Leading on the Ground : An Exploration of the Narratives of Ethical Leadership Practices-in-Use of Early Career Assistant Principals

Minami, Carmielita Acoba
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2013]
School leaders live in a world of increased accountability, higher student and leadership standards, and increased expectations of student achievement. The leader is key in establishing the ethics and norms that govern the people in the school through their actions and words. Yet, moral and ethical leadership in schools have been given very little attention in scholarship and research. This qualitative study generated a grounded theory of ethical leadership in action used by early career school leaders. Sixteen narratives of everyday situations written by eight assistant principals in public schools were analyzed from three perspectives: 1) leadership practices, 2) principles used to resolve the challenges and situations, and 3) dilemmas embedded in the situations. Results showed that the assistant principals applied five moral concepts in resolving the situations and a single-loop theory-of-action. This study broadened the awareness and understanding of the assistant principals' a) application of the ethics standard in practice; b) their ethical decision-making as a critical leadership task of assistant principals; c) their complex role as leaders in the school; and d) their craft knowledge of school leadership through their own eyes and voices of early career leaders.
Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2013.
Includes bibliographical references.
Ethical leadership, moral reasoning, school leadership, assistant principal
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