Subject Area



This mixed methods case study examines how central office leaders in three school districts implemented policy and practice changes to more effectively recruit, support, and retain school principals. By examining interview, focus group, survey, and artifact data from three districts actively working to implement and improve principal talent management practices and policies, this study sought to identify what conditions best explained variation and progress on implementation. Using Honig’s (2006) implementation framework that examines how policy, people, and places situate implementation effectiveness, I sought to understand how policy reform information flows among people, particularly between the central office staff and school principals. Findings suggest that districts varied in their implementation progress; they were all challenged by their own capacity gaps, gaining buy-in to the work, and communication flow. Across all districts, the conditions that best explained variation included: having ownership, autonomy, and accountability for the work; a willingness to learn and build capacity; and strategies to improve information flow. Principal supervisors acted as the mediator between principals and the central office, and their support role relates to principal’s job embeddedness.

Degree Date

Summer 8-15-2020

Document Type


Degree Name



Teaching and Learning


Dr. Frank Hernandez

Second Advisor

Dr. Annie Garrison Wilhelm

Third Advisor

Dr. Milan Sevak

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Meredith Richards

Number of Pages




Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License