Decision-making by school principals and education researchers: the dilemma of reverse coding in structural equation modeling and its resolution in a study of risk-taking in decision-making for school principals

Trimmer, Karen (2014) Decision-making by school principals and education researchers: the dilemma of reverse coding in structural equation modeling and its resolution in a study of risk-taking in decision-making for school principals. Athens Journal of Education, 1 (1). pp. 69-82. ISSN 2407-9898

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Abstract

This paper explores a theoretical dilemma that arose during a study of risk-taking in decision-making for public school principals in Western Australia. Western Australia is one of six Australian States. It is geographically diverse, including extremely remote schools serving Indigenous communities. The governance mechanism for public schools in Western Australia mandates policy and procedures for decision-making by principals. Principals take risks when they make decisions that are not compliant with established policy, as they may be exposed to criticism should negative outcomes arise. This creates a dilemma for principals who need to be able to respond to locally identified school and community needs, and simultaneously comply with all State and Commonwealth departmental requirements. A theoretical model of factors impacting on reasoned risk-taking in decision-making was developed and data collected through survey of a stratified random sample of principals in 253 Western Australian public schools. The analysis used methodology that combined sequential use of psychometric and traditional measurement techniques. This paper focuses on the cause and solution of a reverse coding problem that arose in structural equation modeling. The dilemma posed by this methodological issue had not been previously considered in the literature. It is reflected in the dilemmas posed to principals who are making decisions in their schools based on universal policy that does not necessarily account for the unique circumstances of their communities, schools and locations.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. This article was published in the Athens Journal of Education following publication in the Proceedings of the ATINER 2013 conference.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2015 05:46
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2017 04:35
Uncontrolled Keywords: decision-making, structural equation modeling, reverse coding
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130304 Educational Administration, Management and Leadership
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9305 Education and Training Systems > 930501 Education and Training Systems Policies and Development
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/27507

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