Date of Award

12-1984

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Department

Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Richard Munsterman

Second Advisor

Dr. Uldis Smidchens

Third Advisor

Dr. Tom Sill

Abstract

Due to the ever-increasing complexity of the social, financial, technical, and political environment in which schools must function, teachers have become more and more involved in the decision-making process in many schools. As teachers participate more in decision making, conflicts may arise. As these conflicts are managed, conflict-communication values may be an integral part of such management.

The primary purpose of this investigation was to determine the relationship between principals' effectiveness when dealing with conflicts and the principals' willingness to involve teaching staff in decision making. Investigations regarding the relationships between opposing communication values were also conducted.

The methodology used for this investigation was an ex post facto field study with questionnaires used to gather data to constitute both the independent variables and the dependent variables. The basic sampling units were principals and teachers in class C high schools in Michigan.

It was hypothesized that principals who were more effective at conflict management involved their staffs more in decision making than did principals who were less effective at conflict management. To test the corresponding null hypothesis, a t test for differences between the means of staff involvement in decision making by a group of principals less effective at conflict management and a group more effective at conflict management was used.

A beginning body of theory concerning the relationship between opposing communication values as they relate to conflict management predisposition indicates that the opposing values must be of equal strength for constructive conflict management to occur. Therefore, a positive correlation within the population between the opposing values was hypothesized. Coefficients resulting from the use of the Pearson r were used to test the null hypotheses.

The results of the data analysis led to the following conclusions: (1) High school principals who are more effective at conflict management involve their teaching staffs in decision making more than do principals who are less effective at conflict management. (2) There is little, if any, relationship between opposing communication values as they relate to conflict management predisposition.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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