Date of Award

Fall 11-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Foundations & Leadership


Educational Leadership

Committee Director

Karen L. Sanzo

Committee Member

Steve Myran

Committee Member

Jody Howard


The aim of this study was to determine the perceptions and experiences of school administrators with change initiatives in their district to reveal the factors necessary for sustainability of effective change. The study was established on research concerning organizational change and change sustainability. For the purpose of this study, the research on organizational change was examined, while utilizing a lens of Michael Fullan’s Model for Change and Eight Elements of Sustainability. In this design, the perceptions and experiences of the school administrators within Coastal City School District were examined based on a 10-year timeframe of change initiatives within the district. Using a qualitative research design founded on phenomenology, the researcher obtained the views and experiences of school administrators with at least ten years of administrative leadership experience within the particular school district. The experiences investigated focused on a set list of change initiatives within the district, including the examination of structures of the effective and ineffective initiatives as perceived by the school administrators.

The findings were derived from the individual interviews of 10 school administrators within Coastal City Schools. The results indicated the sustainability and effectiveness of the change initiatives were contingent upon five developed themes. These themes included collaborative teaming, continuous professional learning, primary integral focus, non-negotiables with monitoring, and a needs driven purpose. The study implications affirm identifiable sustainability factors school districts can utilize as a framework for future change endeavors.


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