Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Donald Poplau


Elementary school principals in a suburban, Mid-Atlantic public school system may face challenges when balancing their workload. This problem is significant as an elementary school principal’s workload could contribute to ineffective leadership. The purpose of this basic qualitative study was to explore how these principals balance their workload and obtain their perceptions of the administrative support required to meet the daily challenges of their job. The conceptual framework is Gronn’s distributed leadership model which is based on the purposeful sharing and disseminating of leadership responsibilities. The research questions explored how elementary school principals describe the challenges they have in balancing their workload and their perceptions about the support needed to meet their job responsibilities. A basic qualitative research design was used. Ten suburban, Mid-Atlantic elementary school principals were interviewed using a semistructured interview framework. First and second phase coding was used to analyze the data to determine themes. Themes identified from the data included: (a) elementary school principals use similar strategies to manage their workload, and (b) elementary school principals need support in order to spend their time pursuing instructional leadership and developing authentic relationships. This research may lead to positive social change by improving the working conditions of elementary school principals and their overall ability to lead in order to promote a positive school climate and support the improvement of student achievement.