Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Kay A. Keiser


In this era of high accountability, standardized based instructions, and public debates over teacher quality, performance, and evaluation, education administrators across the country have come under intense pressures (Boccio, Weisz, & Lefkowitz, 2016; Carey, 2011; Ravitch, 2010). Due to the high incentives and intense pressures on school leaders, and the wide-ranging impact these positions have on communities, it is crucial to understand those who are seeking greater leadership roles in education. The purpose of this study was to determine if candidates pursing doctorate degrees in educational leadership are experiencing burnout. The dissertation addresses the phenomenon of job burnout, which is a response to prolonged chronic emotional and interpersonal stressors at the work environment (Maslach, 2003). Doctoral candidates are prime candidates for experiencing life stressors and burnout. The dissertation addresses the questions: (1) What levels of burnout do educational leadership doctoral candidates experience? (2) How do levels of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishments vary among doctoral candidates experience? And (3) Does educational work role impact self-perceptions of burnout by educational leadership doctoral candidates? Participants for this study were comprised of educational leadership doctoral program candidates and those who graduated from the program within a 24 month time period prior to the administration of the survey. The program takes place at a university in eastern Nebraska. The findings indicated that a majority of participants in this study had a low to moderate degree of burnout across two components of burnout through emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. Participants self-reported moderate to high degree of personal accomplishment, indicating low degrees of burnout. This study was intended to provide information for post-secondary institutions, local and state education agencies and policy makers. Educational leadership doctoral program faculty may follow up and choose to review and modify professional preparation course content and engage aspiring educational leaders in meaningful dialogue about burnout and its impact on individuals and organizations. These findings are discussed along with limitations, directions for future research, and implications of these findings.


A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate College of the University of Nebraska in Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education. Copyright 2020 Ron M. Azoulay.

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