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Committee Work as a Vehicle for Change

Mathieson, Amanda (2017) Committee Work as a Vehicle for Change. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This study examined the use of committees in a K-12 school setting as a method to address changes in the organization from the perspective of paraprofessionals, teachers, school administrators, and community members. Committee work is used as a common practice in school settings, yet is reported to yield inconsistent results. This study compared and contrasted optimal committee experiences to those perceived as unsatisfactory as reported by the participants of the study. Several specific factors were assessed through a mixed methods approach, specifically committee participation, membership, the structure of meetings, and stakeholder engagement. Purposeful sampling was used to select a total of 5 school administrators for semi-structured interviews, and 100 survey participants representing paraprofessionals, teachers, school administrators, and community members. The data from the interviews and surveys were analyzed using qualitative and quantitative methods producing descriptive findings and areas of statistical significance when comparing committee experiences.
The findings of this study provide insight to school leaders on the factors related to committee participation, membership, structure, and stakeholder engagement that lead to efficient and effective practices. Conclusions drawn from this study suggest that group dynamics, power and political tones, leadership, and organizational culture are factors that can influence the work of committees. Implications of this research suggest that leaders: equip themselves with knowledge and strategies to address aspects of group dynamics that can stall the efforts of committees; understand the political landscape that can shape recommendations derived from committee work; promote a shared leadership approach; and ensure that committee membership reflects those affected by the proposed changes and recommendations.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Mathieson, Amandaamathieson@comcast.netAMM3980000-0003-0793-1740
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTananis,
Committee MemberCrowley,
Committee MemberAndreyko,
Date: 26 August 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 22 May 2017
Approval Date: 26 August 2017
Submission Date: 27 June 2017
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 114
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Committee Work Shared Leadership Group Dynamics Organizational Culture
Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2017 00:24
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2017 00:24


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