, and well-being of

adolescents. This study extends the work of Pretty et al. (1994) by examining

the applicability of their findings across adolescents of all ages. In this study, 234

male and female adolescents, ages 13 to 18, were interviewed in informal social

settings. Individuals were administered the Sense of Community Index (SCI), the

Inventory of Socially Supported Behavior, and the Revised UCLA Loneliness

Scale. Analyses indicated that social support and sense of community were

distinctive aspects of the adolescent's community context. In addition, sense of

community scores for neighborhood and school were significantly lower for older

adolescents. "Findings suggest that the predictive ability of research models that

have established relationships between mental health and social contexts using

individual-level social support indices, may be improved with the inclusion of

systems-level sense of community" (p. 375).








Lounsbury and DeNeui (1996) studied collegiate sense of community in

relation to size of college and extroversion. Researchers believed that the vigor

of the concept of sense of community is evident in the variety of ways in which it

is related to disparate community structures and processes. In this study, the

sense of community scale was administered to a nonrandom sample of 1,127

undergraduate students from 27 colleges varying in size of enrollment. "A one-

way analysis of variance revealed that students from colleges with enrollments of

less than 2,000 and enrollments between 2,000 and 9,999 had higher sense of

community scores than students from colleges with enrollments of 10,000 to

19,000 and enrollments greater than 20,000" (p. 381). Students living on

campus also had higher sense of community scores as did students who were

members of a fraternity or sorority. Extroversion was found to be significantly

correlated with sense of community.

Sense of community as a mediating variable was studied in a school

setting by Battistich, Solomon, and Watson (1998). These researchers had as a

goal to establish sense of community in the school "characterized by caring and

supportive relationships among community members, opportunities to actively

participate in and help influence community life, and shared goals and values" (p.

7). Their hypothesis was that sense of community would link program practices

with student outcomes. In this study, a comprehensive program designed to

promote sense of community was implemented in 12 elementary schools in six

school districts over a four-year period. Researchers studied the effects of the

program on students' social and ethical attitudes and behaviors. Through an








analyses of classroom-level data, findings "showed clear support for a model in

which the effects of program practices on social-ethical outcomes for students

were mediated through intervening effects on students' sense of the school as a

community" (p. 1).

In another study, Newmann, Rutter, and Smith (1989) examined

organizational factors that affected sense of efficacy, sense of community, and

expectations in public high schools. The background factors in this study

included school size, urbanicity, race, socioeconomic status, and students'

ability; and the organizational factors included student behavior, administrative

responsiveness, teachers' influence in decision making, encouragement of

innovation, teachers' knowledge of other teachers' courses, teachers' helping

each other, principal leadership, in-service programs, collaboration time, and

staff development time. Findings showed that, except for school size, sense of

community demonstrated an even greater role for organizational features than

background factors. It was clearly shown that four organizational factors

increased the variance in community, including administrator responsiveness,

teachers' knowledge of other teachers' courses, student behavior, and teachers

helping their colleagues. In addition, for efficacy, organizational factors appear to

have significantly more powerful relationships than do background variables. In

particular, this impact is due to two factors: "orderly behavior of students and the

encouragement of innovation, although administrative responsiveness also

enhances efficacy" (p. 234). While the researchers noted that "direct causality








cannot be inferred, the results suggest the potential of changing organizational

features in high schools for reducing the alienation of teachers" (p. 221).

Summary of Research Findings

A number of conclusions can be confidently drawn from the research

literature. Many researchers have argued that community in our current society

is a relational occurrence. Feelings of belonging and social support increasingly

are being found in various formal and informal groups, rather than in residential

neighborhoods. Workplaces and schools constitute important communities

where individuals can establish supportive relationships with others.

Because principals are responsible for providing the necessary leadership

to respond to the continual changes and related demands for increases in

academic achievement, their utilization of collaborative and relational skills is

essential to these efforts. A sense of community may have important benefits for

administrators, both personally and professionally. It can counteract the

fragmentation of work and social isolation and provides personal support and

collegiality that principals need to better manage a demanding and ever-

changing school environment. Although causal inferences cannot be made, the

job characteristics and workplace relationships of supervisor support, peer

cohesion, input into decision making, job satisfaction, role clarification, and need

for affiliation emerged as effective predictors of sense of community.

This review of the literature has shown that many studies have been done

on community in varied settings. In most of these studies, employees or group

members with strong affiliation to their community-however defined-were





68

more productive, experienced greater job satisfaction, and felt more loyalty to

their organization. The increase in societal and educational responsibilities of

schools require them to explore all concepts that have promise of improving

teachers' and principals' working lives and their environment, especially their

interactions with and influences on students. To further that end, the literature

reviewed supports further examination of community as it relates to principals.

Chapter three continues with the methodology for the study.













CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

This chapter presents the mediational model including the questions,

hypotheses, and analyses that guided this research study. In addition, this

chapter includes a description of the population and sample, the instruments that

were used, the University of Florida's Institutional Review Board process

(Appendix A), and the procedures that were involved in the collection and

analyses of data.

The purpose of this study was to examine principals' sense of community

as a mediator between personal and district demographic variables and self-

efficacy beliefs. Specifically, sense of community was examined as the

mechanism through which two sets of antecedent variables (personal and district

demographic variables) affected principals' self-efficacy beliefs. Each of the

three hypotheses in this study was constructed to test for mediation.

Sense of community was determined by principals' self-reported

responses to the Community Assessment Guide (Royal & Rossi, 1996).

Personal demographic variables included gender, tenure (i.e., number of years

worked as principal in the district), school level (elementary, middle, high) and

race/ethnicity. District demographic variables included the size of the principals'

referent group, and district enrollment group (i.e., small, medium, large, very

large). Self-efficacy beliefs were determined by principals' self-reported








responses to the Principals' Self-Efficacy Questionnaire (Dimmock & Hattie,

1996).

For purposes of this study, the personal demographic variables of gender,

tenure, school level, and race/ethnicity, and the district demographic variables of

principals' referent group, and district enrollment group, served as exogenous

variables. The principals' sense of community and self-efficacy beliefs served as

endogenous variables.

This chapter presents a description of the methodology that was used to

complete this investigation including the population and sample; instrumentation,

including data on reliability and validity; data collection; and data analyses. In

accordance with a conceptual framework for understanding sense of community

in the workplace (Royal & Rossi, 1996), Bandura's (1997, 1995) theories on self-

efficacy, and Baron and Kenny's (1986) conceptual model of mediating variables,

three research hypotheses were tested.

Mediational Model

Mediational analysis has grown in the research literature as the positive

aspects have become apparent to social and behavioral researchers.

"Mediational analyses are important in the social and behavioral sciences

because they concern mechanisms or processes that explain how or why one

variable causes another" (Hoyle & Kenny, 1999, p. 195).

Baron and Kenny (1986) provided conceptual distinctions of mediating

variables that served as the framework for this study. The researchers stressed

the importance of understanding the differences between moderator and








mediator variables. "In general terms, a moderator is a qualitative or quantitative

variable that affects the direction and/or strength of the relation between an

independent or predictor variable and a dependent or criterion variable" (p.

1174). In contrast, a variable "may be said to function as a mediator to the extent

that it accounts for the relation between the predictor and the criterion" (p. 1176).

Baron and Kenny (1986) use a path diagram as a model for illustrating the

concept. The mediation model is diagrammed in Figure 3-1.

This model assumes a three-variable system such that there are
two causal paths feeding into the outcome variable: the direct
impact of the independent variable (path c) and the impact of the
mediator (path b). There is also a path from the independent
variable to the mediator (path a). (p. 1176)

SMediator b
a b

C

Predictor Variable Outcome Variable

Figure 3-1. Mediational Model (Baron & Kenny, 1986).


A variable is functioning as a mediator when the following conditions

occur: (a) the antecedent variables have significant positive relationships with the

presumed mediator, (b) mediator variations account for variations in the outcome

variable, (c) the antecedent variables are associated with the outcome variables

and when adding the mediator, any previous associations between the

antecedent and outcome variables are no longer significant. Mediation is

strongest when there is no longer any relationship between the antecedent and

outcome variables (Baron & Kenny, 1986).








The following hypotheses were constructed to test for mediation and

guided this study. The mediating role of sense of community is hypothesized in

the section below.

Hypothesis 1: Personal/district demographic variables are related to sense

of community in the workplace.

Analysis: Hypothesis 1 was tested using regression analysis.

Relationships among the mediating variable (sense of community) and the

antecedent variables (personal/district demographic variables) were examined

using multiple regression. Semi-partial correlations were used to interpret the

strength of the association between the mediating variable (sense of community)

and each of the antecedent variables. Squared semi-partial correlations reflect

the amount or proportion of total variance in the mediating variable (sense of

community) that was uniquely associated with each antecedent variable, when

holding constant or controlling for the effects of the other antecedent variables.

The regression model included the antecedent variables of gender, school level,

race/ethnicity, and district enrollment group, each of which were treated as

categorical variables. The model also included tenure, size of principals' referent

group, and sense of community, each of which were treated as continuous

variables. Each categorical variable was dummy coded into classifications in

order to provide for comparison between group means for the reference group

and the remaining groups. In this study, the reference groups included females,

elementary level schools, White/Caucasian, and small size districts. The

estimated regression model was E(Y1) = a + bix, + b2x2 + b3x3 + b4x4 + b5x5 +








b6x6; where Y1 = sense of community; x, = gender (male coded 1, otherwise

coded 0); x2 = tenure; x3 = school level (middle school coded 1, otherwise coded

0; high school coded 1, otherwise coded 0); x4 = race/ethnicity (African American

coded 1, otherwise coded 0; Hispanic coded 1, otherwise coded 0); x5 =

principals' referent group; x6 = district enrollment group (medium coded 1,

otherwise coded 0; large coded 1, otherwise coded 0; very large coded 1,

otherwise coded 0).

Hypothesis 2: Personal/district demographic variables are related to

principals' self-efficacy.

Analysis: Hypothesis 2 was tested using regression analysis.

Relationships among the outcome variable (self-efficacy) and the antecedent

variables (personal/district demographic variables) were examined using multiple

regression. Semi-partial correlations were used to interpret the strength of the

association between the outcome variable (self-efficacy) and each of the

antecedent variables. Squared semi-partial correlations reflect the amount or

proportion of total variance in the outcome variable (self-efficacy) that was

uniquely associated with each antecedent variable, when holding constant or

controlling for the effects of the other antecedent variables. The regression

model included the antecedent variables of gender, school level, race/ethnicity,

and district enrollment group, each of which were treated as categorical

variables. The model also included tenure, size of principals' referent group, and

self-efficacy, each of which were treated as continuous variables. Each

categorical variable was dummy coded into classifications in order to provide for








comparison between group means for the reference group and the remaining

groups. In this study, the reference groups included females, elementary level

schools, White/Caucasian, and small size districts. The estimated regression

model was E(Y2) = a + bix, + b2x2 + b3x3 + b4x4 + b5x5 + b6x6; where Y2 = self-

efficacy; x, = gender (male coded 1, otherwise coded 0); x2 = tenure; x3 = school

level (middle school coded 1, otherwise coded 0; high school coded 1, otherwise

coded 0); x4 = race/ethnicity (African American coded 1, otherwise coded 0;

Hispanic coded 1, otherwise coded 0); x5 = principals' referent group; x6 = district

enrollment group (medium coded 1, otherwise coded 0; large coded 1, otherwise

coded 0; very large coded 1, otherwise coded 0).

Hypothesis 3: Principals' sense of community will mediate the relationship

between personal/district demographic variables and self-efficacy beliefs.

Analysis: Hypothesis 3 was tested using regression analysis.

Relationships among the outcome variable (self-efficacy), the antecedent

variables (personal/district demographic variables), and the mediating variable

(sense of community) were examined using multiple regression. Semi-partial

correlations were used to interpret the strength of the association between the

outcome variable (self-efficacy) and each of the other variables. Squared semi-

partial correlations reflect the amount or proportion of total variance in the

outcome variable (self-efficacy) that was associated with each variable, when

holding constant or controlling for the effects of the other variables. The

regression model included the antecedent variables of gender, school level,

race/ethnicity, and district enrollment group, each of which were treated as








categorical variables. The model also included tenure, size of principals' referent

group, sense of community, and self-efficacy, each of which were treated as

continuous variables. Each categorical variable was dummy coded into

classifications in order to provide for comparison between group means for the

reference group and the remaining groups. In this study, the reference groups

included females, elementary level schools, White/Caucasian, and small size

districts. The estimated regression model was E(Y2) = a + blxl + b2x2 + b3x3 +

b4X4 + b5x5 + b6x6 + b7Y1; where Y2 = self-efficacy; X, = gender (male coded 1,

otherwise coded 0); x2 = tenure; x3 = school level (middle school coded 1,

otherwise coded 0; high school coded 1, otherwise coded 0); x4 = race/ethnicity

(African American coded 1, otherwise coded 0; Hispanic coded 1, otherwise

coded 0); x5 = principals' referent group; x6 = district enrollment group (medium

coded 1, otherwise coded 0; large coded 1, otherwise coded 0; very large coded

1, otherwise coded 0); and Y1 = sense of community.

Participants

In this section, the University of Florida's Institutional Review Board

procedure and approval process is delineated and the population for the study

and sample are described.

Institutional Review Board Procedure and Approval

Prior to the initiation of data collection for this research project, an

Institutional Review Board protocol was submitted requesting approval of this

study (Appendix A). The protocol specified the scientific purpose of the study,

the research methodology, how the participants were to be recruited, any








potential benefits and anticipated risks to the participants, the proposed

compensation, and the informed consent process. Following the Institutional

Review Board's review, an approval to commence this study was obtained

(Appendix B). The Informed Consent letter (Appendix C) delineated the

following: that participation was voluntary and that participants had the right to

withdraw from the study at any time without consequence, the purpose of the

study, what the participants were asked to do, the time requirements, risks and

benefits, compensation, and confidentiality. Specific contacts were provided in

the event that participants had questions about the study or their rights as

research participants.

Population

Because this study limited generalizations to public school principals in

Florida, the population included all public elementary, middle, and high school

principals in Florida employed during the 2001-2002 school year. The population

included 2,714 public school principals. Of those, 59.4% (N = 1,612) were

females and 40.6% (N = 1,102) were males. With regard to race, 73.2% (N =

1987) were White, 19.8% (N = 537) were African American, 6.7% (N = 182) were

Hispanic, and fewer than 1% (N = 8) were either Asian/Pacific Islander or Native

American/Alaskan Native. In addition, there were 3,648 public schools within the

state of Florida. Of these schools, 45.4% (N = 1,656) were elementary, 12.8% (N

= 465) were middle, 10.9% (N = 399) were high schools, 2.3% (N = 83) were

combination schools, and the remainder of schools, 28.6%, (N =1,045) were

categorized as either adult schools, Department of Juvenile Justice schools,








vocational education schools, charter schools, or exceptional student education

schools (Florida Department of Education's Bureau of Education Information and

Accountability Services, 2001).

There are 67 districts in Florida. The Florida Department of Education

categorized each of its districts into enrollment groups of small (less than 7,000

students), medium/small (7,000-19,999 students), medium (20,000-39,999

students), large (40,000-100,000 students), and very large (greater than 100,000

students). Of the 67 districts, 37.3% (N = 25) were categorized as small districts,

20.9% (N = 14) were categorized as medium/small districts, 20.9% (N = 14) were

categorized as medium districts, 10.4% (N = 7) were categorized as large

districts, and 10.4% (N = 7) were categorized as very large districts (Florida

Department of Education's Bureau of Education Information and Accountability

Services, 2001).

Sample

In order to determine the appropriate sample size, it was estimated that 90

respondents were needed due to the number of variables under study. Because

of an estimated return rate of 50%, this research study surveyed 180 potential

respondents. Initially, the sample size for this study was 160 principals, but due

to the number of variables under study, the sample size was subsequently

increased to include 180 principals drawn from the population of public school

principals in Florida. Prior to any data collection, it was necessary to obtain the

Institutional Review Board's approval to increase the sample size under study

from 160 principals to 180 principals (Appendix D).








Using a stratified design, the principals were selected randomly from four

district enrollment groups (i.e., small, medium, large, very large) by three school

levels (i.e., elementary, middle, high), thus making twelve categories. Fifteen

principals from each of the 12 categories were selected. Because there were an

insufficient number of principals in the small district enrollment group from which

to select, the small and medium/small district enrollment groups were combined

into the small category for purposes of random sampling and data analyses.

The survey packets were mailed to a total of 180 public school principals

in Florida. None of the survey packets was returned as undeliverable. Within

two weeks of the initial mailing, a total of 60 completed surveys were returned,

yielding an initial response rate of 33%. A second set of 120 survey packets was

mailed to the remaining non-respondents. The second mailing included the

complete set of survey materials along with a cover letter requesting their

participation in the study. The second mailing yielded an additional 34 surveys

for a total of 94 completed surveys-an overall response rate of 52%. A

response rate of at least 50% was considered adequate for analysis and

reporting (Babbie, 1973).

Questions related to principals' personal and district demographic

variables were contained in Part II of the Community Assessment Guide. Of the

94 principals participating in this study, 37.2% (N = 35) were females, and 62.8%

(N = 59) were males, as shown in Table 3-1. The state average for principals

included approximately 60% female and 40% male.








Table 3-1

Gender

Gender N Percent

Female 35 37.2%

Male 59 62.8%

Total 94 100%


Table 3-2 shows the race/ethnicity of the participating principals.

Approximately 81% (N = 76) were White Non-Hispanic, 11.7% (N = 11) were

African American Non-Hispanic, 6.4% (N = 6) were Hispanic, and 1.1% (N = 1)

were Native American/Alaska Native, as compared to the state averages of

approximately 73% White Non-Hispanic, 20% African American Non-Hispanic,

7% Hispanic, and 1% other categories. The variables of Native American/Alaska

Native and Asian/Pacific Islander were excluded by the computer software

program, SPSS, due to an insufficient number of cases.

Table 3-2

Race/Ethnicity

Race/Ethnicity N Percent

Native American/Alaska Native 1 1.1%

African American Non-Hispanic 11 11.7%

Hispanic 6 6.4%

White Non-Hispanic 76 80.9%

Total 94 100%








Principals were asked to identify the level of school for which they were

currently serving as principal. The most frequent response was elementary

school, with 38.3% (N = 36) identifying themselves as elementary principals. The

other responses were 29.8% (N = 28) high school principals, 26.6% (N = 25)

middle school principals, 4.3% (N = 4) combination middle/high principals, and

1.1% (N = 1) an alternative education principal. The state averages for principals

included approximately 45% elementary, 13% middle, 11% high, 2%

combination, and 29% other. In the analysis, the categories of middle/high and

alternative education were excluded by SPSS due to an insufficient number of

cases. Table 3-3 depicts the school level of participating principals.

The principal respondents in this study averaged 9.4 years of experience

as a principal in their respective districts, ranging from 1 year to 39 years, as

noted in Table 3-4.

Principals were asked to identify the district enrollment group in which they

were currently serving as principal. The most frequent response was large, with

31.9% (N = 30) identifying themselves as serving a large district. The other

responses were 28.7% (N = 27) from a small district, 25.5% (N = 24) from a

medium district, and 13.8% (N = 13) from a very large district. The state

averages for district enrollment groups included approximately 58% small, 21%

medium, 10% large, and 10% very large. For purposes of analysis, due to an

insufficient number of cases in the small and medium/small categories, both

categories were collapsed into one district enrollment group entitled small. Table

3-5 depicts the district enrollment groups of participating principals.








Table 3-3

School Level

Level N Percent

Elementary School 36 38.3%

Middle School 25 26.6%

Combination Middle/High School 4 4.3%

High School 28 29.8%

Alternative Education 1 1.1%

Total 94 100%


Table 3-4

Total Number of Years' Experience as Principal in Their District

N Mean Median Mode Minimum Years Maximum Years

94 9.4 7 7 1 39



Table 3-5

District Enrollment Group

District Size N Percent

Small 27 28.7%

Medium 24 25.5%

Large 30 31.9%

Very Large 13 13.8%

Total 94 100%








Because this study involved sense of community in the workplace,

principals were asked to identify the number of principals in their referent group

(number of principal colleagues), as well as the total number of principals in their

district. The average number of principals in their referent group was 26 and in

their district 65, as noted in Table 3-6.

Table 3-6

Principal Referents

Referents N Mean Median Mode Minimum Maximum

Area 94 26 20 12 2 70

District 90 65 36 19 2 130


Instrumentation

The constructs of sense of community in the workplace and principals'

self-efficacy beliefs were measured by use of the Community Assessment Guide

(Appendix E), and the Principals' Self-Efficacy Questionnaire (Appendix F). The

explanatory variables (principals' personal and district demographic variables)

were captured in the Background section (Part Two) of the Community

Assessment Guide. Because this study utilized self-reports, the limitations of

self-reported measures were identified.

Reliability

Scores from the sample of Florida principals who had completed the

Principals' Self-Efficacy Questionnaire and the Community Assessment Guide

were used to estimate the internal consistency reliability of the instruments.

"Test reliability refers to the consistency, stability, and precision of test scores"








(Gall, Borg, & Gall, 1996, p. 197). Obtained scores on tests always contain some

amount of measurement error. A score with high measurement error is

described as unreliable and a score with little error is considered reliable. The

reliability of scores is described statistically through a reliability coefficient (Gall,

Borg, & Gall, 1996).

Cronbach's coefficient alpha was used to estimate the internal consistency

reliability for both instruments in this study. Using SPSS v11.0, the reliability

estimates for the Community Assessment Guide and the Principals' Self-Efficacy

Questionnaire were estimated. For this study, the analysis of internal

consistency for the Principals' Self-Efficacy Questionnaire yielded an alpha of

.88. The Community Assessment Guide yielded an alpha of .97. The closer the

coefficient is to 1.00 the more the test is free of measurement error. The

reliability estimates for both instruments were adequate for this study.

Cronbach's Alpha for the item total correlations is reported in Table 3-7.

Table 3-7

Reliability Coefficients

Instrument Number of Items Cronbach's Alpha

Community Assessment 45 .97
Guide

Principals' Self-Efficacy 12 .88
Questionnaire








Community Assessment Guide

The social and emotional support that individuals once drew from family

and neighbors is currently being obtained within the work setting to a greater

degree. Royal and Rossi (1996) present a conceptual framework for

understanding sense of community in the workplace and their Community

Assessment Guide was used to measure principals' sense of community in the

workplace. The Community Assessment Guide included 45 items. All items of

the guide use a 6-point Likert-type strongly disagree-strongly agree response

format. The 45 items represented 11 community elements across three clusters

(mutual obligation and support, interdependence and inclusiveness, direction and

purpose). In this study of sense of community, each respondent was asked to

answer the 45 questions, using principal colleagues as their referent group.

Royal and Rossi's (1996) conceptualization of community was initially

derived from John Gardner's work on the critical components of healthy and vital

communities. Following a review of the literature, the researchers conducted a

variety of activities to refine their conceptualization of community. Anecdotal

reports of community-related experiences were obtained from individuals across

the country representing over 40 different workplaces. Subsequently, focus

group discussions were held with administrators, teachers, and students from 14

public and private high schools. An independent firm specializing in focus group

research conducted the sessions. Drawing on the focus groups as well as input

from business, educational, and community leaders, a conceptualization of

community was developed. Royal and Rossi found their conceptualization of








community to be applicable to a variety of workplace settings, including schools.

The researchers identified 11 elements of community that included shared

values, shared vision, shared sense of purpose, caring, trust, teamwork,

incorporation of diversity, communication, participation, respect, and recognition.

In terms of incorporation of diversity, when examined from the perspective

of the individual, Royal and Rossi (1996) noted that "individuals might well be

expected to feel a greater sense of community with a group if what is unique

about them is accepted and valued by the group than if it is rejected or

disparaged" (p. 401). They also added that workplaces and schools are

becoming increasingly more diversified concluding that if a sense of community

is to be cultivated, the challenges of heterogeneity will have to be addressed in

workplaces and schools. These authors believe that

sense of community involves a complex set of transactions between an
individual and a group. The functioning of a group affects the sense of
community experienced by its members both directly, through their own
interactions in the group, and indirectly, through their observations of
interactions involving others in the group. (p. 402)

Across the 11 elements, the measure also takes into account the various

referents that teachers may have for community (principals, teachers, staff

members from other departments, students). Klein and D'Aunno (1996) argue

that individuals' sense of community may vary within organizational settings,

depending upon the referent cited.

In an effort to validate the items as interpretable and to ensure that they

adequately captured the concepts they were designed to address, Royal and

Rossi conducted a series of small-scale pilot tests in six firms. In each pilot test,








efforts were made to incorporate a diverse group of individuals representing

different cultural backgrounds and educational levels. Subsequent to the initial

pilot tests, the instrument was modified and tested again in a series of small-

scale trials. Following the small-scale trials, the researchers administered the

workplace instrument to employees of a local manufacturing firm and faculty and

staff at two colleges. The school forms were used with school staff (identified as

administrators, teachers, and support staff) and students in high schools across

the country as part of a national evaluation sponsored by the U.S. Department of

Education's Office of Educational Research and Improvement. After the large-

scale pilot tests, an analysis was conducted to assess the extent to which the

researchers had created distinct and internally consistent subscales to measure

each of the dimensions. Items that failed to correlate highly with their own

subscales and those that correlated more highly with subscales other than their

own were discarded along with other redundant items.

The reliability was assessed by computing split-half reliability estimates for

the three instruments (workplace form, school staff form, student form). "In tests

involving the workplace form, the school staff form, and the student form,

correlations of at least .87 have been found between the split forms, suggesting

the shorter forms are exceedingly reliable" (Royal & Rossi, 1996, p. 403).

Correlations based on the Spearman-Brown formula yield reliability estimates

greater than .93 for the complete instruments. Royal and Rossi (1996) added

that "the high reliability estimates obtained for each of the whole forms reveal that

although the forms are multidimensional... the items nonetheless reflect... the








same construct" (p. 404). They are also confident in the stability of these

estimates across different populations.

The conceptual framework and measurement instruments were based on

a review of the social science literature on community, critical incident survey of

individuals in companies, focus groups with school staff members and students,

the input from educational, business, and community leaders, and feedback from

participating individuals in each of the pilot tests. Royal and Rossi (1996) worked

to ensure that their definition of community as well as each of the instrument

items captured the dimension of the construct. The researchers have confidence

that the instruments have content validity.

Royal and Rossi (1996) gathered criterion validity from three sources.

First, the workplace instrument was administered in a local community college

district, comprised of two college campuses. Based on observations and small

group discussions, the chancellor of the college district felt that the levels of

sense of community differed significantly between the two college campuses. It

was found that scores for one college were significantly higher than the scores

for the other college, as expected. Second, criterion validity of the workplace

instrument was also gathered from administration in a manufacturing company.

As expected, when community scores at the company were analyzed, a stronger

sense of community was noted for individuals demonstrating a cooperative spirit

and trust in the organization. Third, staff and student forms were administered in

school sites across the country following the same procedures as previously








mentioned. Results from the survey assessments regarding criterion validity

were consistent with impressions drawn from site visits.

A principal factor analysis involving the 85 component items was

conducted. A three-factor solution was most appropriate based on a scree plot

of the eigenvalues. Items relating to teachers' relations with administrators

loaded on the first factor, items relating to teachers' relations with other teachers

(their colleagues) loaded on the second factor, and items relating to teachers'

relations with students loaded on the third factor. "The factor-analytic results

highlighted the multiple senses of community that teachers may experience in

schools through their interactions with students, peers, and school

administrators" (Royal & Rossi, 1999, p. 262).

Personal and District Demographic Variables

Part two of the Community Assessment Guide captured the personal

demographic variables of gender, tenure (number of years as a principal within

the district), school level (elementary, middle, high), and race/ethnicity; and the

district demographic variables of size of principals' referent group, and district

enrollment group (small, medium, large, and very large). Data obtained from

Part two of the Community Assessment Guide were used to describe the sample

as well as to provide descriptive statistics for each of the explanatory variables.

Principals' Self-Efficacy Scale

Principals' self-efficacy in coping with change is important in the area of

school-based management. The Principals' Self-Efficacy Questionnaire

developed by Dimmock and Hattie (1996) was used to measure principals' self-








efficacy beliefs. This scale measures the self-efficacy of principals when coping

with change in the context of restructuring. The scale includes 12 items or

vignettes representative of the wide range of tasks that principals confront. The

vignettes covered situations in the following six areas: school improvement

planning; teaching, learning, and curriculum; managing staff; budgeting;

managing parents; and managing the environment. Each of the six areas

contained two vignettes, and principals were asked to rate their confidence, by

using a 0 to 10 confidence scale, in securing a successful resolution to each

vignette. The scores from the instrument's "twelve vignettes can be combined to

form a self-efficacy score relating to principals' perceptions of coping with

change" (p. 74).

Following the assumption that self-efficacy is situational, a generic self-

efficacy test cannot be used in multiple situations. There are, however, common

underlying principles in developing self-efficacy tests for principals. Dimmock

and Hattie (1996) contended that

the validity of such tests is improved when they are grounded in situations
which include the following: the unidimensional nature of self-efficacy as a
concept; the relation of self-efficacy to a wide range of tasks that principals
confront; the situations (test items) generated should relate to tasks,
decisions or problems that require maximum self-efficacy for success;
such situations should have both positive and negative aspects; they
should reflect differing levels of task difficulty; and they should allow
principals to indicate the relative strength rather than a wholesale
presence or absence of self-efficacy. (p. 66)

In the initial stage of scale development, Dimmock and Hattie (1996)

solicited written descriptions of challenging and difficult tasks from 20 principals

selected at random. Principals identified those problems and decisions they had




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