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A qualitative study of cluster superintendents using Schwartz’s Theory of Human Values
educational leadership
leadership development
district leaders
motivational value continuum
professional ethics
Issue Date: 
Neo, Q. H. (2018). A qualitative study of cluster superintendents using Schwartz’s Theory of Human Values. Unpublished manuscript, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Much can be learned from leaders who have reached their pinnacle. In the education context of Singapore, cluster superintendents can be considered leaders who have reached the heights of their leadership career. They would have most likely started as a teacher, and progressed to take the middle leadership positions such as the subject head or the head of department. From middle leadership positions they would then progressed to become vice-principals, and then to principals before taking on their current role as cluster superintendents. A few of them could also have held positions at the headquarters of the education ministry. Their leadership
experiences would thus have covered several layers of leadership career progression. They would thus carry much lessons which others could learn from, whether it be in terms of knowledge, skills and values. Out of these three, the researchers aim to identify the values that these pinnacle leaders hold and cherish while fulfilling their duties as a cluster superintendent. This study is qualitative in nature, using solely interviews from six retired cluster superintendents. The retired status serves to optimise the knowledge gathering as it helps to minimise self-censorship of sensitive data. With reference to Shalom Schwartz’s theory of human values (1992), values coding was then applied to the transcribed interviews. This study revealed that the superintendents prioritise the value types universalism and benevolence in the management and development of principals; the value type self-direction is important in their professional development needs; and there could be unresolved tension between ranking and development of principals. The findings could provide insights to guide the selection and professional development of cluster superintendents.
Appears in Collections:Educational Research AY2016/2017

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