Public School Superintendents and the Perceived Impact of Ethics Training, Professional Experience and Professional Codes of Ethics on Ethical Decision Making : A Multiple Case Study
AbstractThe purpose of this multiple case study was to explore the decision making processes of public school superintendents and to identify those factors that influenced decision making. Ethics education/training, professional experience and professional codes of ethics were considered as possible influencing factors. Thus, this study sought to answer how superintendents' perceive ethics education/training and professional experience influence their ethical decision making. This research further examined the use or non-use of professional codes of ethics by public school superintendents and the perceived impact these codes have on administrative decision making. This study collected data from 10 public school superintendents throughout nine regions in Missouri. Superintendents were recruited based on variety in school district size and type. Both male and female superintendents participated in the study. Research data was obtained via personal interview with the participants. Findings concluded that professional experience was by far the greatest perceived influence on study superintendents' decision making. In contrast, both ethics education/training and professional codes of ethics had little, if any, perceived impact on the ethical decision making processes of study superintendents.