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ERIC Number: ED569090
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 354
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3038-7654-7
An Examination of Ideology among Selected K12 Christian School Superintendents
Dolson, Jimmy L.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Eastern Michigan University
This research project focused on explaining the decision making process of K12 Christian school superintendents whose schools belong to the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) organization. In spite of their similar religious and philosophical beliefs, ACSI K12 Christian school superintendents differed significantly in organizational decision-making. This dissertation investigated the construct of ideology as a possible explanation of this phenomenon. This project attempted to explain the ideology of Christian school superintendents, document its formation throughout life, and demonstrate its usage in traditional organizational theory. This study used a qualitative research methodology with narrative analysis in the phenomenological research tradition to uncover ideology. Nine K12 Christian school superintendents throughout Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio participated in the study. The research methodology included development of a grand narrative for each participant, thematic development of ideology for each participant, and an axial thematic analysis across all nine superintendents. Transcripts, grand narratives, research journals, and artifacts were used as research records to help uncover participant ideology. Findings of the project revealed that ideology consists of four elements. Values were important to participants when making decisions, but some values were more important than others. The situations of conflict and dilemmas that superintendents were involved in had a major impact on the ordering of participant values. Superintendents also maintained a commitment to a cause or foundational value, a value that all other values rested upon. And finally, there were multiple influences in each superintendent's life such as God, the Bible, mentors, and authors. The four elements of ideology were found to exist in a relationship to each other. The results of those relationships revealed that ideology is a blend of values to satisfy superintendent commitments; that value selection is dependent on the situation; and, that influencers in life impact commitments and values. From those relationships a framework evolved. The framework was shown to supplement Thompson's (2008) organizational model and expanded his propositional hypothesizes about organizational behavior. [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: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Indiana; Michigan; Ohio