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

Paper


Trimmer, Karen. 2013. "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." Papanikos, Gregory T. (ed.) 15th Annual International Conference on Education (ATINER 2013). Athens, Greece 20 - 23 May 2013 Athens, Greece.
Paper/Presentation Title

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

Presentation TypePaper
Authors
AuthorTrimmer, Karen
EditorsPapanikos, Gregory T.
Journal or Proceedings TitleAthens Institute for Education and Research Conference Paper Series EDU2013-0435
Number of Pages13
Year2013
Place of PublicationAthens, Greece
Web Address (URL) of Paperhttp://www.atiner.gr/papers.htm
Conference/Event15th Annual International Conference on Education (ATINER 2013)
Event Details
15th Annual International Conference on Education (ATINER 2013)
Event Date
20 to end of 23 May 2013
Event Location
Athens, Greece
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.

Keywordsdecision making; government regulation; Western Australia; school principals
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020520402. Decision making
390403. Educational administration, management and leadership
520105. Psychological methodology, design and analysis
Public Notes

All rights reserved. Reproduction is allowed for non-
commercial purposes if the source is fully acknowledged.
ATINER'S Conference Paper Series, No: EDU2013-0435.

Byline AffiliationsFaculty of Education
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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