Date of Award



© 2016 Jennifer Nelson

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Marylin Newell

Second Advisor

Ella Benson

Third Advisor

Elisabeth Lodge Rogers


This dissertation sought to examine the effect of the communication of Thinker personality type principals on school improvement efforts. Thinker principals prefer to communicate through thoughts and logic. The Process Communication Model® was used to determine participants’ personality types. This examination consisted of a qualitative study that included data collected from surveys administered to principals of buildings with Federal Level IV Special Education programs and alternative high schools. The participating principals had Thinker personality types, and the participating teachers served on their School Improvement Leadership Teams that were led by the participating principals. The teachers had similar and different personality types to the principals. The study concluded that teachers with similar personality types to the principals were less clear about meeting outcomes than teachers with other personality types. Study findings also concluded that teachers with a Harmonizer base or phase personality type with a preference to communicate through emotions and feelings most commonly identified meeting outcomes with principals and were most motivated by the principals’ communication compared to teachers with other personality types.


Ed.D. Dissertation