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The Place of Values in Superintendents Work

The Place of Values in Superintendents Work Because administration is the process of making decisions andbecause values are an important part of administrative culture, valuesare important in administrative work. The value orientations of Americanpublic school superintendents are described. Interviews with 15Midwestern superintendents provided the data for the study. Responses toexplicit questions about values are reported regarding the qualitiesvalued in subordinates, the factors that have limited professionalsuccess, and criteria used to determine successful problem resolution.Superintendents were also asked to describe the most serious problemsthey had faced in their careers and their greatest achievements.Analysis of the data indicated that superintendents as a group valuedhuman skills over either technical or conceptual skills. Thoughsuperintendents said that they value individual discretion amongsubordinates, they see it as a limited and qualified opportunity. Thoseinterviewed demonstrated a selective management memory, finding iteasier to describe their past accomplishments than serious problems theyhad encountered during their careers. In general, they did not focus onlimitations, problems or failures. Most of those interviewed showedlittle inclination to retrospective analysis of administrative actions,contrary to contemporary calls for more reflective practitioners. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Educational Administration Emerald Publishing

The Place of Values in Superintendents Work

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0957-8234
DOI
10.1108/09578239110004137
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Because administration is the process of making decisions andbecause values are an important part of administrative culture, valuesare important in administrative work. The value orientations of Americanpublic school superintendents are described. Interviews with 15Midwestern superintendents provided the data for the study. Responses toexplicit questions about values are reported regarding the qualitiesvalued in subordinates, the factors that have limited professionalsuccess, and criteria used to determine successful problem resolution.Superintendents were also asked to describe the most serious problemsthey had faced in their careers and their greatest achievements.Analysis of the data indicated that superintendents as a group valuedhuman skills over either technical or conceptual skills. Thoughsuperintendents said that they value individual discretion amongsubordinates, they see it as a limited and qualified opportunity. Thoseinterviewed demonstrated a selective management memory, finding iteasier to describe their past accomplishments than serious problems theyhad encountered during their careers. In general, they did not focus onlimitations, problems or failures. Most of those interviewed showedlittle inclination to retrospective analysis of administrative actions,contrary to contemporary calls for more reflective practitioners.

Journal

Journal of Educational AdministrationEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 1, 1991

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