Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name





Education, Leadership behaviour, Stress reduction, Succession planning


Dr. Larry Morton




The purpose of this study was to determine whether one or more types of leadership behaviour styles (transformational, collaborative, direct/direct-informational and/or non-directive) are conducive to less administrator stress. The participants were drawn from one school board in South Western Ontario and included vice principals, principals, and superintendents. Data gathered were examined for links between leadership behaviour styles and work stress factors. Instruments used in the study included the Life Styles Inventory™(LSI) and the Administrative Stress Index (ASI), a demographic questionnaire along with a qualitative response to a self-perceived stressful leadership scenario.

Study results indicated that there was no correlation between the LSI Style subscales, Concern subscales and ASI stress levels. In addition, there was no relationship between the self-identified leadership behaviour style and ASI stress levels. The largest proportion of female participants (51.9%) preferred a collaborative leadership style followed by a direct/direct-informational leadership style (26.9%) and the largest proportion of males preferred a direct/direct-informational leadership behaviour style (39.5%) followed by a collaborative leadership style (34.8%). More males preferred transformational leadership (20.9%) over females (9.6%). Qualitative data indicated that administrators experienced stress mostly when contending with administrative constraints and interpersonal conflicts. Qualitative data indicated that the most stressful situations for administrators involved contentious issues with adults rather than students.