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ERIC Number: ED552413
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 365
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2679-0800-1
A Case Study of a Male School Principal's Leadership Practices: An Exploration of Emotion & the Ethic of Care
Myers, Edward L.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Temple University
This qualitative single-site case study examined the philosophy, decisions, and behaviors of a particular male school principal who subscribed to a form of care-based leadership practice. A Pennsylvania high school principal with a distinct leadership philosophy centered on the ethic of care was chosen to participate in this study. The purpose of this study was to explore the role of emotion as it relates to leadership philosophy and the enactment of leadership decisions and actions. Additionally, the short and long-term organizational effects of leader behavior were examined. Semi-structured interviews with the principal, administrators, teachers, staff, parents, community members, and graduated students were utilized to examine how the principal's leadership philosophy was perceived and carried forth in school operations. Additionally, on-site observations and document reviews were utilized to aid the data collection process. The observation and analysis of the male school principal's leadership behavior was filtered through the lens of Goleman's, Boyatzis', and McKee's (2002) "primal leadership theory" and also through Gross' (1998, 2004, 2006) "turbulence theory". Additionally, Wilson's (1998) theoretical conception of "consilience" was utilized as the physiological, psychological, ethical, social, emotional, and spiritual aspects of leadership were considered. These theoretical perspectives allowed for the review of principal leadership behavior in the context of unstable organizational conditions and accounted for the various elements involved with the leadership process. In turn, the male school principal's ability to implement his leadership philosophy was explored. This examination aimed to increase understanding of the intentions, actions, perceptions, and outcomes that arise from male school principal conduct that proposes to be aligned with a care-based leadership philosophy. The findings indicated the male school principal was able to successfully implement a care-based form of leadership practice. The results suggest that a particular "leadership acuity", involving various rational, emotional, social, and moral competencies, was necessary for the school principal to experience success. Principal aptitude in these domains allowed the school leader to successfully lead his school organization during both stable and highly turbulent conditions. The findings suggest that the ethic of care, specifically in relation to Sernak's (1998) conception of "caring power", should serve as the foundation for school organization leadership practice. Also, the findings offer various care-based school leadership aptitudes and behaviors that may be beneficial for school leadership theorists and practitioners to explore and consider. [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:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania