The role of values in educational leadership : an interpretive study

Drake, Melanie Lee (2008) The role of values in educational leadership : an interpretive study. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.




This study set out to investigate the role of values in educational leadership. The renewed interest in values in both educational and corporate environments in South Africa places new pressures on members in leadership positions especially in school life. Schools are described as the ‘nurseries’ of values. The understanding of the abstract nature of values, as well as instrumentalising and implementing values in vision statements and organisational life, poses challenges to present and future school leaders. This study, based in the interpretive paradigm, is an in-depth investigation into the role of values at a former model C primary school in the Eastern Cape. Through the use of observations, document analysis, focus groups and interviews as data collection tools, this research highlights the importance of values in school leadership and how this impacts the life of the school leader. This case-study research combines theoretical and contextual frameworks to question the nature of values in leadership and uses the real-life experiences of these school leaders to resonate with current understandings of values in leadership and organisational culture. The importance of understanding these complexities in the lives and experiences of these school leaders cannot be underestimated. My findings highlight the tensions between leading successful schools (task/person efficiency) and remaining congruent with the need for leadership for social justice in post-apartheid educational institutions. The uniqueness of the school environment (‘families’ and ‘communities’) is also featured and resonates with previous literature. Through the lens of emerging leadership trends, we discover these school leaders’ understandings of values in their daily lives: they do what they are and this is reflected in this school’s unique organisational culture, which could be said to ‘transcend’ present leaders’ influence. Finally I propose that further research is necessary in order to broaden our understanding of the unique role of values in educational leadership in South Africa.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Education, Leadership, South Africa
Subjects:L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Education > Education
ID Code:2619
Deposited By: Mrs Carol Perold
Deposited On:17 Apr 2012 07:40
Last Modified:17 Apr 2012 07:40
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