Strategic communication and compliance gaining strategies of principals in restructuring schools



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Texas Tech University


The purpose of this study was to identify the communication strategies used by principals in restructuring schools and to determine which compliance gaining strategies were most preferred by teachers.

The instrument used was a preference scale developed by the researcher. This instrument was similar to others used in the communication discipline which have proven both valid and reliable. To develop this instrument, principals in the identified schools were asked to audiotape interactions during one typical school day. These tapes were transcribed and categories of compliance gaining strategies were identified using categories from the literature that were applicable to schools and supported by the transcripts. Categories specific to schools were identified. An instrument consisting of 130 items was designed to determine the respondents' perceptions relating to the communication strategies. A total of 148 teachers from schools involved in restructuring participated in this study.

All the hypotheses were tested by utilizing the nonparametric statistic chi-square. Significance for either accepting or rejecting each hypothesis was set at the .05 level. Variables examined included observed and preferred communication strategies, involvement in restructuring and preferred communication strategy, and gender and preferred communication strategy.

Results indicated congruency between the observed and preferred strategies. Results also indicated that involvement is a factor m the communication strategies preferred. This study has shown teachers involved in school changes tend to prefer the following strategies: (a) Shared responsibility/Modeling; (b) Visibility; (c) Relationship building; (d) Networking; (e) Vision or Eye-on-the-goal; (f) Strategic listening; (g) Humor; and (h Shared problem-solving. Results indicated that some strategies were moderated by gender. Females tended to prefer the following communication strategies: (a) Shared responsibility/Modeling; (b) Visibility; (c) Relationship building; (d) Accessibility; (e) Strategic listening; (f) Direct request; (g) Humor; and (h) Give advice. Implications for further research were given.