Relating Principals’ Invitational Leadership to Teacher Job Satisfaction and Principal Effectiveness in High-Poverty Rural Elementary Schools

Invitational Leadership


  • Rebecca Shore
  • Matthew Younis Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools
  • Jamie Kudlats UNC Charlotte
  • Jillian LaSerna UNC Charlotte
  • Jim Watson UNC Charlotte
  • Kyle Cox UNC Charlotte



Despite a third of students in the United States attending rural schools, research concerning rural school leadership is sparse. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between rural school principals’ Invitational Leadership and teacher satisfaction as well as teacher perceptions of principals’ effectiveness. Multiple regression was used to model these relationships while considering possible interactions with school academic performance level (low- or high- performing). A total of 240 teachers from 23 rural, Title I elementary schools completed a leadership survey. The 49-item instrument measures leaders’ Invitational Leadership behaviors as well as teachers’ job satisfaction and teacher perceptions of the principals’ effectiveness. Results indicated significant positive relationships between both teacher job satisfaction and teacher perception of principal effectiveness and principals’ Invitational Leadership. However, the strength of the teacher satisfaction-Invitational Leadership relationship was dependent on a school’s academic performance level with a significantly stronger relationship found in high-performing schools.

Keywords: school leadership, rural schools, invitational leadership, caring school leadership