Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Michael K. Freeman


This study used a theoretical framework to explore the leadership of three schoolbased instructional technology coaches (ITCs). The researcher employed typical qualitative fieldwork methods by compiling observation notes, interview transcripts, and archival documents for data analysis. This research and dissertation were also placed in context with the tenets of diffusion research.

The collected evidence was analyzed with a theory that proposes five sources of authority for leadership: bureaucratic, psychological, technical rational, professional, and moral. The study presents four major findings: First, ITCs do not use bureaucratic or moral sources of authority for leadership. Second, the coaches are aware of and use technical rational and professional sources of authority. Third, the participants may use some of the characteristics of psychological sources of authority for leadership. Finally, this study verifies that all five theoretical sources of authority are discernible in the participants' school district.

The author recommends that educators combine their respective sources of authority in diffusion of innovation. Schools should recognize and use in combination their administrators’ bureaucratic, coaches’ technical rational, and teachers’ professional sources of authority for leadership.

This study suggests future research in applying the theoretical framework: for tests of the consequences of each source of authority for leadership; to the use of diffusion; for leadership in the diffusion of professional learning communities; to analyze the 2014 Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) standards for school leaders.