Date of Award

Summer 6-19-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Cherie Gaines


Before this study, the research was limited regarding teachers’ perceptions of their principals and the influence on school culture. Even less research was dedicated to self-perceptions of principals’ behaviors within a middle school setting. Due to the lack of research, further investigation was necessary to understand specific behaviors performed by middle school principals and their influence on school culture. In this study, and teachers from one Tennessee county responded to questionnaires to investigate the relationship between perceptions of teachers and principals on principal behaviors and the influence on school culture. Through this study, principals and teachers listed multiple principal behaviors that influenced school culture positively. Middle school principals and teachers perceived structural frame behaviors of principals as providing classroom support, maintaining a steady and stable environment, and being open to new ideas. Principals and teachers perceived human resource frame behaviors of principals as having an open-door policy, encouraging others, and feeling valued and appreciated. Middle school principals and teachers perceived political frame behaviors of principals as protecting teachers’ time, providing opportunities for growth and leadership, and having a growth mindset. Principals and teachers perceived the symbolic frame behaviors of principals as being visible throughout the day, celebrating others, and having a sense of humor. This study proved principals’ behaviors strengthen school culture when they have a balance from the four frames of Bolman and Deal (2021). This foundational study could be a framework for future studies investigating principal behaviors and their influence on middle school culture.


school culture, Bolman and Deal, Four frames model, middle school, principal influence on school culture