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ERIC Number: EJ827788
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 62
ISSN: ISSN-0957-8234
Principals Value-Informed Decision Making, Intrapersonal Moral Discord, and Pathways to Resolution: The Complexities of Moral Leadership Praxis
Frick, William C.
Journal of Educational Administration, v47 n1 p50-74 2009
Purpose: This research seeks to explore the inevitable internal struggle experienced by school leaders when making ethically-informed judgments. The study acquired principals' intimate reflections about professional decision making in response to personal versus organizational and/or professional value discrepancy as identified in the ethic of the profession and its model for promoting students' best interests. Design/methodology/approach: A modified phenomenological research method, appropriate for an educational research context, was used to capture administrators' perspectives about moral practice and decision-making experiences. The primary data collection strategy was participant interviews by means of purposeful sampling. Findings: A clash between personal beliefs and values and organizational/professional expectations was very real for participants. The experience was generally frequent, but varied among principals. The struggle can be characterized as a phenomenon of intrapersonal moral discord experienced as part of the process of deciding ethically when faced with difficult moral choices. Practical implications: The study contributes to the understanding of moral conflict in school leadership as an intrapersonal moral phenomenon, and how the conflict is resolved in practice, while providing insights into a more recently defined and theorized professional ethic for educational leadership. The study offers empirically derived knowledge for theory building and offers conceptual clarification of the moral leadership construct. Originality/value: Moral judgment was complicated and contextually defined for participants. Administrators reported various ways of dealing with the nuances of personal and organizational value incongruity in order to engage in ethical decision making, including relying on, in some instances, a fundamental professional injunction. (Contains 5 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A