Date of Award



© 2019 Daniel Mullen

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Suzan Nelson

Second Advisor

Corinna Crafton

Third Advisor

Simon Gillespie


This study was guided by the following two research questions: (1) How do current international school leaders acculturate new faculty with a specific focus on local host country culture to encourage retention of effective teachers in the international setting? (2) What specific practices do current international leaders use to integrate host country cultural competencies in the orientation and recruitment processes to acculturate new staff? Participation took place through a REDCap online survey distributed to 442 current Academy for International School Heads (AISH) members around the world, with ninety participant responses (20%) collected. Participants were asked specific geographic and demographic background information as part of the survey in order aid in filling the gaps in available research by allowing readers to apply cultural competency findings to their specific region of the world and demographic make-up of their school community.

Findings from the study included behaviors and practices that international leaders are encouraged to promote through a well-defined New Faculty Orientation Policy or Handbook. Additional findings supported characteristics of both Distributed and Transformative Leadership, noting the importance of building relationships with staff through face-to-face recruitment practices, and creating a shared vision. A common theme of celebrating of the host country culture was also found throughout a range of questioning, supporting the nature of this research, while allowing current and future leaders build cultural competence in their school community.


Ed.D. Dissertation

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