Date of Conferral







Felicia A. Blacher-Wilson


Research indicates that school leadership influences the success of student outcomes through school climate. However, little is known about how principals and teachers perceive principals’ motivational leadership practices and how these leadership practices influence school climate. The purpose of this qualitative study was to gain a better understanding of seventh and eighth grade principal and teacher perceptions of principal motivational leadership practices influence on school climate. This study was based upon Sullivan’s motivational language theory and Deci and Ryan’s self-determination theory by way of the utilization of the conceptual framework on charismatic leadership. The research questions focused on principal and teacher perceptions of principals’ leadership practices, as well as principal and teacher experiences of how principal motivational leadership practices influenced school climate. A narrative approach utilizing a single-case study of 6 participants in one school district in a southern state was conducted through interviews and a focus group, and through a cross-analysis of the qualitative and secondary data. Results indicated that motivational leadership practices modeled and implemented from the top-down were perceived as vital, as well as the use of self-reflection in order to provide positive social change by way of influencing positive school climate. Implications for positive social change include increased understanding of how principal motivational leadership practices influence school climate, resulting in opportunities to improve leadership practices by layering them with other leadership practices, ultimately further enhancing school climate.