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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/32858

Title: Values, Conflicts & Value Conflict Resolution: An Investigation of the Experiences of Educational Administrators
Authors: Zupan, Krista
Advisor: Stiegelbauer, Suzanne
Department: Theory and Policy Studies in Education
Keywords: values
conflicts
value conflict resolution
educational administrators
Issue Date: 31-Aug-2012
Abstract: This dissertation reports on a study of educational administrators and the value conflicts experienced within their schools. The extensive review of literature on values in educational administration has determined very little consensus regarding the influence of values on the practice of educational administrators. A lack of common understanding about the definition of the term values exists along with variations and inconsistencies regarding the pervasiveness of values in educational administration. School leaders frequently encounter value conflicts and their resolution involves considerable degrees of decision making. Participants in this study include members of the cohort of the Ed.D. Program in the Department of Theory and Policy Studies at the University of Toronto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) as well as practising educational administrators with extensive experience in school leadership. As the researcher works within the Catholic school system, the majority of study participants are Catholic administrators who were accessible to the researcher for participation. A qualitative research methodology was employed and fourteen semi-structured interviews were conducted which focused on the three main research questions. The following research questions were addressed in the study: 1. How do educational administrators see the role of values in their work? 2. What types of value conflicts do educational administrators experience? 3. How do educational administrators resolve conflicts that stem from values issues? The findings herein indicate that administrators view values as extremely important and relevant in their work. The influence of values on administrator behavior is evident in how leaders define the term value: as a code/set of rules and fundamental beliefs that guide daily interactions; and a basis for decision making. In terms of conflicts, administrators experience interpersonal conflicts frequently and attribute this type of conflict to differences in stakeholder values. Educational administrators resolve conflicts that stem from values issues by taking a moral stand which allows them to remain committed to their values. The results of this study acknowledge and contribute to the existing field of studies relating to values and value conflict resolution within educational administration while simultaneously suggesting further implications for future research. The adoption of a values-based leadership model and its associated values clarification process is recommended for school leaders as a framework to deal with the existing realities of their complex role. This model has tremendous potential to transform the existing face of educational administration provided it is seamlessly integrated within educational organizations and becomes the new standard of leadership practice.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/32858
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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