Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Superintendents of residential schools for the deaf were the subjects of a study to determine what effects career orientation had on the implementation of role changes since the passage of Public Law 94-142 in 1975. Career orientation is a construct concerned with whether an individual succeeds to an executive position from a lower rank within the hiring institution from inside (place-bound) or from outside (career-bound).;Prior to this study career orientation had only been examined in terms of superintendents of public school districts where the variable was found to identify a 2 to 1 ratio of career-bound to place-bound. The current study examined the role of career orientation among top administrators of a residential school.;The study used a questionnaire mailed to 66 administrators of residential schools for the deaf. There were 58 (88%) useable surveys returned. Significant differences were found among career-bound and place-bound superintendents in residential schools for the deaf. First, career- and place-bound superintendents were found in the same ratio as public school superintendents, 2 to 1. Second, superintendents with differing career orientations also had significant differences in: age of completion of doctorate degree, full-time attendance in doctoral programs, number of years lapsed between master's and doctorate degrees, geographical mobility, attitudes of mobility, and publication rate. However, implementation of institutional change did not show significant differences between the two groups of superintendents varying in career orientation.;It was concluded that the many similarities in educational preparation and professional behavior between the two groups may account for similar administrative behavior. Further, the 1975 mandate for change was applicable to all educational programs receiving federal funds. Therefore, changes were important to nearly all educational administrators.;It was recommended that the relation between career orientation and change implementation be studied in a context free of legislative mandate, and applied to a group of educational leaders with a greater likelihood of difference in educational preparation. (Abstract shortened with permission of author.).



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