NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED411607
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Pages: 46
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
An Investigation of Principals' Leadership Orientations.
Reed, Patricia; Smith, Michael; Beekley, Cynthia
Effective school leadership requires an understanding of the tension between the technical and symbolic aspects of leadership. This paper presents findings of a study that examined principals' self-reported leadership orientations. A survey (the Principal Behavior Inventory) mailed to 865 secondary principals at Ohio public and private schools yielded 577 usable returns, almost a 68 percent response rate. Phase-two methods included interviews with six principals who had been classified as having "unfocused" orientations and observations at the six principals' schools. The term "unfocused" refers to principals' lack of emphasis on either the symbolic or technical nature of their responsibilities. "Unfocused" in this sense does not denote ineffectiveness. Findings support the premise that principals can be differentiated with respect to the emphasis they place on the symbolic and technical aspects of their work. The "unfocused" principals appeared to be more concerned with being accommodators, caretakers, collaborators, delegators, and facilitators. The majority of the six principals appeared to demonstrate a kind of "servant" leadership orientation, which emphasizes the professional relationship rather than the symbolic or technical qualities of the principalship. Overall, findings strongly support the use of the survey instrument as a reliable and valid instrument for identifying the importance that principals attach to different aspects of their work. Almost one-third of the survey sample indicated a bifocal leadership orientation; about one-fourth reported an unfocused orientation. Fifteen tables are included. Appendices contain the interview protocol and sample formulas. (Contains 23 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio