The Effects of the Authenticity of the Administrator in Creating an Open or Closed Climate: A Comparative Study of the United States and Israel

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Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

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Hymowech, Stanley
Education; Educational Administration and Supervision; Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration
thesis / dissertation description
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship existing between the students perception of their principal's role and the organizational climate of the school. The major hypotheses were: 1) There existed a relationship between the authenticity of the building principal towards his students and the degree of open or closed organizational climate within the school. 2) There existed a relationship between students' perception of their principal's role: and the degree of openness or closedness of the school’s climate. 3) This relationship between the authenticity of the building administrator as perceived by the student body and the school's organizational climate existed in both the United States and Israel. Authenticity was defined as the genuine behavior of the school's administrator in his relationship with the school's student body. The instrument used to evaluate student's perception of their principal's authenticity was the Student's Principal Perception Questionnaire which was developed by the author. The instrument selected to measure climate was the Organizational Climate Description Questionnaire (Halpin and Croft, 1963). This instrument established two sets of characteristics each of which is divided into four subtests. The two sets of characteristics evaluate the relationship of teachers and the leader-behavior of the principal. The subtest data derived from use of this instrument were used to compute rankings of climate on a continuum from open to closed. The study involved the translating of both testing instruments into Hebrew for the Israeli schools.The five United States secondary schools selected for the study were located in New York State and Vermont and varied in student body size and community structure. The five Israeli schools selected were of varying types ranging from a governmentally recognized academic secondary school to a governmentally unrecognized vocational secondary school.Both secular and religious schools were included in the study of Israeli schools. The major findings of this study were: 1) A direct relationship existed between the school's climate as evaluated by the teaching staff and the authenticity of the principal as perceived by the student body. 2) This relationship between school climate and principal authenticity existed in both the United States and Israel; and 3) The United States schools were, in general, more open in their organizational climate than the Israeli schools.In the light of these findings, it was recommended that the principal should have closer relationship with the student body as a means or improving the school's climate. It was also recommended that the existing authoritarian role of the Israeli principal be altered to adjust to the apparent need for a more open school climate.