ERIC Number: ED301918
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Apr
The Influence of Values on Principals' Problem-Solving Processes: An Empirical Study.
Begley, Paul T.
This study explores the influence of personal values in problem-solving processes used by elementary school principals responding to the introduction of computers to their schools. Hodgkinson's values hierarchy was used to define actions that more rational frameworks might dismiss or explain inadequately. The hierarchy included three types of values: transrational values grounded in ethics or principles, rational values based on an individual's assessment of consequences or consensus, and subrational values related to personal preferences. Study data were collected through interiews with a school system's 15 principals and used to produce individual case studies and a cross-case analysis. Results showed that principals' personal values significantly influenced their actions, particularly when the initial decision to adopt computers was made. Most principals based their responses on values of consensus and consequences. Principals whose perceptions initially favored either ethics or personal preference seemed to shift gradually over time toward consequences. Data relating to the influence of personal values provided additional insights extending beyond those furnished by planned change, school improvement, or principal effectiveness research perspectives. Because generalization from these study data is difficult, further research is necessary to determine if the value orientations examined here are characteristic responses to the adoption of computers only or typical for most educational innovations. Included are 12 references. (MLH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 5-9, 1988).