Administrative actions that foster member commitment toward shared institutional vision: A study of one Catholic elementary school

Blane Kohler McCann, Marquette University

Abstract

This study explored the administrative actions of one Catholic elementary school principal regarding commitment toward a shared school vision. The study purposely examined a school with a positive school culture and with strong leadership. Specifically, the study looked for specific actions taken by the principal to focus the school on the shared vision. Next, the study considered how the principal implemented actions designed to focus the school on the school's vision. Lastly, the study investigated ways that staff were influenced by the actions of the principal as she focused staff on the school's vision. A case study approach was applied. The study used Sergiovanni's (1992) "Work as a Substitute: Inventory" to determine what motivated teachers to perform the tasks of the school. School visits were conducted to observe the operation of the school including staff meetings, and parish school board meetings. Also, the researcher observed and interviewed 3 teachers and the principal on two separate occasions. Finally, pertinent documents such as school planning and accreditation report and parish board minutes were reviewed to determine if the school's vision was embedded in the actions of the school. Specific actions were identified that the principal took as she focused staff on the school's vision. The actions identified were: (1) a shared planning process; (2) democratic governance structure and collegial leadership style; (3) activities that focused the school on results; and (4) a teaching and learning plan that focused on student needs. In addition to identifying these organizational processes, the school was functioning like a community of people bound together by ideas and commitments and was tightly connected due to the strong bond expressed through the school's vision. Several practical and organizational conclusions can be made regarding fostering commitment in institutional members. The conclusions are: (1) it must occur at the local site; (2) the principal is critical in fostering commitment; and (3) that communal schools may be created in the public sector if viewed as civic institutions.

Recommended Citation

Blane Kohler McCann, "Administrative actions that foster member commitment toward shared institutional vision: A study of one Catholic elementary school" (January 1, 2000). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. Paper AAI9991613.
http://epublications.marquette.edu/dissertations/AAI9991613

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