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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)



First Advisor

Dennis Brennan

First Committee Member

James A. [?]

Second Committee Member

Keith Daniel

Third Committee Member

Robert R. Hopkins

Fourth Committee Member

John V. Schippers


Purpose: The purpose of this study was-to determine the distribution of mediation styles among California school superintendents. It also investigated the relationship between superintendents' mediation styles and the :following variables: tenure, mobility, professional preparation, job satisfaction, school board relationships, self-perceived leadership style, and district size.

Procedures: Two hundred fourteen superintendents were surveyed. Each participant self-administered the Gregorc Style Delineator and completed a questionnaire regarding tenure, mobility, and professional preparation. A subsample of 32 superintendents was -Interviewed by telephone regarding the remaining variables. Data collected were statistically analyzed through use of chi-square goodness-of-fit, chi-square test of association, and analysis of variance.

Findings: Analysis of the data indicates that the Concrete Random mediation style reported by 43% of the respondents is the most prevalent among California superintendents. The Concrete Sequential mediation style was reported by 36% of the participants, while Abstract Sequential was reported by eight percent, and Abstract Random was reported by seven percent of the sample. There were significant differences between the four mediation-style groups when the variables of tenure, leadership style, school board relationships, and job satisfaction were examined. There were no significant differences-between groups for the remaining variables.

Conclusions or Recommendations: The .large percentage (79) of superintendents reporting concrete rather than -abstract perceptual abilities suggests that superintendents perceive information through the physical senses rather than ·intuitively. Fifty percent of the superintendents also reported random rather than sequential- ordering ability, suggesting that they arrange and organize information in-a nonlinear holistic manner rather than sequentially and discretely. The Concrete Random style was the most reported mediation style, suggesting that superintendents perceive events from the physical world, but systematize and dispose of them intuitively and instinctively. The small percentage of reported Abstract Sequential and Abstract Random mediation styles suggests that the qualities of emotion, holistic experiences, and inductive reasoning occur less frequently or are less valued by superintendents . .

Additional research is needed to determine-(1) how the-mediation styles of superintendents compare with other populations and (2) whether mediation styles change over time.



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