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Values in Action: Observations of Effective Principals at Work
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Values in Action: Observations of Effective Principals at Work

Author: Sharon E Parkes; A Ross Thomas
Publisher: Emerald. 875 Massachusetts Avenue 7th Floor, Cambridge, MA 02139. Tel: 888-622-0075; Fax: 617-354-6875; e-mail: america@emeraldinsight.com; Web site: www.emeraldinsight.com.
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication:Journal of Educational Administration, v45 n2 p204-228 2007
Database:ERIC The ERIC database is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Education.
Other Databases: ECOBritish Library Serials
Summary:
Purpose: The purpose of this research is to report on the values practised by five effective secondary principals and to seek to identify common values that underpin their work practices. Design/methodology/approach: Principals were observed, each for two days, at work in their schools. From the observations of each principal activities were recorded and the principals' behaviours therein were subjected to analysis.  Read more...
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Document Type: Article
All Authors / Contributors: Sharon E Parkes; A Ross Thomas
ISSN:0957-8234
Language Note: English
Unique Identifier: 424934110
Awards:
Description: 25

Abstract:

Purpose: The purpose of this research is to report on the values practised by five effective secondary principals and to seek to identify common values that underpin their work practices. Design/methodology/approach: Principals were observed, each for two days, at work in their schools. From the observations of each principal activities were recorded and the principals' behaviours therein were subjected to analysis. Values manifest in the principals' behaviours were confirmed through an exhaustive process of triangulation--comparison with the espoused values that emerged through completion of both the Senge and Rokeach Scales and through private interviews. Findings: The values identified have been placed in three categories--those relating to Interpersonal Relationships, Operational Style, and Personal Qualities/Attributes. An unexpected outcome was the identification of principals "interruptibility"--the willingness to be interrupted because of the value placed on quality interpersonal relationships, to enable principals to attend to others' concerns, and to allow the person interrupting to feel valued in terms of his/her concern taking priority over whatever else the principal was doing. Practical implications: That element of "efficiency" advocated in much of the time management literature--"Thou shalt not be interrupted"--is apparently ignored by effective principals. Principals apparently accept this as part and parcel of their work in schools. Originality/value: The study reflects some of the limitations of qualitative investigations--"sample short but data heavy". Generalisations may be difficult to extract. Because of the severe triangulation process much data were discarded and thus other findings may have been masked. (Contains 5 figures and 6 tables.)

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