Committee Chair

Hinsdale, Bernard

Committee Member

Rausch, David; Carter, Pamala; Crawford, Elizabeth


Dept. of Education


College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


This mixed methods study sought to quantitatively assess any correlational relationship between the independent variable (principal-teacher relationship) and the dependent variable (teacher efficacy), and it also sought to qualitatively identify and address themes in order to determine their relative strengths for describing how principals promote high-quality relationships and increase teacher efficacy. Relationships between leader-follower relationship and selected demographic variables were also explored. A total of 165 teachers from a rural school district in southwest Virginia participated in the study by responding to questions via an online questionnaire administered by Qualtrics. Teachers were asked to consider their relationship with only the school principal when answering the questionnaire. The study addressed the following research questions: Is there a significant relationship between follower perceptions of the quality of the leader-follower relationship and teacher efficacy? Is the perception of the leader-follower relationship influenced by school level, teacher’s time with current leader, teacher’s years of experience, size of school based on enrollment, gender of teacher, principal years of experience, and gender of principal? What themes are characteristic of high-quality relationships as perceived by teachers? Pearson r correlation results indicated that while the relationship between the perception of the quality of the leader-follower relationship and teacher efficacy was positive, the strength of the relationship was definite, but weak. The results of the perception of the quality of the leader-follower relationship based on school level, teachers’ time with current leader, size of school, gender of teacher, teacher’s years of experience, principal’s years of experience, and gender of principal revealed significant results only on the variable of teacher’s years of experience. The qualitative results revealed five themes that principals could utilize to promote high-quality relationships and enhance teacher efficacy. Those themes include: communication, support and encouragement, visible involvement, professionalism and respect, and promoting teachers as professionals.


Ed. D.; A dissertation submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Education.




Teacher-principal relationships; Teachers -- Attitudes; School principals


High-quality relationship; Teacher efficacy; Principal teacher relationship


Education | Educational Administration and Supervision

Document Type

Doctoral dissertations




xii, 130 leaves