THE IMPACT OF ETHICS ON SCHOOL MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP

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Etymologically, the word education is derived from educare (Latin) "bring up", which is related to educere "bring out", "bring forth what is within", "bring out potential" and ducere, "to lead". Education in the largest sense is any act or experience that has a formative effect on the mind, character or physical ability of an individual. In its technical sense, education is the process by which society deliberately transmits its accumulated knowledge, skills and values from one generation to another.

The history of education according to Dieter Lenzen, president of the Freie Universität Berlin 1994, "began either millions of years ago or at the end of 1770". Education as a science cannot be separated from the educational traditions that existed before. Adults trained the young of their society in the knowledge and skills they would need to master and eventually pass on. The evolution of culture, and human beings as a species depended on this practice of transmitting knowledge. In pre-literate societies this was achieved orally and through imitation. Story-telling continued from one generation to the next. Oral language developed into written symbols and letters. The depth and breadth of knowledge that could be preserved and passed soon increased exponentially. When cultures began to extend their knowledge beyond the basic skills of communicating, trading, gathering food, religious practices, etc., formal education, and schooling, eventually followed. Schooling in this sense was already in place in Egypt between 3000 and 500BC.

Formal Education

The concept of grouping students together in a centralized location for learning has existed since Classical antiquity. Formal schools have existed at least since ancient Greece, ancient Rome, ancient India, and ancient China. The Byzantine Empire had an established schooling system beginning at the primary level. According to Traditions and Encounters, the founding of the primary education system began in 425 A.D. and "... military personnel usually had at least a primary education ...". The sometimes efficient and often large government of the Empire meant that educated citizens were a must. Although Byzantium lost much of the grandeur of Roman culture and extravagance in the process of surviving, the Empire emphasized efficiency in its war manuals. The Byzantine education system continued until the empire's collapse in 1453 AD.

Islam was another culture that developed a school system in the modern sense of the word. Emphasis was put on knowledge, which required a systematic way of teaching and spreading knowledge, and purpose-built structures. At first, mosques combined both religious performance and learning activities, but by the ninth century, the Madrassa was introduced, a proper school that was built independently from the mosque. They were also the first to make the Madrassa system a public domain under the control of the Caliph. The Nizamiyya madrasa is considered by consensus of scholars to be the earliest surviving school, built towards 1066 CE by Emir Nizam Al-Mulk.

School Management and Leadership

The significance of educational management and leadership

There is great interest in educational leadership in the early part of the 21st century. This is because of the widespread belief that the quality of leadership makes a significant difference to school and student outcomes. In many parts of the world, there is recognition that schools require effective leaders and managers if they are to provide the best possible education for their learners. As the global economy gathers pace, more governments are realising that their main assets are their people and that remaining, or becoming, competitive depends increasingly on the development of a highly skilled workforce. This requires trained and committed teachers but they, in turn, need the leadership of highly effective principals and the support of other senior and middle managers (Bush, in press).

The process of deciding on the aims of the organization is at the heart of educational management. In most schools, aims are decided by the principal, often working in association with the senior management team and perhaps also with the school governing body. However, school aims are strongly influenced by pressures from the external environment, and particularly from the expectations of government, often expressed through legislation or formal policy statements. Schools may be left with the residual task of interpreting external imperatives rather than determining aims on the basis of their own assessment of learner needs. The key issue here is the extent to which school managers are able to modify government policy and develop alternative approaches based on school-level values and vision. (Bush 2003:1-2).

Distinction between educational management and leadership

The concept of management overlaps with that of leadership, a notion of great contemporary interest in most countries in the developed world. However, despite these developments management remains the dominant term in the debate about aspects of school organisation.

Cuban (1988) provides one of the clearest distinctions between leadership and management. He links leadership with change while management is seen as a maintenance activity. He also stresses the importance of both dimensions of organisational activity:

"By leadership, I mean influencing others' actions in achieving desirable ends. Leaders are people who shape the goals, motivations, and actions of others. Frequently they initiate change to reach existing and new goals... Leadership ... takes ... much ingenuity, energy and skill.

Managing is maintaining efficiently and effectively current organisational arrangements. While managing well often exhibits leadership skills, the overall function is toward maintenance rather than change. I prize both managing and leading and attach no special value to either since different settings and times call for varied responses".

Day et al.'s (2001) study of twelve 'effective' schools leads to the discussion of several dilemmas in school leadership. One of these relates to management, which is linked to systems and 'paper', and leadership, which is perceived to be about the development of people. Bush (1998; 2003) links leadership to values or purpose while management relates to implementation or technical issues.

Leadership and management need to be given equal prominence if schools are to operate effectively and achieve their objectives. "Leading and managing are distinct, but both are important ... The challenge of modern organizations requires the objective perspective of the manager as well as the flashes of vision and commitment wise leadership provides" (Bolman & Deal, 1997).

Leithwood et al. (1999) make the important point that, in practice, principals in their day-to-day work are rarely aware of whether they are leading or managing; they are simply carrying out their work on behalf of the school and its learners. However, the nature of that work should reflect the school context and, in particular, its needs at any one time. Underperforming schools may require a greater emphasis on basic management, making the organization functional, rather than a visionary approach. This may involve ensuring regular and timely attendance by learners and educators, maintaining order and discipline in classrooms, and proving adequate resources to enable learning to take place. Once schools are functional, leaders can progress to developing vision, and outlining clear aims and policies, with the confidence that systems are in place to secure their implementation.

Models of educational leadership and management

Theories of educational management for over 20 years (Bush, 1986; 1995; 2003) have been presented and classified into six major models: formal, collegial, political, subjective, ambiguity, and cultural (see Table 1).

More recently, the author of these theories has reviewed concepts of educational leadership, notably in work undertaken for the English National College for School Leadership (Bush & Glover, 2002). The literature on leadership has generated a number of alternative, and competing, models. Some writers have sought to cluster these various conceptions into a number of broad themes or 'types'. The best known of these typologies is that by Leithwood, Jantzi and Steinbach (1999), who identified six 'models' from their scrutiny of 121 articles in four international journals. Bush and Glover (2002) extended this typology to eight models. These are among the nine leadership models shown in Table 1, alongside the management models mentioned earlier.

Table : Typology of management and leadership models (Bush, 2003)

Management model

Leadership model

Formal

Collegial

Political

Subjective

Ambiguity

Cultural

Managerial

Participative

Transformational

Interpersonal

Transactional

Post-modern

Contingency

Moral

Instructional

Traditional leadership theories

Gorton, Alston and Snowden (2007, pp. 8) identified trait, behavioural and contingency as seminal research approaches relevant to educational administration.

Trait approach

Leadership research started around 1940s with trait studies on attributes of natural leaders focusing on their personalities, motives, values and skills, but the studies could not discover universal traits for leadership success.

For a synthesis of literature during that period, Stogdill (1948) observed leaders displaying some advantageous managerial traits over non-leaders, but none of these traits were clearly superior.

Behavioral approach

Lack of success with the trait approach led to examination of leadership behaviour from the 1950s, which produced various two-dimensional models. Different researchers gave the dimensions various names, including consideration and initiating structure (Stogdill & Coons 1957), concern for people and concern for production (Blake & Mouton 1964), as well as employee-centric and job-centric behaviours (Bowers & Seashore 1966), leading to a task-relationship dichotomy for leadership behaviour. This dichotomy corresponded with two behavioural sets summarized by Owens (2007) in the education context: (1) administrative ones including planning, organizing and coordinating; as well as (2) human ones such as consideration for subordinates, motivation and conflict management.

Contingency approach

After the search by previous approaches for universal characteristics of leaders was inconclusive, the contingency approach around the 1970s recognized dependency of leadership effectiveness on organizational situations. This approach emphasizes contextual factors influencing leadership processes, such as characteristics of environment, subordinates and tasks (House 1971). Specific situational variables include situational control-combination of task structure, leader-member relations and leader's position power to evaluate performance of subordinates (Fiedler 1964). Other situational variables are amount of relevant information possessed, importance of decision, subordinates' acceptability of decision (Vroom & Yetton 1973) and subordinate maturity (Hersey & Blanchard 1977). Traditional leadership research focused on seeking universal qualities of leaders before examining situational factors moderating leadership effectiveness. The following section presents contemporary leadership research dating from around 1980s.

Contemporary leadership theories

Crowther et al. (2002, p. 24) considered four popular approaches to contemporary educational leadership: transformational, strategic, educative and organizational.

Transformational leadership

Based on personal qualities from traditional leadership research, transformational leadership grooms followers into future leaders by giving them freedom to control their behaviour, elevates followers' concerns from physical to psychological needs, inspires subordinates to consider group rather than self interests, and communicates desired outcomes to let subordinates perceive changes as worthwhile (Bass 1990, 1995, 1999; Yammarino, Spangler & Bass 1993). Emphasizing personal traits to introduce organizational change, this form of leadership demands shared decision-making, teacher empowerment as well as understanding and encouraging change, while necessitating abilities to work in teams, see the complete picture, concentrate on continuous school improvement and foster the school community's sense of ownership (Leithwood 1992). Transformational leadership is related to moral leadership, being influenced by Burns' (1978) transforming leadership, which appeals to followers' moral values to raise their consciousness on ethical issues. In the education context, more contemporary forms of transformational leadership appeared in Dantley's (2001) research on moral leadership linking transformational leadership with leaders as moral agents.

Strategic leadership

While transformational leadership is built on personal qualities, strategic leadership is more impersonal, being concerned with relationships between the external environment and an organization's mission as well as its implementation (Maghroori & Rolland 1997). Strategic leaders interpret external events to focus on threats and opportunities for influencing followers' values.

Educative leadership

Culture building is emphasized by educative leadership (Bates 1992), which implies responsible involvement in organizational politics (Duignan & Macpherson 1992, pp. 3-4). Educative leadership requires culturally proficient leaders who respect and know about individual as well as organizational cultures to interact effectively in various cultural environments (Lindsey, Robins & Terrell 2003). Cultural proficiency is especially important in an organizational context facing fundamental changes due to globalization.

Organizational leadership

Besides cultural proficiency, change-oriented leadership encourages organizational innovation. Due to fundamental social changes in the knowledge economy, there is increasing tension between fundamentalism and cosmopolitanism reflecting conflict between universal rules and diversity (Giddens 2003). A case in point is the variety of cultures and nationalities present in the work force as well as universities of major cities, creating some uneasiness about distribution of job and educational opportunities among locals and foreigners. While government embraced globalization of opportunities by setting up transnational campuses, a subsequent disequilibrium arose between standardization of course content across campuses and customization based on regional or local contexts.

While successful innovations usually started with simple, small and focused ideas clearly defined for implementation, Drucker (1985) commented knowledge-based innovations may be the hardest to succeed, demanding availability of all needed knowledge. While companies may not have all required expertise, universities with established research strengths can fulfill this criterion. Agreeing with Drucker (1985), Pogrow (1996) noted successful innovations being highly structured and easily monitored. Innovative courses can incorporate structure and monitoring in its design.

Emerging from education literature on organizational leadership is the notion of shared instead of traditional leadership theories' individual or positional leadership, suggesting enhancement of capability to accomplish effective work collectively (Heifetz 1994). In the education context, leadership from school principals, teachers, administrators and parents have positive effects on school performance (Pounder, Ogawa & Adams 1995, p. 567).

For changes beyond unit offerings, Dantley (2001) expounded principled leadership reflecting on issues of justice, democracy and fairness before questioning efficacy of implementing administrative decisions; pragmatic leadership to promote acquisition of skills for academic achievement as well as introducing social, educational, political and economic changes; and purposive leadership for innovative changes in schools.

Moral leadership

This model assumes that the critical focus of leadership ought to be on the values, beliefs, and ethics of leaders themselves. Authority and influence are to be derived from defensible conceptions of what is right or good (Leithwood et al., 1999:10). Sergiovanni (1984:10) says that "excellent schools have central zones composed of values and beliefs that take on sacred or cultural characteristics". Subsequently, he adds that 'administering' is a 'moral craft' (Sergiovanni, 1991:322).

West-Burnham (1997:239) discusses two approaches to leadership, which may be categorized as 'moral'. The first he describes as 'spiritual' and relates to "the recognition that many leaders possess what might be called 'higher order' perspectives. These may well be ... represented by a particular religious affiliation". Such leaders have a set of principles, which provide the basis of self-awareness. The second category is 'moral confidence', the capacity to act in a way that is consistent with an ethical system and is consistent over time.

Sergiovanni (1991:329) argues that both moral and managerial leadership are required to develop a learning community: In the principalship the challenge of leadership is to make peace with two competing imperatives, the managerial and the moral. The two imperatives are unavoidable and the neglect of either creates problems. Schools must be run effectively if they are to survive ... But for the school to transform itself into an institution, a learning community must emerge ... [This] is the moral imperative that principals face.

Sustainable Leadership

In education, the first principle of sustainability is to develop something that is itself sustaining. To sustain means to nourish. Sustaining learning is therefore learning that matters, that lasts and that engages students intellectually, socially and emotionally.

It is not achievement results, but the learning behind them that matters most. The prime responsibility of all educational leaders is to sustain learning (Glickman 2002; Stoll, Fink & Earl, 2003).

Leadership succession is the last challenge of leadership. It is the challenge of letting go, moving on, and planning for one's own obsolescence. Sustainable improvements are not fleeting changes that disappear when their champions have left.

Sustainable leadership is not achieved by charismatic leaders whose shoes are too big to fill. Instead, it spreads beyond individuals in chains of influence that connect the actions of leaders to their predecessors and successors.

Ethics

Ethics has been defined as "the branch of philosophy that explores the nature of moral virtue and (which) evaluates human actions" (White, 1993, p1). It is the set of moral principles on which actions are evaluated as right or wrong. The terms morals and ethics are sometime used interchangeably.

Ethics and Values

Whether or not values and ethics are consciously employed as guides to decision making by individuals, they remain in general an important influence on the cognitive processes of individuals and groups of individuals. Values can be formally defined as conceptions of the desirable with motivating force characteristic of individuals, groups, organizations, and societies that influence choices made from available resources and means (Hodgkinson, 1978). Begley (2006) describes the influence of values within individuals as the internal psychological reflections of more distilled levels of motivation (e.g. a concern for personal interests, consequences, or consensus) that become tangible to an observer in the form of attitudes, speech, and actions. Thus, values in their various forms, including ethics, can be thought of as conscious or unconscious influences on attitudes, actions, and speech. However, it is important to note that valuation processes can involve more than ethics. Values can take different forms and can be best categorized according to their motivational grounding. Ethics, as a particular form of values, as opposed to the scholarly discipline, are normative social ideals or codes of conduct usually grounded in the cultural experience of particular societies. In that sense they are a sort of uber form of social consensus.

Ethics in School Management and Leadership

For a better understanding of the impact of ethics in school management and leadership, a framework would be much appropriate. In their book, Ethical Leadership and Decision Making in Education, Shapiro and Stefkovich (2001) propose a framework for responding to ethical dilemmas.

Ethical paradigms based on models of justice, caring, and critique are merged into a fourth paradigm, that of the profession. At the centre of this conceptualization is the "best interests of the student." Educators have often used this concept to justify important moral and ethical decisions; therefore it seems apt that this concept would lie at the heart of a professional paradigm.

Conceptualising an ethical framework for education

The literature provides five major paradigms used to analyse ethics and ethical dilemmas.

Ethic of Justice

The first type of ethic is the ethic of justice. This ethic often provides a basis for legal principles and ideals. Here, one may ask questions related to the rule of law and the more abstract concepts of fairness, equity and justice. Starratt (1994) characterizes this ethic as originating in two schools of thought, one focusing on the individual as central and the other stressing society as its key component. The former generally involves the concept of social contract where the individual gives up certain rights for the good of society; it includes the work of earlier philosophers including Hobbes and Kant and more contemporary scholars such as Lawrence Kohlberg and John Rawls. The latter conceptualizes justice as emerging from "communal understandings" (Starratt, 1994, p. 50). Also writing within this paradigm is Kenneth Strike, a scholar who focuses on justice and its influence on educational decision making by stressing concepts such as maximum benefits and its relationship to respect for individual needs (Strike et al., 1998).

Ethic of care

Second is an ethic of care. Out of the ethic of justice, the ethic of care shifts the emphasis on rights and laws to compassion and empathy. When the ethic of care is valued, school leaders emphasize relationships and connections in the decision-making process, rather than techniques and rules associated with a hierarchical approach. Nodding's (2003) work is central to this ethic as are the writings of contemporary scholars including Gilligan (1982) who challenged Kohlberg's (1981) model of ethical decision making as relates to women and Sernak (1998) who contends that school leaders must balance power with caring.

Ethic of Critique

Critique is the third ethic. Firmly rooted in critical theory, the ethic of critique seeks to challenge the status quo and give voice to the marginalized sectors of society. Under the ethic of critique, theorists such as Apple (2000, 2001, 2003), Capper (1993), Foster (1986) and Giroux (1991, 2000, 2003), among others, ask us to not only rethink laws and justice, but also consider other concepts such as privilege, power, culture and language.

Here, one might question who makes the laws, who benefits from them, and how they apply to a variety of different people. Grogan (2003) and Marshall et al. (1989) join the ranks of these contemporary scholars who urge educators to consider issues of social justice in their ethical decision making.

Ethic of the profession

The ethic of the profession (Shapiro and Stefkovich, 2001) calls for school leaders to consider professional and personal ethical principles and codes, as well as standards of the profession and individual professional codes to create a dynamic model that places the "best interests of the student" as central. This paradigm considers the other frameworks as well as issues such as what the profession expects, what happens when personal and professional ethics clash, and how community influences educators' ethical decision making. This paradigm of the profession moves beyond a multi-paradigmatic approach and strives to consider "moral aspects unique to the profession and the questions that arise as educational leaders become more aware of their own personal and professional codes of ethics" (Shapiro and Stefkovich, 2001, p. 18). As Walker (1998, p. 300) points out: "The well-considered shibboleth that the best interests of children will be taken to override conflicting interests may be considered both a safe and essential grounds for educational decision making".

Ethic of the Community

Furman (2003) proposes a fifth ethic for educational leaders - that of community. Furman (2004) explicates this ethical posture in an article appearing in this issue of the Journal of Educational Administration. For Furman, community becomes the context within which the other ethical postures are applied as school leaders make decisions in an ever-changing environment. She defines the ethic of community as the moral responsibility of educators to engage in communal processes. Here, the communal, rather than the individual, is the major focus of schools' moral agency. This ethic is very different from Sergiovanni (1994) who views community as an entity and Shapiro and Stefkovich (2001) who see community in relation to the individual.

Each of these five paradigms is important to educational leaders who are asked to make ethical decisions. By considering the paradigms as complementary parts of a whole, the school leader has access to a more advanced set of tools for decision making.

Application of Ethics in School Management and Leadership

The point that school administrative decision making requires more than the mechanical application of existing rules, regulations and various levels of school and school-related policy has been well established (Hoy and Miskel, 2005). The essential aspects of school leadership are more than simply possessing and carrying out certain technical skills to ensure effective and efficient management of organizational operations (Sergiovanni, 2009). The emphasis and preoccupation with bureaucratic scientism and management perspectives has given way to the importance of value, moral, and ethical bases for educational leadership decision making. There is an increasing recognition that putatively value free administrative decisions and actions are actually "value-laden, even value-saturated enterprises(s)" (Hodgkinson, 1978, p.122) that undergird our understanding of what Greenfield (1985, 1999), and others (Green, 1990) have articulated in more precise terms as the careful location of purpose and worth in things, or in other words "moral education" and "moral leadership." This recognition of value-driven, moral leadership action, according to Hodgkinson (1978), is an "administrative logic" of a new order.

The Ethic of the Profession and the Model for Promoting Students' Best Interests (Shapiro and Stefkovich, 2001, 2005; Stefkovich, 2006), recognizes moral aspects unique to the profession that are primarily client-based and highlights the inevitable internal struggle experienced by school leaders due to a wide variety of considerations and factors that seek to inform and influence their moral practice as school leaders. This existential 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 centered on personal versus organizational and/or professional value discrepancy, described as a "clashing of codes" within the framework. The professional ethic recognizes moral aspects unique to the profession of educational leadership and grounds the moral dimension of the profession on the monothetic injunction to "serve the best interests of the student" (Shapiro and Stefkovich, 2001, p.23) whereby "promoting the success of all students" (ISLLC, 1996, p. 8) by focusing on the needs of children (Walker, 1998).

Research Methodology

Introduction

Research methodology is the framework or process that determines the way data are to be collected and analysed. It is based on many factors, namely, the choice of research philosophy, the research approach to be adopted, the intended research strategy and the data collection methods (Saunders et al., 2003).

Problem Definition

Objectives of the Research

Research Method

Determination of Target Population and Sample Size

Pilot Testing

A first version of the questionnaire was distributed to a sample of 5 participants which are not on the list. A copy of the final questionnaire is found in Appendix .... The main objectives are to:

identify grammatical errors

detect any misprints

rephrase questions, if needed

improve on the range of expected answers

build-in a system of checks and balances on the answers provided to find out any inconsistency(ies). Inconsistent answers, if any, to be rejected in order for information to be accurate and relevant.

All the 5 participants responded and their responses were really useful in improving the questionnaire as well as rephrasing some questions, which were apparently confusing.

Sampling Technique

The sampling technique that has been selected was the simple random selection. A simple random sample gives each member of the population an equal chance of being chosen.  One method of reaching a simple random sample is to number each element in the sampling frame and then use random numbers to select the required sample.

Sample Response Rates

Calculation of total response rate and active response rate is as follows (Saunders et al., 2003):

Total response rate = total number of responses

total number in sample - ineligible

Active response rate = total number of responses

total number in sample - (ineligible + unreachable)

Thus, the total response rate for this study is ...... and the active response rate is ......, calculations of the rates are found in Appendix ...

Questionnaire Design

Results and Discussion

Conclusions and Recommendations

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