Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Dr. Theresa Pulos

Second Supervisor

Dr. Cathleen Dotterer


This qualitative study utilizing the grounded theory methodology examined the lived experiences of education leaders in New York State regarding decision-making in light of the extreme variability in the flow and quality of online information. Study findings indicated that the leaders’ strong desire to avoid misinformation, combined with the strong tendency to rely on social influence exerted within local and regional peer groups, ultimately limited the amount of interaction or reliance upon online sources for decision-making. Study participants indicated they relied heavily on trusted advisors and peer groups in the same geographic area for professional advice and as a decision-making sounding board. An emerging theoretical framework, the transput lens for education leadership decision-making, was created to provide an approach to understanding ways K-12 education leaders interface with information in decision-making in the face of copious amounts of information, social influence, and both human and technological biases inherent in everyday interactions and platforms. The preliminary theory of a transput leadership paradigm illuminates the concurrency of communication inputs/outputs required of a leader making decisions in the fast-paced environment of the digital age. Recommendations included further research on the cognitive strategies of disconfirmation, and utilizing quantitative research with an expanded sample population. Further recommendations included expanding professional networks beyond the local level to increase opportunities for diversity of thought, and modeling of digital citizenship behaviors proactively for school and community stakeholders.

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Education Commons