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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Grounded Theory Approach to Understanding Ethical Leadership with School Leaders in Southern Nigeria: A Perspective of Three Primary Schools
by Egbufor, Dorothy Chukwudumebi, Ed.D., Howard University, 2017, 255; 10278434
Abstract (Summary)

The chief aim of this study was to develop a grounded theory of ethical leadership with school leaders in Southern Nigeria, utilizing a qualitative constructivist paradigm and multiple case study design. There is growing interest in public service of ethics (Barberis, 2001). The study of ethics has been a part of the [school] leadership erudition and debate for centuries (Brown and Trevino, 2006; Tanner, Brugger, Van Schie and Lebherz, 2010), given that school leaders make many decisions daily, and at the heart of every one of them is the resolution of a moral dilemma because every decision carries with it the potential to restructure human life (Foster, 1986). Leaders in Nigeria have been engulfed in a crisis; which many indigenous Nigerian peoples believe is due to unethical practices and behaviors (Okechukwu, 2012). Yet, in the old African society, values and ethics education were the major instrument for evolving a peaceful society (Adekola, 2012). A constructivist approach to grounded theory reaffirms studying people in their natural settings and redirects qualitative research away from a positivist perspective (Charmaz, 2000). In this study, qualitative data was collected through in-person interviews, survey questionnaires, school observations, classroom visits and a focus group which occurred over an approximate period of two weeks in Delta State, Nigeria with nine school leaders, lead teachers, and classroom teachers working in three different publicly-funded primary schools. Theoretical sampling of artifacts and secondary data was achieved utilizing national education policies in Nigeria, archived research data, scholarly literature, and personal documents. Primary and secondary data sources were coded line-by-line and through focused coding techniques crucial to grounded theory methodology. Data trustworthiness was established through Creswell and Miller’s (2000) verification procedures, including prolonged engagement, persistent observations, member checks, and triangulation. Through a two-step comparative method, four grounded theories of ethical leadership emerged: (1) Ethical Beliefs + Ethical Decisions = Ethical Actions, (2) “No School or School leader is an Island,” (3) Embody the Change You Want to See, and (4) Form and Finances before Function. Underlying tensions are discussed and strategic imperatives for actualizing ethical leadership in Southern Nigerian primary schools are offered.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Rodriguez, Cristobal
Commitee: Cham, Mbye, Isebor, Oritsejolomi J., Saravanabhavan, Rc, Williams, Dawn G., Woodson Reed, Kamilah
School: Howard University
Department: Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 79/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: African Studies, Educational leadership, Educational administration
Keywords: Constructivist paradigm, Educational leadership, Ethical leadership, Nigeria, Primary schools
Publication Number: 10278434
ISBN: 978-0-355-49982-7
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