Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Educational Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Lars Bjork


As international school heads (ISHs) advance through the school leadership pipeline, many find the transition to their new roles and responsibilities as an executive leader difficult, and as a result they struggle to fulfill the expectations of their governing board. In conversations with ISHs in the International Schools Organization (ISO), a pseudonym, several attributed this problem to the lack of preservice, executive leadership training. Most ISO school heads were trained as teacher-leaders and school principals. They excelled in these roles and were consequently promoted to executive leadership. However, very few received formal training in executive leadership, as required of most United States (US) school superintendents and private independent school heads, meaning they often begin their tenures at a disadvantage. This study used a mixed- methods action research (MMAR) approach to increase the level of self-efficacy of ISO ISHs regarding organizational and school governance. This project found that a virtual community of practice (CoP) using targeted case studies may serve to increase the perceived self-efficacy of the participants.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)