Year of Publication

2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Education

Department

Educational Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Lars Björk

Abstract

The purpose of this case study is to understand how management and leadership ideas that were present in Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky influenced management and leadership practices adopted by Scott County Public Schools during 2002-2011. Data for the study were collected during the summer of 2011, using individual and focus group interviews including teachers, administrators, community and Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky employees; on-site participant observations, and documents.

This study examined Scott County Public Schools implementation of the Quest for Useful Employment Skills for Tomorrow, the formation of The Center for Quality People and Organizations, changes in Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) curriculum, a shift to a global perspective, continuous improvement, and increased cooperation with business and community partners.

Themes that emerged from the data includes: (a) the need to establish a continuous improvement model; (b) the creation and implementation of a continuous improvement model; (c) global perspectives; and (d) the pivotal role of school district leadership in developing corporate relationships and changing management and leadership practices.

Findings suggest that a confluence of social, economic and political events contributed to situating a major, multinational corporation in a small Kentucky community that espoused a singular organizational and leadership philosophy to Scott County, positive public support for school improvement, and internal commitment of staff and administrators laid a foundation for the establishment of a continuous improvement model. This model created change that enhanced the professional practice of SCPS.

This continuous improvement model or any model being successfully implemented in public schools comes down to the leadership of the Board of Education, district office staff, principals, and teachers-- but most importantly, the superintendent. “Success or failure of public schools has been directly linked to the influence of the district superintendent” (Bjork, 1993, p. 249).

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