Erica A. Zins

Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Degree Name

Educational Leadership

Department or School/College

Phyllis J. Washington College of Education

Committee Chair

John Matt

Commitee Members

Bill McCaw, Frances L. O’Reilly, Patty Kero, Gillian Glaes


Authentic Leadership, Growth Mindset, Implicit Theories of Intelligence, Principal


University of Montana


Public school principals are facing increasingly more demands and stressful environments. These leaders need tools to help with the overwhelming workload and building a healthy supportive school community. Principals require easy-to-access skills to build healthy strategies for working with these chaotic environments, which could include a growth mindset and authentic qualities of self-awareness, balanced processing, moral virtue and relational transparency.

The purpose of this study was to research the relationship between Montana K-12 public school principals’ authentic leadership theory and their implicit theories of intelligence. This non-experimental quantitative study utilized a survey method to gather self-report information. The voluntary sample included 112 participants from a population of 474 public school principals during the spring of 2019. A Spearman’s Rho was employed because ordinal data were collected from two instruments, the Authentic Leadership Questionnaire and The Theories of Intelligence Scale. The results demonstrated a small positive correlation between growth mindset and the authentic leadership construct.

Future research should include staff perception data that focuses on the principal’s mindset and authentic leadership skills. Research should also continue to study the implicit theories of intelligence and authentic leadership theory with principals as there has been little done to investigate a strong growth mindset and how it relates to strong authentic leadership skills.



© Copyright 2020 Erica A. Zins