Organization, Information and Learning Sciences ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 7-10-2017


The field of K-12 education has undergone an ever increasing strain to improve student and school performance in the last few decades. Many schools have failed to improve despite the attention they have been given.

The purpose of this study is to compare an elementary school’s current model of causality to the Synchronized Analysis Model (SAM) and Kaizen’s five why’s in determining low school performance. Using a qualitative instrumental case study design, surveys, interviews, and a focus group as the method of inquiry, nine employees were surveyed, four teachers and a principal were interviewed, and three leaders participated in a focus group. Questions for all inquiry methods centered around elements of the SAM and Kaizen’s five whys to determine causality.

The participants provided data that allowed the researcher to determine causality in a more granular level using the SAM rather than the current model being used by school and district leaders. Conclusions provide leadership with targeted interventions to address the cause of low school performance rather than generalized interventions that may or may not impact low school performance.

Degree Name

Organization, Information and Learning Sciences

Level of Degree


Department Name

Organization, Information & Learning Sciences

First Committee Member (Chair)

Patricia Boverie

Second Committee Member

Robert Grassberger

Third Committee Member

Scott Hughes

Fourth Committee Member

Elizabeth von Toll




Performance Improvement, Root Cause Analysis, Education

Document Type