Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department or School

Leadership and Counseling

Committee Member

Ella M. Burton

Committee Member

Michael McVey

Committee Member

Rema Reynolds

Committee Member

Ronald Williamson


School districts implement a variety of initiatives that too often fall short. This case study investigated how one public school district in southeastern Michigan implemented interest based-bargaining (IBB). The study also sought to understand the factors that influenced the decision-making process and what was considered when making implementation decisions. By carrying out this study, the researcher expanded the current literature base that districts can draw upon should they decide to implement IBB. District’s implementing IBB can use this study to better inform their decision-making process. The primary data sources were the primary decision makers involved with implementing IBB in the southeastern public school district that was studied. Participants came from the following groups: (a) district leadership, (b) union leadership, and (c) IBB facilitators. To investigate how IBB was implemented, this study utilized a qualitative approach, using unstructured interviews, documentation, and archival records to gather data. Data analysis was done concurrently with data collection, and the researcher condensed the data by hand into codes that emerged through the data analysis process. Coding included both first and second level codes, and tools such as matrix displays were used to present the data. The interwoven nature of the data analysis process allowed the researcher to move back-and-forth between data collection, data condensation, data display, and drawing conclusions. Eight themes emerged from the analysis of how one southeastern Michigan public school district implemented IBB, and influences, considerations, successes, and challenges related to each theme were identified. The themes were products of how the district implemented IBB and speak to trust, transparency, collaboration, and collegiality among staff. The themes were (a) Board of Education (BOE) members on IBB teams, (b) increased Paraeducator Association (PA) and Secretarial Association (SA) voice, (c) consistent joint communications, (d) commitment to organization, (e) commitment to the process, (f) willingness to open communication, (g) compensation solved mid-process, and (h) formation of numerous committees. Through the use of storytelling and presentation of the eight themes, the researcher was able to unpack how the district implemented IBB.