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ERIC Number: ED533622
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 116
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1248-8271-0
Elementary Principal Decision-Making Process during Crisis Situations in One Northern New Jersey District
Torley, Marilyn
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Seton Hall University
The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate how school administrators respond during a crisis. Relevant research pertaining to crisis decision-making will be presented, focusing on the three steps of crisis decision theory (a) assessing the severity of the negative event (b) determining response options, and (c) evaluating response options (Sweeny, 2008) during crisis situations. This is the first time crisis decision theory will be used to explore how school leaders respond to a crisis. Critical Incident Technique (CIT) (Flanagan, 1954) was used as the investigative framework with the improved credibility checks established by Butterfield et al. (2005). Following the guidelines set by the CIT method, a one-to-one interview with school administrators was recorded and transcribed as they recalled a crisis event and how they responded. Ten elementary school principals from a northern New Jersey district participated in the study. Through content analysis, a coding technique was used for patterns of behavior that either reflected the three steps of crisis decision theory or not. Administrators tend to evaluate their options and choose the best option related to the resources available to them. Both direct and indirect consequences are evaluated to determine if their response will affect other areas in their life and how their decision will impact others. Administrators do not leave crisis situations empty-handed, new learning occurs at both the personal and district levels. Overall, crisis decision theory is a strong indicator of the rational thinking process administrators experience as they respond to crisis situations. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Jersey