Defining a Tradition of Excellence By Any Measure: A Phenomenological Study of a Texas School District



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Background: Barbers Hill Independent School District has a shared vision, A Tradition of Excellence...By Any Measure. Purpose: The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the history, traditions, and climate that have created the success of Barbers Hill Independent School District and to gain a deeper understanding of the sensegiving and sensemaking process of stakeholders at the school district, which have led to the successful implementation of the shared vision. The significance of the study was to define common experiences or perceptions in order to develop practices and a deeper understanding of the phenomenon to maintain this tradition at Barbers Hill ISD or replicate it in other school districts. Methods: The study interviewed the district superintendent, a currently serving school board member, current teacher, current principal, parents of students who grew up in the community, a parent who moved to the community for the school district, a school district graduate who has lived in the community their entire life, a community member with no children in the school district, a former school board member, and a retired teacher. Participants were recruited based on the role that they have with the phenomenon and the school district. Transcriptions of the interviews were analyzed utilizing the Moustakas’ modification of the Van Kaam method of analysis and QSR International’s NVivo 11 software to identify themes associated with the phenomenon. Results: The findings of this study resulted in four core themes that defined common experiences that led participants to the perception of successful implementation of the vision. Conclusion: The conclusion of this study is that through the intentional sensegiving process leaders can shape the sensemaking of members within the organization that can lead to the successful implementation of the vision.



Shared vision, Sensegiving, Sensemaking