Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award


Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

John Kellmayer

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Lisa Hobson

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Jennifer Butcher


This study addressed the problem of principal retention. The purpose of this study was to determine the factors that influenced elementary principals to remain in the position and the factors that influenced incumbent principals to leave the elementary principalship. This qualitative case study used data from one-on-one interviews, focus group discussions, and student demographic data from the campuses represented to determine the factors that best influence retention. The sample population was 10 principals from 3 districts in Central Texas; 6 elementary school principals that continued to serve for 5 or more years and 4 incumbent principals that left the elementary principalship in the last 2 years. The researcher used the interview transcripts to code data, establish categories, and then create themes from the patterns of ideas that emerged from the categories. The findings indicated that leadership beliefs, giving and getting support, and sharing complex job responsibilities were the most influential factors regarding principal retention. The findings indicated that school districts should consider helping principals understand and implement shared leadership practices in their schools. The findings suggested that school district administrators help principals to continuously reflect on their leadership beliefs and reinforce their motivations to lead with the values and beliefs of the districts’ leaders. In this study, the researcher attempted to add to what is known about the factors that contribute to principal retention so that principal retention is maximized for the future.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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