Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department or School

Leadership and Counseling

Committee Member

William Price

Committee Member

Ella Burton

Committee Member

Theresa Saunders

Committee Member

Malverne Winborne


The analysis of inherent role conflicts in the governance of Michigan charter school boards contracting with full-service, for-profit private management companies provided quantitative and qualitative perspectives of experienced board members. These perspectives included their view of board governance and how responsibilities are divided and shared with for-profit private management companies. The triangulated analysis included three major sources of data: quantitative research, qualitative research, and a qualitative contractual analysis that provided the essence of the contracts between charter school boards of directors and their contracted for-profit private management companies. The theoretical framework that grounded this analysis was inclusive of three theories: agency theory, stewardship theory, and contract failure theory. These theories were collectively grounded in economic, psychological, and sociological foundations. The theories synergistically illustrated a framework of potentially inherent conflicts in the relationship between the agent and client. The charter school boards (client) relationships with the full-service for-profit private management companies (agent) encompassed the complexities of non-profit entities working side-by-side with private for-profit entities. This relationship creates anomalies that contribute to confusion, tensions, and factors that result in governance conflicts, which affect the operations of charter schools. The anomalies were a phenomenon of parallel governance, which is covertly impacting the governance of charter schools.