Naturally-Emerging Technology-Based Leadership Roles in Three Independent Schools: A Social Network-Based Case Study Using Fuzzy Set Qualitative Comparative Analysis

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Year of Completion


First Advisor

Jan Hammond


This hypothesis-generating case study investigates the naturally emerging roles of technology brokers and technology leaders in three independent schools in New York involving 92 school educators. A multiple and mixed method design utilizing Social Network Analysis (SNA) and fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (FSQCA) involved gathering quantitative social network data in each case study school on individual participants and then using those micro-level data to describe the structures of the participants' positions in their schools' technology social networks. The findings indicate there were four potential causal pathways to technology broker and five potential causal pathways to technology leader in the case study schools. These pathways were combinations of five person-oriented conditions including number of years of teaching experience; year first baccalaureate degree was earned; self-reported technological expertise; position to indicate formal versus informal leadership; and participants' gender. Findings revealed that the potential technology leaders in the three case schools were classroom teachers with informal leadership positions; whereas, potential technology brokers were mostly individuals with formal leadership positions, such as the headmaster. Insights from qualitative interviews with administrative and non-administrative teaching professionals confirmed that several of the configural profiles exist in the case schools' networks. A Technology Broker and Technology Leadership Taxonomy was created to help to conceptualize emerging formal and informal technology leadership roles. Recommendations are offered to improve educational leadership, policy, professional practice, and research with particular consideration devoted to the development of informal technology leaders and to the support of successful technology integration in schools.