Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award



Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Mary Christopher

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Simone Elias

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Daniel Bishop


This qualitative study determined the perceptions of international school teachers regarding leadership and how these perceptions influenced their turnover decisions. Research completed largely in the United States shows that principals are a major factor in teachers’ decisions to stay or leave their schools, primarily due to teachers rating their principals highly in communication and support. Over the last 25 years, international schools have experienced a boom in growth, yet research into international schools has lagged. This study sought to build on previous research to find if teacher perceptions in international schools in South Korea mirror those of teachers in previous studies. This action research-based qualitative study used a teacher questionnaire, semistructured teacher interviews, and semistructured administrator interviews to collect data. Teacher participants were foreign-licensed teachers at accredited international schools in South Korea. Administrators were current leaders at the same schools. Teachers at participating schools received an email asking them to complete a questionnaire, at the end of which was a link to participate in an interview to delve deeper into the topic. Administrators at participating schools received an email asking for their participation in the interview. Coding of transcripts made from the audio-recorded interviews allowed for analysis using a general inductive approach. Results showed that teachers and administrators hold very similar opinions about the importance of various factors relating to what teachers need and what influences teachers to stay at their schools. These similarities included the importance of presence, positive feedback, relationships, and approachability. Similarity of perspective should encourage school leaders, as these seem intuitive to lead to positive perceptions of leaders from teachers, which research shows to decrease turnover.

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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