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Principal socialization

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Title:
Principal socialization a phenomenological investigation
Creator:
Smith, Julie Rae
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Language:
English
Physical Description:
xv, 198 leaves : ; 28 cm

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Elementary school principals ( lcsh )
Professional socialization ( lcsh )
School districts ( lcsh )
Educational sociology ( lcsh )
Educational sociology ( fast )
Elementary school principals ( fast )
Professional socialization ( fast )
School districts ( fast )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 168-198).
General Note:
School of Education and Human Development
Statement of Responsibility:
by Julie Rae Smith.

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|University of Colorado Denver
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|Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
182722751 ( OCLC )
ocn182722751
Classification:
LD1193.E3 2007d S533 ( lcc )

Full Text
PRINCIPAL SOCIALIZATION: A PHENOMENOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION
by
Julie Rae Smith
B.A., Arizona State University, 1978
M.A., University of Northern Colorado, 1985
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver and Health Science Center
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
School of Education
2007


2007 Julie Rae Smith
All rights reserved.


This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy
degree by
Julie Rae Smith
has been approved
by
Connie L. Fulmer
Rodney Muth
J Date


Smith, Julie, L. (Ph.D., Educational Leadership and Innovation)
Principal Socialization: A Phenomenological Investigation
Thesis directed by Associate Professor Connie L. Fulmer
ABSTRACT
My study provides a phenomenological description of the meaning that new
principals attribute to their socialization experience. The research involved five
participants: four primary principals in their third year deemed to be highly successful
in their current positions, and one secondary participant, myself, currently a central
office administrator supervising principals in the dual role of researcher and
participant observer.
The research question that guides my study is, How do principals perceive
and describe the phenomenon of being socialized by their respective school
districts? Ultimately, my work seeks to understand and describe the meaning that
principals attribute to their organizational socialization experiencestheir thoughts,
feelings, beliefs, values, and assumptive worlds.
Using Moustakass phenomenological research model, the approach included
data collection, data analysis, and synthesis of data, leading to horizonalization and
identification of meaning units, and cluster themes, both textural and structural.
Further reduction of these data led to the development of composite textural and
structural descriptions and five overarching principal socialization themes: (a)


mission, vision, values, and culture; (b) proactive socialization and; self-directedness;
(c) relationships, networks, and alliances; (d) sensemaking; and (e) emotionally
charged and difficult experience. These themes helped me to identify with and to
illustrate the how and what principals experience as they are socialized into their new
role.
My study, unlike prior research, did not seek to offer advice or prescribe
behavior but rather to suggest openings and possibilities for awareness, insight, and
action that are inherent in the re-described and validated experiences of my
participants. As a result of its design, I have been able to come to an understanding of
meanings, values, and essences that describe principals life-world as they experience
and try to make sense of their socialization experience.
Given the perceived shortage of qualified principal applicants, the changing
face of principals as well as the complexity of the roles in which they find
themselves, this study fills a gap in the principal socialization literature. That is,
socialization descriptions of these principal participants experience may help
educators provide more effective socialization experiences for newly hired
administrators.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidates thesis. I recommend
its publication.
Signed
Connie L. Fulmer


DEDICATION PAGE
First and foremost, I dedicate this thesis to my research partner, my dear friend, and
loving husband, Raymond Lawrence Smith. It was with his unconditional support
that we have accomplished this lifelong dream. Second, I dedicate this thesis to my
parents and sister who I know are looking down upon me with great pride.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
A deep and heartfelt thank you goes to my advisor, Connie Fulmer, for her
friendship and unconditional support of my research. Additionally, I want to
recognize the members of my committee for dedicating their time, knowledge, and
expertise to ensure my successful completion of this lifelong dream.
I have heard that it takes an entire village to raise a child. I would suggest as a
result of my experiences working on my doctorate, that it takes a village to complete
a research project of this magnitude. Without the commitment of heart, mind, hand,
and spirit of the participants in this research, I would not have been able to capture
the voice that represents the lived experiences of principals being socialized into
their perspective roles. My co-workers were my cheerleaders and coaches when the
workload seemed overwhelming, and my primary co-researcher and peer-reviewer
Ray Smith, was the critical friend who engaged in spirited conversations to ensure
that we upheld the integrity of this research. Most importantly, it is my commitment
to all teachers and assistant principals who will move into new administrative
positions in the next decade that ultimately inspired this research.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
Figures....................................................... xiv
Tables......................................................... xv
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION.................................................... 1
The Problem............................................... 1
Background to the Problem................................. 2
Purpose of the Study...................................... 7
Methodologies Procedures.................................. 8
Parameters of the Study.................................. 10
Significance of the Study................................ 11
Layout of Chapters....................................... 13
2. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE................................... 15
The Problem.............................................. 16
A More Complex Role............................. 17
Nation Wide Turnover............................... 17
Principal Succession............................... 19
Ineffective Socialization Processes................ 20
The History and Evolving Definition of Socialization..... 22
viii


Anticipatory Socialization Process....................... 26
Professional Socialization............................... 27
Organizational Socialization............................. 28
Organizational Socialization Research........................... 30
The Socialization Tactics....................................... 33
Institutionalized T actics............................... 34
Individualized Tactics................................... 35
The Context.............................................. 36
The Content.............................................. 38
The Social Aspects....................................... 38
The Socialization Stages........................................ 39
Anticipatory Socialization............................... 40
The Encounter............................................ 40
Adaptation............................................... 41
Socialization Outcomes.......................................... 41
Adult Learning and the Socialization Needs of Principals..... 42
Summary and Suggestions for Further Research.................... 49
3. METHODOLOGY............................................................ 56
ix


Research Question
56
Research Design............................................... 57
Phenomenology................................................. 58
The Credibility of Phenomenological Research.................. 60
Research Methodology.......................................... 61
The Phenomenological Model............................. 62
Phenomenological Procedure............................. 62
Four Research Steps.................................... 66
Research Participants......................................... 71
The Participant Selection Process...................... 71
Contextual Setting and Situation....................... 72
Unit of Analysis....................................... 73
Verification of the Data...................................... 73
Credibility............................................ 73
Transferability........................................ 75
Dependability.......................................... 76
Confirmability..................................... 76
Phenomenology and Intersubjective Validity.................... 77
Ethical Principles............................................ 78
x


Informed Consent...................................... 80
Security of Raw Data.................................. 80
Plan for Rendering Data............................... 80
Summary................................................... 81
4. RESULTS............................................................ 84
Phenomenological Process.................................... 87
Epoche................................................ 88
Phenomenological Reduction............................ 89
Imaginative Variation................................. 96
Synthesis of Composite Textural and Structural
Descriptions.......................................... 99
Overarching Principal Socialization Themes................. 102
The Findings and Discussion................................ 104
Mission, Vision, Values and Culture.................. 106
Proactive Socialization; Self-Directedness........... 107
Relationships, Networks and Alliances................ 110
Sensemaking.......................................... 112
Emotionally Charged and Difficult Experience......... 114
Summary of the Findings.................................... 117
xi


5. SUMMARY, IMPLICATIONS AND OUTCOMES
120
A Summary of the Study.......................................... 120
Findings Integrated with Selected Literature and Research..... 123
Selected Literature and Research: Mission, Vision,
Values and Culture...................................... 123
Selected Literature and Research: Proactive
Socialization; Self-Directedness........................ 125
Selected Literature and Research: Relationships,
Networks and Alliances.................................. 126
Selected Literature and Research: Sensemaking........... 127
Selected Literature and Research: Emotionally Charged
and Difficult Experience................................ 129
Possible Future Research........................................ 131
Identification of Personal and Professional Outcomes............ 132
Personal Outcomes....................................... 133
Professional Outcomes................................... 137
Possible Considerations for Socializing Principals.............. 141
Closing Comments: Researchers Future Direction and Goals..... 143
APPENDIX
A. Modification of the Stevick-Colaizzi-Keen Method of Analysis of
Phenomenological Data............................................. 146
B. Personal Pre-Judgments of the Researcher.......................... 148
C. Jakes Invariant Horizons......................................... 151
Xll


D. The Invariant Meanings and Themes............................... 153
E. Jills Textural Description....................................... 156
F. Composite Structural Themes and Statements...................... 158
G. Frances Structural Descriptions.................................. 161
H. Outline Summary of the Phenomenological Model..................... 163
I. Principal Socialization Interview................................. 166
REFERENCES................................................................ 168
xiii


LIST OF FIGURES
Figure
3.1 Moustakass Phenomenological Model........................ 63
3.2 McCrackens Four-Part Method of Inquiry................... 68
xiv


LIST OF TABLES
Table
2.1 Classification and Definition of Socialization Tactics................. 35
4.1 The Phenomenological Process........................................... 86
4.2 Horizonalization: Excerpt of Francess Interview....................... 90
4.3 An Example of Jakes Invariant Horizons................................ 92
4.4 Invariant themes....................................................... 93
4.5 An Excerpt of Jills Textural Description.............................. 94
4.6 Composite Textural Description......................................... 94
4.7 Structural themes...................................................... 97
4.8 An Excerpt of Francess Structural Description......................... 97
4.9 Composite Structural Description....................................... 98
4.10 Synthesis of the Meanings and Essences of Organizational
Socialization......................................................... 100
4.11 Overarching principal socialization themes............................ 103
xv


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
How one goes about acquiring the knowledge, skills, and values that
make them full members and productive members of a new
organization results from deliberate and purposeful activities and
learning opportunities that create contexts where new principals can
continue to learn and create the map they need for successful
socialization. (Aiken, 2002, p. 33)
Organizational socialization is the process by which individuals learn the
knowledge, skills, behaviors, values, and beliefs necessary to function effectively as
members of an organization (Feldman, 1981; Louis, 1980; Van Maanen & Schein,
1979). It is a joint process, involving the organizations attempts to influence and
control the behavior and attitudes of its employees, and the employees attempts to
learn the ropes (Louis, 1980, p. 233) and, at the same time, define their roles
(Morford, 2002) within the organization (Fisher, 1986). While socialization can be
conceptualized as a career-long process of learning (Cooper-Thomas & Anderson,
2002; Van Maanen & Schein, 1979), it is most intense when one first joins an
organization (Chao, O'Leary-Kelly, Wolf, Klein, & Gardner, 1994).
The Problem
Most educational researchers agree that the role of the principal is more
complex now than ever before (Ellison & Hayes, 2006) and the context in which the
1


role of principal plays itself out is more challenging (Ellison & Hayes, 2006;
Marzano, Waters, & McNulty, 2005). Thus, the problem is that growing evidence,
suggests that the success of new principals is largely dependent upon how well they
become socialized into the cultures and contexts of their roles as principals (Cline &
Necochea, 2000; Hart, 1995; Leithwood, Jantzi, & Coffin, 1995). However, an
equally impressive body of research indicates that school districts are not providing
the socialization experiences principals need to successfully meet the challenges of
their roles (Aiken, 2002; Aiken & Blake, 2000; Hall & Mani, 1989; Jares, 2002;
McCay, 2001a; Morford, 2002; Weatherly, 1999).
Background to the Problem
The role and effectiveness of the principal has been the focus of many
educational reform efforts (Griffiths, Stout, & Forsyth, 1988; Murphy, 1992; Murphy
& Hallinger, 1987; Wilmore, 2002). A review of literature has established that the
principalship is the key position in an effective school (Boyer, 1983; Daresh, 2001;
Educational Research Service, 2000; Hallinger & Heck, 1996; Institute of
Educational Leadership, 2000; National Policy Board for Educational Administration,
2001; Public Agenda, 2001). While the challenges and barriers that confront new
school principals have been discussed in the literature (Daresh, 2001; Leithwood,
Jantzi, & Steinbach, 1999; Murphy, 1992; Parkay & Hall, 1992), more recent
attention has been given to how principals actually become inducted or socialized into
2


their new roles and cultures (Aiken, 2002; Daresh, 1987, 1992; Gill, 1992; Gold,
1989; Hart, 1991; Heck, 1995; Louis, 1980; Van Maanen, 1976; Wanous, 1992).
This increased attention is due to well documented facts: (a) the role of
principal is a complex and difficult job to carry out (Drake & Roe, 1986; Educational
Research Service, 2000; Institute of Educational Leadership, 2000; Public Agenda,
2001; U.S. Department of Education, 2000), (b) a shortage of qualified applicants
exists for vacant posts (Educational Research Service, 1998; Hough, 2000; Institute
of Educational Leadership, 2000; National Policy Board for Educational
Administration, 2001; Public Agenda, 2001; U.S. Department of Education, 2000),
(c) principal succession significantly affects the life of a school (Fauske & Ogawa,
1987; Hart, 1991, 1993; LeGore & Parker, 1997; Miskel & Cosgrove, 1985; Ogawa,
1991; Ogawa & Hart, 1985), and (d) school districts employ ineffective socialization
processes (Aiken & Blake, 2000; Daresh & Playko, 1992; Elsberry, 1994; Hart, 1991;
Hess, 2003; Restine, 1997). Ergo, the need for the effective organizational
socialization of new principals is great (Cline & Necochea, 2000; Greenfield, 1985;
Hart, 1995; Leithwood et al., 1995; National Policy Board for Educational
Administration, 2002).
Recently, four national trends have emerged related to educational leadership.
Each trend bears tremendous implications for school districts searching for qualified
principal candidates to fill job vacancies and acquire the knowledge, skills and
dispositions needed to perform effectively (Leithwood, Begley, & Cousins, 1992).
3


One trend is that, while educational leadership is increasingly recognized as a key
ingredient to effective schools (Boyer, 1983; Educational Research Service, 2000;
Hallinger & Heck, 1996; Institute of Educational Leadership, 2000; National Policy
Board for Educational Administration, 2001; Public Agenda, 2001), it is also
becoming a more complex and difficult job to carry out (Drake & Roe, 1986;
Educational Research Service, 2000; Institute of Educational Leadership, 2000;
Public Agenda, 2001; U.S. Department of Education, 2000). Specifically, due to the
fact that educational outcomes of schooling are coming under greater scrutiny
(Leithwood & Riehl, 2003) and the contexts for educational leadership, both within
schools and districts themselves as well as the larger social, political, and economic
environment surrounding schools present new challenges for educational leaders.
A second trend involves the massive, nation-wide turnover currently taking
place in the role of school principals (Educational Research Service, 1998; Institute of
Educational Leadership, 2000; Jones, 2001; McAdams, 1998; Young & Peterson,
2002a, 2002b). The information about principals ages, experiences, and career plans
depicts a worrisome picture for those individuals responsible for staffing the nations
schools in the next decade (National Association of Elementary- School Principals,
1998; National Association of Secondary School Principals & Milken Family
Foundation, 2001). For example, in a 1998 survey (Educational Research Service,
1998) of 403 school district superintendents, the study cites nearly three-fourths of
the existing school principals now have more than 20 years of experience and will be
4


eligible to retire during this decade. The study also suggests, that given a small
number of current principals are over 60 years of age indicates, principals are retiring
or leaving the role as they become eligible. Furthermore, the study identified the fact
that more than one-half of the principals currently on the job plan to retire in the
relatively near future.
A third trend is the disruption that occurs with principal succession (Carlson,
1962; Hart, 1991; Jones & Webber, 2001). This complex phenomenon, alters the lines
of communication, realigns relationships of power, affects decision making, and
generally disturbs the equilibrium of normal activities (Miskel & Cosgrove, 1985)
within a school environment. For instance, in their study of first-year principals,
Parkay and Hall (1992) found that as the beginning principal enters his first year, the
staff and school go through a series of shifts in interpretations and expectations about
the new principal (p. 49). And, in their case study of 10 new rural high school
principals, Jones and Webber (2001) supported the notion that principal succession is
a disruptive process by reporting that the stakeholders involved in their principal
succession study experienced fear, detachment, expectation, enchantment,
disenchantment, and accommodation (p. 8).
Last, principal socialization generally tends to be overwhelmingly individual
in nature (Aiken & Blake, 2000; Hall & Mani, 1989; Hart, 1991; McCay, 2001a).
Principals report strong feelings of isolation during succession and describe
socialization activities that reflect little or no planning by district leaders (Aiken &
5


Blake, 2000). Additionally, the problem of not providing school leaders the kind of
socialization tactics they need to be successful is an international issue as well as
Weindling and his colleagues (Earley, Baker, & Weindling, 1990; Weindling &
Earley, 1987), support the latter by reporting that local education authorities
(districts) provide little orientation. This dearth of formal organizational socialization
procedures was recurrent in their British sample as only 26% of the head teachers
they surveyed experienced any formal induction lasting more than one day following
their appointments. Robert Jares (2002), in his study of newly appointed elementary
school principals, supported these findings by reporting principals comments that
there is limited induction involvement on the part of the school districts and they
continually failed to provided consistent formal induction for their newly appointed
principals (p. 212). Finally, Rice (2002) concluded that beginning principals were
not provided the variety of the selected socialization tactics supported by the
collective research as necessary for their success, indicating that districts have been
laissez faire in the provision of socialization tactics for beginning principals.
In brief, these four national trends create significant logistical problems for
school districts and officials attempting to socialize new*principals into their
organization. As Lane (1984) suggests, the shaping of school leaders and/or the
making of a principal, (Duke, 1987) is a complex process of sense making
(Bransford et al., 2000; Weick, 1995) and reflection during action (Schon, 1987)
that requires socialization into a new community and assumption of a new role
6


identity. The transition requires a careful balance of knowledge enhancement through
classroom learning activities and skills development within situated learning activities
guided by qualified professionals (Capasso & Daresh, 2001; Lave & Wenger, 1991;
Schon, 1987).
The Purpose of the Study
This study focuses on the organizational socialization experiences or lived
experiences (van Manen, 1990) of four, third-year principals who were perceived to
be particularly successful school leaders. That is, my purpose is to understand and
describe the meaning that participants attribute to their organizational socialization
experiencestheir thoughts, feelings, beliefs, values, and assumptive worlds
(Marshall & Rossman, 1999; McCracken, 1988; Moustakas, 1994; Stanage, 1987). In
particular, this study searches for specific structures of consciousness in selected
individuals (Polkinghome, 1989) related to the phenomenon of becoming, being, or
having been organizationally socialized in their everyday lived experiences.
Additionally, due to a general absence of research data pertaining to
organizational socialization as viewed through the reflections of the inductee, the
purpose of study is to advance the literature on principal socializatioii by gaining
insights into the kinds of maps or guides that successful principals have constructed
in order to become socialized into the cultural communities in which they find
themselves. As such, the findings of this study will support individuals who are
engaged in leadership training roles as they adjust their current formal and informal
7


organizational socialization practices to more adequately address surfaced issues and
trends.
Therefore, the grand tour (McCracken, 1988; Spradley, 1979) research
question that guides this study focuses on how principals perceive and describe the
phenomenon of being socialized by their respective school districts. Organizational
socialization (Louis, 1980; Schein, 1968; Van Maanen & Schein, 1979; Wanous,
Reichers, & Malik, 1984) is perceived differently by different people, and differently
by the same person in different situations. Therefore, my efforts focus on finding both
the outward appearance and inward consciousness, based on memory, image, and
meaning (Creswell, 1998) of the essence, invariant structure, or central underlying
meaning of socialization, or being socialized by a school district into the role of a
principal. Freeman (1980) described this process as investigating the inner contours
of consciousness (p. 114).
Methodological Procedures
The descriptive phenomenology research method (Moustakas, 1994) was
selected because it is extremely useful for exploration (Krathwohl, 1998) as the
inquiry attempts to gain entry into the conceptual world of research participants
(Bogdan & Biklen, 1998) in order to understand and to describe the meaning of their
lived experiences (Creswell, 1998; Moustakas, 1994; Stanage, 1987).
Next, because this is a phenomenological study which typically relies upon
the use of in-depth, extensive and multiple interviews with participants (Creswell,
8


1998; Marshall & Rossman, 1999; McCracken, 1988; Moustakas, 1994), I selected
sites, which were convenient for the researcher to obtain principals who were easily
accessible (Creswell, 1998).
Last, I scheduled and conducted three, two-hour semi-structured, one-on-one,
audio taped interviews, an essential necessity in accurately recording information
(Creswell, 1998, p. 126), with each principal in his or her office (Bogdan & Biklen,
1998; Creswell, 1998; Marshall & Rossman, 1999; McCracken, 1988; Moustakas,
1994; Polkinghorne, 1989). Based upon a review of the current literature, I developed
interview questions (McCracken, 1988). Following the interviews, I met with a peer
reviewer and exchanged field notes and/or interviews and observations, (Ely, Anzul,
Friedman, Gardner, & Steinmetz, 1991; Erlandson, Harris, Skipper, & Allen, 1993;
Glesne & Peshkin, 1992; Lincoln & Guba, 1985; Merriam, 1988) and in order to
provide an external check, I conducted a peer debriefing, of the research process
(Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Upon reviewing the data, an opportunity was offered to
some of the participants to participate in voluntary follow-up interviews. Voluntary
follow-up interviews were scheduled and conducted with individual participants in
Cider to expand upon the data, to follow up on interesting angles within the data,
and/or to clarify confusing data. The follow-up interviews took approximately one
hour. Permission to audiotape the follow-up interviews was obtained from the
participants. If the participants declined to be audio taped during the interview, I took
copious hand written notes.
9


Parameters of the Study
The parameters of the study are encompassed only by my assumptions, and
not by limitations or delimitations, which would inhibit the very nature of the
phenomenological research methodology. Assumptions are necessary to provide
direction for the terms used, for the scope of the study, and for the potential audience
(Creswell, 1998; McCracken, 1988; Moustakas, 1994).
Phenomenological methodology necessitates that I state my assumptions
regarding the phenomenon under investigation, that I suspend or bracket these
preconceptions in order to understand fully the reflections of the four participants,
and that I not impose an a priori hypothesis on the experience (Creswell, 1998;
McCracken, 1988; Moustakas, 1994).
By adopting the phenomenological approach and Moustakas (1994)
modification of the Stevick-Colaizzi-Keen method of analysis of phenomenological
data, the following assumptions are made:
1. The processes of epoche, reduction, imaginative variation, and synthesis of
meanings and essences (Moustakas, 1994) provided an appropriate procedure
for analysis and organization of the study (Creswell, 1998; McCracken, 1988;
Moustakas, 1994).
2. It is assumed that the long interview (McCracken, 1988; Moustakas, 1994)
approach is appropriate for this study.
10


3. Individuals can verbalize their interpretations and the processes that they use
to generate them (Porac, Thomas, & Baden-Fuller, 1989).
4. It is assumed that organizational socialization data obtained from the audio
taped, verbatim raw data are valid.
5. It was assumed that insights into the nature of organizational socialization
may be attained by directly soliciting the organizational socialization
experiences of participants.
Significance of the Study
Within phenomenological research, it is important to state the relevance of the
topic, the anticipated contribution to the profession to emerge from study of the topic,
and the knowledge to be gained by the researcher (Creswell, 1998). The following
were primary considerations, which gave significance to this study.
First, at the macro level, this study has the potential to contribute to the
organizational socialization literature through the phenomenological research lens.
Induction processes have traditionally been viewed through role theory (Biddle, 1979;
Biddle & Thomas, 1986), reference group theory (Merton, 1957; Shibutani, 1955,
i961), exchange theory (Chadwick-Jones, 1976), social learning theory (Rotter,
1982), or the more general outcomes, such as job satisfaction (Jones, 1986),
organizational commitment (Allen & Meyer, 1990), and performance (Ashforth &
Saks, 1996). That is, I found there to be a general absence of research data pertaining
to organizational socialization as viewed through the reflections of the inductee.
11


Second, at the professional level, this study has the potential to advance the
literature available in educational administration. Within a phenomenological
perspective, this study can heighten awareness of organizational socialization process
through the phenomenological lens of five actors (four participants and the
researcher).
Within an educational administration perspective, this study of organizational
socialization might allow senior educational administrators to view organizational
socialization practices through the reflections of particularly successful school
leaders. Reflection upon these novus homo principals concerns might cause
experienced school district members to (a) gain understanding as to the kinds of maps
or guides that successful principals have constructed in order to become socialized
into the cultural communities in which they find themselves, (b) develop a deeper
understanding of the socialization process of new principals and how they make the
necessary cultural transitions, and (c) adjust their current formal and informal
organizational socialization practices to more adequately address surfaced
issues/concems.
Next, at the rr^cro or personal level, as an educational practitioner in the aica
of leadership development, this study afforded me the opportunity to learn first-hand
about hitherto inaccessible facets of the principalship; it provided valuable insight
into the role to which I am helping prepare aspiring administrators. As such, the
findings of this study may be of interest both to researchers and academics within the
12


university as well as to other individuals who find themselves engaged in leadership
training roles.
In sum, the following contributed toward making this study significant: (a) the
study provided an alternative (phenomenological) view to the plethora of educational
administrative socialization literature, (b) this research might further stimulate
reflective thought and subsequent action on formal and informal organizational
socialization practices, and (c) this study afforded four individuals the opportunity to
reflect on the organizational socialization process in a thoughtful, meaningful manner
that might not otherwise have occurred.
Layout of Chapters
An Introduction in Chapter 1 includes the context for the study, a statement of
the problem, my purpose for the study, and my research question. Chapter 1 also
outlines the issues I mined from the review of literature, which formed the basis of
the Background to the Problem. The phenomenological method (Creswell, 1998;
Moustakas, 1994; Spiegelberg, 1965, 1982; Stanage, 1987) I used to generate and
analyze data is described under Methodological Procedures. And, the Parameters of
the Study is identified through the specific Assumptions I maintained within this
study.
Chapter 2 includes a review of the literature, describing and analyzing the
contributions of research on organizational socialization, especially as the literature
relates to the role of principal and the direction taken in this research project.
13


Chapter 3 presents the research question and addresses the methods and
procedures relevant to the phenomenological model (Moustakas, 1994), the
methodological foundation for the study. The methodological approach addresses
data collection, data analysis, and synthesis of data, horizonalization (Moustakas,
1994), and meaning units. This chapter also addresses cluster themes and textural
and structural descriptions.
Chapter 4 introduces the results or findings from the applied
phenomenological methodologies (Bogdan & Biklen, 1998; Creswell, 1998;
McCracken, 1988; Moustakas, 1994) in a series of tables and figures. In addition,
vignettes; one for each participant as well as for the researcher is presented to
illustrate the lived experiences (van Manen, 1990) of practicing principals. In this
way, as Erickson (1986) suggests, vignettes provide a vivid portrayal of the conduct
of an event of everyday life, in which the sights and sounds of what was being said
and done are described in the natural sequence of their occurrence in real time (pp.
149-150).
Chapter 5 presents my conclusions. Within this chapter, I return to my original
research question ana describe my findings relative to the original problem. The
chapter starts with a summarization of the study highlighting where I started, and
where I have ended up, and concludes with an interpretation of my findings. My
dissertation concludes with a summary and a discussion of the implications for future
research.
14


CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
The role and effectiveness of the principal have been the focus of many
educational reform efforts (Griffiths et al., 1988; Murphy, 1992; Murphy & Hallinger,
1987; Wilmore, 2002). Professional literature has established that the principalship is
the key position in an effective school (Boyer, 1983; Daresh, 2001; Educational
Research Service, 2000; Hallinger & Heck, 1996; Institute of Educational Leadership,
2000; National Policy Board for Educational Administration, 2001; Public Agenda,
2001). While the challenges and barriers that confront new school principals have
been discussed in the literature (Daresh, 2001; Leithwood et al., 1999; Murphy, 1992;
Parkay & Hall, 1992), more recent attention has been given to how principals actually
become inducted or socialized into their new roles and cultures (Aiken, 2002; Daresh,
1987; Daresh & Playko, 1992; Gill, 1992; Gold, 1989; Hart, 1991; Heck, 1995;
Louis, 1980; Van Maanen, 1976; Wanous, 1992).
This increased attention is due to the wed-documented fact that the role of
principal is a complex and difficult job to carry out (Aiken, 2002; Educational
Research Service, 2000; Ellison & Hayes, 2006; Institute of Educational Leadership,
2000; Public Agenda, 2001) a shortage of applicants for vacant posts exists
(Educational Research Service, 2000; Hough, 2000; Institute of Educational
15


Leadership, 2000; National Policy Board for Educational Administration, 2001;
Public Agenda, 2001; Young, Peterson, & Short, 2002) principal succession
significantly affects the life of a school (e.g., Fauske & Ogawa, 1987; Hart, 1991,
1993; LeGore & Parker, 1997; Miskel & Cosgrove, 1985; Ogawa, 1991; Ogawa &
Hart, 1985), and, school districts employ ineffective socialization processes (e.g.,
Aiken & Blake, 2000; Daresh & Playko, 1992; Elsberry, 1994; Hart, 1991; Hess,
2003; Restine, 1997), which typically rely on intense, short, and informal rather than
planned strategies (Duke, Issacson, Sagor, & Schmuck, 1984; Heck, 1995).
Consequently, the need for effective socialization of new principals is calling for
serious attention by practitioners, researchers, and educational policymakers (Cline &
Necochea, 2000; Greenfield, 1985; Hart, 1995; Leithwood et al., 1995; National
Policy Board for Educational Administration, 2002).
The Problem
In recent years, four important trends have emerged related to educational
leadership. Each of these trends hold tremendous implications for local school boards
and district leadership in search of qualified principal candidates to fill job vacancies
and fulfill their desire for these new principals to acquire the knowledge, skills and
dispositions needed to perform effectively (Leithwood et al., 1992), which positively
impact student achievement.
16


A More Complex Role
One trend is that, while educational leadership is increasingly recognized as a
key ingredient to effective schools (Boyer, 1983; Educational Research Service,
2000; Hallinger & Heck, 1996; Institute of Educational Leadership, 2000; National
Policy Board for Educational Administration, 2001; Public Agenda, 2001), it is
increasingly becoming a more complex and difficult job to carry out (Drake & Roe,
1986; Educational Research Service, 2000; Ellison & Hayes, 2006; Institute of
Educational Leadership, 2000; Public Agenda, 2001; U.S. Department of Education,
2000) given that the outcomes of schooling are coming under greater scrutiny
(Leithwood & Riehl, 2003) and the contexts for educational leadership, both within
schools and districts themselves as well as the larger social, political, and economic
environment surrounding schools present new challenges for educational leaders
(Marzano et al., 2005). Toward that end, Sybouts and Wendel (1994) found that
expectations have moved from a primary focus on demands for management and
control, with presumptions of forced compliance, to the demand for an educational
leader who can foster staff development, program improvement, parent involvement,
community support, stuaent growth.
Nation Wide Turnover
A second trend involves the massive, nation wide turnover currently taking
place in the role of school principals and superintendents (Educational Research
Service, 1998; Institute of Educational Leadership, 2000; Jones, 2001; McAdams,
17


1998; Young & Peterson, 2002b). The information about principals ages,
experiences, and career plans depicts a worrisome picture for those individuals
responsible for staffing the nations schools in the next decade (National Association
of Elementary School Principals, 1998; National Association of Secondary School
Principals & Milken Family Foundation, 2001). For example, in a 1998 survey
(Educational Research Service, 1998) of 403 school district superintendents, the study
cites nearly three-fourths the existing school principals now have more than 20 years
of experience and will be eligible to retire during this decade. The study also suggests
given that a small number of current principals are over 60 years of age indicates that
principals are retiring or leaving the role as they become eligible. Furthermore, the
study identified the fact that more than one-half of the principals currently on the job
plan to retire in the relatively near future. This picture is made even more
troublesome by the fact that although districts have adequate numbers of persons
qualified for the job of principal, there is a shortage of applicants for vacant posts
(Educational Research Service, 1998; Hough, 2000; Institute of Educational
Leadership, 2000; National Policy Board for Educational Administration, 2001;
Public Agenda, 2001; U.S. Department of Education, 2000)'.
Several studies document the reluctance on the part of qualified, certified
teachers to seek these important leadership positions (Educational Research Service,
1999, February; National Commission on Excellence in Educational Administration,
1987; National Policy Board for Educational Administration, 2001) due, in part, to a
18


perception that a combination of current problems or conditions interfere with
principals doing their job. Pellicer et al. (1988) reported in their study of high school
principals that the most frequently cited roadblocks to principal effectiveness were
the amount of time spent on administrative detail, a general lack of time to do the job,
an inability to secure necessary funds, apathetic or irresponsible parents, new state
guidelines and requirements, and a lack of time to administer and supervise student
activities. Lovely (2004) concurs, adding that: (a) absorbing volumes of information,
(b) working for change despite resistance, and (c) proving oneself to others to
Pelicers list.
Principal Succession
A third trend is the well documented disruption that occurs with principal
succession (Carlson, 1962; Hart, 1991; Jones & Webber, 2001), the process of
replacing key officials within an organization (Hart, 1991). This complex
phenomenon alters the lines of communication, realigns relationships of power,
affects decision making, and generally disturbs the equilibrium of normal activities
(Miskel & Cosgrove, 1985) within a school environment. For example, in their study
of first-year principals, Gene Hall and Forrest Parkay (1992) found that as the
beginning principal enters his first year, the staff and school go through a series of
shifts in interpretations and expectations about the new principal (p. 49). In her
phenomenological study of 10 new rural high school principals, Jeffery Jones and
Charles Webber (2001), in their case study of five groups of people (e.g., the
19


departing principal, the incoming principal, teachers and support staff, and parents
and children) support the notion that principal succession is a disruptive process by
reporting that the stakeholders involved in their principal succession study
experienced fear, detachment, expectation, enchantment, disenchantment, and
accommodation (p. 8).
In other words, recent studies provided qualitative descriptions of the effect of
principal succession (Fauske & Ogawa, 1987; Hart, 1991,1993; LeGore & Parker,
1997; Miskel & Cosgrove, 1985; Ogawa, 1991; Ogawa & Hart, 1985). These
researchers agree that principal succession significantly affects the life of a school
(Fauske & Ogawa, 1987; Hart, 1991, 1993; LeGore & Parker, 1997; Miskel &
Cosgrove, 1985; Ogawa, 1991; Ogawa & Hart, 1985). Consequently, providing
supportsocialization strategiesfor newly appointed principals is clearly needed.
To that point, Hart (1993) claimed that systems of support which may be helpful
throughout a schools principal succession experience have not been studied, largely
because there appear to be no school systems that have a defined system in place.
Ineffective Socialization Processes
The final trend taking place is that principal socialization as it occurs within
school districts generally tends to be overwhelmingly individual (Aiken & Blake,
2000; Hall & Mani, 1989; Hart, 1991; McCay, 2001a). Principals report strong
feelings of isolation during succession and describe activities that reflect little or no
planning by district leaders (Aiken & Blake, 2000). Rice (2002), for example, found
20


that beginning principals not provided research-based socialization tactics are not
being successfully socialized into their organizations and therefore are not as
successful as those beginning principals who were provided the selected socialization
tactics. Jares (2002), in his study of newly appointed elementary school principals,
supported these findings by reporting that principals indicated, there is limited
induction involvement on the part of the school districts and they continually failed to
provided consistent formal induction for their newly appointed principals (p. 212).
The irony is this: while there is growing evidence which suggests that the success of
new principals is largely dependent upon how well they become socialized into the
cultures and contexts of their role as principal (Cline & Necochea, 2000; Hart, 1995;
Leithwood et al., 1995), there exists an equally impressive body of research that
indicates that school districts are not providing the socialization experiences
principals need to successfully meet the challenges of their roles (Aiken & Blake,
2000; Hall & Mani, 1989; Jares, 2002; McCay, 1998; Morford, 2002).
In summary, these four national trends create significant logistical problems
for school districts and officials attempting to socialize new principals into their
organization. As Lane (1984) suggests, the shaping of school leaders, or the
making of a principal, (Duke, 1987) is a complex process of sense making
(Bransford et al., 2000; Weick, 1995) and reflection during action (Schon, 1987)
that requires socialization into a new community and assumption of a new role
identity. The transition requires a careful balance of knowledge enhancement through
21


classroom learning activities and skills development through situated learning
activities guided by qualified professionals (Capasso & Daresh, 2001; Lave &
Wenger, 1991; Schon, 1987).
This review of literature is organized by three major (sections) components,
which are foundational to understanding the phenomenon of organizational
socialization. First, a general and broad analysis of the history and evolving definition
of socialization is given. The second section expands upon the concept of
organizational socialization by discussing four key themes that dominate
organizational socialization literature: (a) the tactics employed by the organization;
(b) the socialization stages through which newcomersnew memberspass; (c) the
outcomes or effects of an organizations socialization efforts, and (d) the literature on
adult learning and development relative to the organizational socialization needs of
principals. Finally, the third section summarizes the review of literature and suggests
areas where further research is needed.
The History and Evolving Definition of Socialization
The review of the literature on socialization provided several generalized
definitions. This section traces the devclopmeni of Socialization as a concept and the
refinement of its definition. As with many concepts utilized in the social sciences, the
verb socialize and its derivative socialization were current in the language well before
they were used as concepts by sociologists, psychologists, or other behavioral
scientists. The Oxford Dictionary of the English Language dates to 1828 the use of
22


socialize in the sense of to render social, to make fit for living in society. An early
example, drawn from a work published in 1899, indicates that socialization is
designed to produce the moral participant in society: He (the wrongdoer) is
imperfectly socialized. Furthermore, there were alternative meanings: to nationalize
or subject to government control or ownership; to adapt to social needs or uses; and to
behave sociably, though the latter usage seems largely colloquial. Similarly, the
French verb socialiser and its derivative socialisation are noted in Roberts (1951)
Dictionnaire Alphabetique et Analogique de la Langue Francaise. Thus, socialisation
from the French perspective was early defined as the fact of developing social
relationships, of shaping into a social group or society.
One broad and generally accepted definition of socialization is the
development of the individual as a social being and participant in society (Bakke,
1955; Blumberg, 1980; Brim & Wheeler, 1967; Bums, 1978; Clausen, 1968;
Greenfield, 1985; Hart, 1991; Lunenburg & Omstein, 2000; Moore, 1969; Rogus &
Drury, 1988; Van Maanen, 1976; Wanous, 1992). In other words, socialization is a
process of interaction between a person and other individuals (organizations) who
wis>h to immense them, a process that entails many phases and changes. Some
theorists stressed the learning accomplished by the individual (Buchanan, 1974);
others stressed the societal influence on the individual which determined an
acceptable range of behavior (Feldman, 1976b; Porter, Lawler, & Hackman, 1975;
Schein, 1968; Wanous, 1980,1992).
23


Socialization consists of those patterns of action or aspects of action which
inculcate in individuals the skills, knowledge, motives, and attitudes necessary for the
performance of present or anticipated roles (Clausen, 1968; Greenfield, 1985; Hart,
1991, 1995; Louis, 1980; Van Maanen, 1976; Wanous, 1992). Clearly, individuals
must fit their behavior into the acceptable range of society by acknowledging and
conforming to the societal norms of the organization (Aiken, 2002; Cline &
Necochea, 2000; Cunningham & Gresso, 1993; Hart, 1995). Socialization efforts lead
the new person to accept and commit to the norms of the society or the group of
which they will become a member. The organizations goal is to have its values
become the values of the individual (Aiken, 2002; Louis, 1980; Van Maanen, 1976;
Wanous, 1980, 1992).
The term, socialization, along with its various derivatives, began to appear
with some frequency in the discipline of sociology in the mid-1890s as a social
process and had a variety of meanings for the next few decades (Clausen, 1968).
Simmel (1895), referred to socialization as the process of group formation. To
Giddings (1897), it meant the development of a social nature or character, and Ross
(1896) interpreted the term to the molding of an individuals feelings and
desires to suit the needs of the group. Ernest Burgess (1916), in his doctoral
dissertation noted two aspects of socialization:
From the standpoint of the group, we may define it as the psychic
articulation of the individual into the collective activities. From the
standpoint of the person, socialization is the participation of the
24


individual in the spirit and purpose, knowledge and methods, decision
and action of the group, (p.2)
In the 1930s, the term gained more standardized meaning: the process
whereby the individual is converted into the person (Ogbum & Nimkoff, 1940;
Sutherland & Woodward, 1937). In other words, during this time period the
socialization process came to be viewed as the individuals development into a place
in a (small or large) group, along with learning of acceptable behavior in-group life.
Within the broad scope of psychology as it developed in the twentieth century,
socialization was not a major focus of attention until the 1930s. The discipline of
psychology developed the concept of socialization as a process of learning. Theories
of learning include socialization research from the 1930s. The early work of Murphy
and Murphy (1931), for example, concerned itself with the instinctive and emotional
make-up of children, the ways in which they learn and the process by which they
become socialized. Influenced by the thinking of such notable philosophers and
social scientists as John Dewey, George Mead, William McDougall, and Sigmund
Freud, Young (1930) explored the developmental phaseslanguage learning, child
training in the familyof children and social-stiuctuiai inxiaerices, and guided in
some part by the analysts (e.g., Freud, Jung, Adler), Murray (1938) considered
socialization to be the inculcation of culture patterns relative to personality
development. Most recently, anthropological studies have influenced the increased
interest in socialization as the viewing of cultures as a whole including the
25


enculturation of an individual into society (Cohen, 2000; Geertz, 2000; Levinson et
al 2000).
During the next five decades, a number of various socialization theorists and
researchers contributed their perspectives to the evolving definition of socialization.
Several seminal social theorists (Durkheim, 1950; Parsons, 1951; Weber & Parsons,
1947) considered the socialization process to be the thread which holds the fabric of
society together. Brim (1968), a sociologist, addressed socialization in terms of role
acquisition and how one learns to perform the various roles in an individuals life:
occupation, family, and community. Merton (1968) described socialization as the
process through which an individual acquires the knowledge, skills, and dispositions
needed to perform a social role effectively or to participate as a member of the
organization (Hart, 1991; Parkay & Hall, 1992; Schein, 1968; Van Maanen, 1976).
Scholars and theorists also distinguish among different forms of socialization.
In terms of professions, socialization can be broken down into three distinct
categories: anticipatory, professional, and organizational socialization (Hart, 1991;
Heck, 1995; Morford, 2002; Parkay & Hall, 1992; Van Maanen, 1976) which,
describe processes char differ in kind and substance.
Anticipatory Socialization Process
According to Merton (1957) anticipatory socialization refers to the process
by which persons take on the values of the group to which they aspire (p. 265).
Subsequent to Mertons writings, other writers expressed a somewhat different
26


perspective on anticipatory socialization. For example, Van Maanen (1976) suggested
that anticipatory socialization was the degree to which an individual is prepared
prior to entryto occupy organizational positions (p. 81). Feldman (1976a) thought
of anticipatory socialization as getting in or Porter et al., as pre-arrival (1975)
and involving two events. One event is the degree to which the expectations of both
individuals and organizations are realistic. The second concerns the degree to which
the newcomers values (or desires) and expectations are aligned with those of the
organization. While, Zeichner & Gore (1989) described it as those experiences that
an individual brings to a situation that affect the way in which they will interpret and
make use of new information (p. 13). Star Sohs (2000) longitudinal field study of
718 newcomers in the Singapore Armed Forces showed that having self-concept
related beliefs and values that were congruent with the organizational culture was
directly related to perceptions of person-organization fit and indirectly related to
organizational commitment, low stress and task performance.
Professional Socialization
Professional socialization refers to the processes through which one becomes
a member of a profession and, over time, develops an identity with that profession
(Heck, 1995; Parkay & Hall, 1992). In other words, professional socialization teaches
a person the skills, knowledge, and disposition needed to become a member of a
profession (Bullough, 1990; Bullough, Knowles, & Crow, 1989), which typically
occurs during training or preparation programs prior to entry into a position within an
27


organization. With respect to school administration, these experiences include aspects
of administrators formal training, such as university coursework, whether they
served in an internship, length of the internship (e.g., one semester, one year, etc.),
and what types of administrative responsibilities during this initial preparation.
Organizational Socialization
In contrast, Clausen (1968) described organizational socialization as a lifelong
process of learning the norms or the ropes (Schein, 1968), and the values of
different and varied groups that an individual may join. In other words, organizational
socialization refers to the accommodative process (Trowler & Knight, 1999)
through which one is taught and learns the particular knowledge and skills of an
organizational role in a specific work setting (Hart, 1991, 1995; Morford, 2002;
Parkay & Hall, 1992; Van Maanen & Schein, 1979). Furthermore, Schein (1985)
thought that the organizational socialization process happened in school, when one
enters an organization for the first job, when one switches departments within an
organization, when one changes rank within an organization, and when one leaves an
organization and joins another. Organizations create a series of events, which serve to
undo old values so that the person will be ready to learn the new values cf the
organization they just joined. The most important function of organizational
socialization is to build commitment and loyalty to the organization (Schein, 1985).
Consequently, the socialization process can be conceptualized as occurring in
three phases. The first phase is professional socialization, which refers to the
28


processes through which one becomes a member of a profession and, over time,
develops an identity with that profession (Heck, 1995; Parkay & Hall, 1992). For
example, in the educational profession, this first phase would find the individual
making the decision to want to serve in an administrative versus teaching role and
taking steps to obtain an administrative license (become a member).
The second phase, anticipatory socialization, using the description put fourth
by Feldman (1976a) and Porter et al. (1975), concerns the matching of the
newcomers personal values (or desires) and expectations with those of the
organization; typically this phase occurs during the recruitment and selection process.
Merton (1957) regarded anticipatory socialization as the process by which persons
take on the values of the group to which they aspire. In his view, the process serves
two functions for the individual who adopts the values of the group to which he
aspires but does not belong: aiding his rise into that group and easing his adjustment
after he has become part of it (Merton, 1957, p. 265).
The third phase, entitled organizational socialization, concerns the
accommodative process (Trowler & Knight, 1999) through which one is taught and
learns the particular knowledge and skills' or an ofganizational role in a specific work
setting. In other words, organizational socialization occurs when an individual moves
into an employment position. Therefore, the focus of this literature review is on the
latter phase of socializationorganizational socializationas opposed to the first
two phases because of the growing evidence suggesting that principal effectiveness is
29


largely dependent on how well principals are socialized into the cultures and contexts
of their role (Cline & Necochea, 2000; Hart, 1995; Leithwood et al., 1995).
Organizational Socialization Research
Organizational socialization research (Allen & Meyer, 1990; Buchanan, 1974;
Gorius, 1999; Koru, 1989; Porter et al., 1975; Schein, 1968; Van Maanen & Schein,
1979; Wanous, 1992; Weatherly, 1999) focuses on the features of the social context
and on the general practices of organizations which lead to different socialization
outcomes (Wheeler, 1966). Wanous et al. (1984) elaborated on Wheelers phrase,
features of the social context, by identifying three basic components: (a) the
processlearning from other people who are attempting to persuade newcomers to
adopt organizational norms and values; (b) the focuslearning specific and
acceptable roles, norms, and values; and, (c) the unique dynamic of conflictthe
socialization process occurs in a melting pot of conflict. As previously described,
organizational socialization is the process by which a person learns the values, norms
and behaviors which permit them to participate as a member of the organization
(Hart, 1991, 1995; Morford, 2002; Parkay & Hall, 1992; Van Maanen & Schein,
i9'/v;.
Organization, as well as environmental factors exert a powerful influence on
the norms, values, and behavior of new members (Hart, 1991,1995; Heck, 1995;
Leithwood et al., 1992; Parkay & Hall, 1992). The prominence, immediacy, and
power of the organizational context tend to hold sway over education and prior
30


training for several reasons. Superiors control evaluation criteria and distribution of
rewards. Colleagues control affiliation and sociability. Demands of the work control
the tasks performed and their importance to the organization (Guy, 1985). Variables
making up the organizational context of the new administrators first school position
after initial preparation include, for example, the climate of the school, the support of
parents, the working relationship with the school principal, and the support received
from others in and around the school. Organizations are challenged to deal with the
socialization of a newcomer as s/he learns a new role (Aiken, 2002; Hart, 1991, 1995;
Heck, 1995; Nelson, 1986).
A cursory review of several of the descriptive studies conducted on
organizational socialization of new administrators substantiate the fact that within
their first years on the job, new administrators face a number of problems (Aiken,
2002; Aiken & Blake, 2000; Daresh, 1987; Gussner, 1974; Hall & Mani, 1989; Jares,
2002; McCay, 1998; Nelson, 1986; Wolcott, 1973). Wolcott (1973) provided a classic
description of the organizational socialization experienced by a new principal. His
ethnographic study showed how central office personnel, peers, and administrative
guidelines infiuchceu die principal. The initial socialization experienced by first year
administrators in making the transition from teachers to administrators was reported
to be intense, short, and informal rather than planned (Duke et al., 1984; Jares, 2002).
At the same time, Leithwood, Begley, and Cousins (1992) found that individuals who
had broadly-based school experiences (e.g., holding positions as teachers, guidance
31


counselors, assistant principals, etc.) and on-the-job leadership training prior to
assuming the role of principal were more easily socialized into new roles as school
leaders.
Duke (1988) suggested that new administrators are often very frustrated by
their relations with peers and supervisors. Moreover, they reported experiencing
stress resulting from time constraints, loneliness, and perceived lack of skills to
manage the demands of the job (Aiken, 2002; Anderson, 1988; Daresh, 1987,1997;
Duke, 1988; Duke et al., 1984). Aiken (2002) found in her qualitative study of 12
school leaders that one of the keys to successful induction into a leadership role is
somewhat dependent on the kinds of networks and alliances one forms (p. 35). in
other words, of critical importance to new principals is their ability to build and
cultivate relationships with those insiders (Louis, 1980) who can best help them
(McEvoy, 2004). New principals need friends and allies to get things done (Bolman
& Deal, 1995). More importantly, building and cultivating relationships with the right
people within an organization would tend to reduce the feeling of isolation that so
many school leaders feel, which is often recognized as a major reason new principals
exit their positions, especially for women (Duke, i988( National Association of
Elementary School Principals, 1998; National Association of Secondary School
Principals & Milken Family Foundation, 2001; Reisser & Zurfluk, 1987; Tallerico,
Burstyn, & Poole, 1993).
32


Four key themes appeared to dominate organizational socialization literature:
(a) the tactics employed by the organization; (b) the socialization stages through
which newcomersnew memberspass; (c) the outcomes or effects of an
organizations socialization efforts; and d) the literature on adult learning and
development relative to the organizational socialization needs of principals.
The Socialization Tactics
When an individual enters an organization for the first job, or switches
departments within an organization, or changes rank within an organization, or leaves
an organization and joins another, he/she experiences organizational socialization
(Schein, 1985). Consciously or unconsciously, organizations use a variety of tactics to
integrate new members as well as members, filling new roles. In fact, the decision to
leave the socialization process to chance is, of itself, a tactic. Socialization scholars
describe a number of tactics designed to prepare and qualify (Caplow, 1964)
individuals to occupy organizational positions. For example, Van Maanen and Schein
(1979) provided a quintessential piece of work in their taxonomies of socialization
tactics. By utilizing paired comparisons of opposite extremes, they postulated that
socialization tactics assume a variety of forms, which vary in level, dormant'/, and
timing. Jones (1986) modified this taxonomy and argued that socialization occurs in
three areas: context, content, and sociality.
By combining these two viewpoints on socialization tactics, one can identify
helpful distinctions that may aid in understanding the tactics organizations use to
33


socialize new and transferred members (Jones, 1986; Wanous, 1992). Researchers
have generally identified five methods of organizational socialization (e.g., training,
education, apprenticeship, debasement experiences, and cooperation), which may be
employed to achieve the desired effects on newcomers (Hart, 1991; Van Maanen,
1976; Wanous, 1980, 1992). Jones (1986) schematically perceived the classification
of socialization tactics to include two columns, one labeled institutionalized and the
other individualized as shown in Table 2.1.
Institutionalized Tactics
With institutionalized tactics, newcomers are formally socialized as a group,
provided role models, and given clear information about the sequence and timing of
events in the socialization process. Institutionalized tactics are generally associated
with greater job satisfaction (Ashforth & Saks, 1996; Baker & Feldman, 1990;
Feldman & Weitz, 1990; Jones, 1986; Mignerey, Rubin, & Gorden, 1995; Saks &
Ashforth, 1997); greater organizational commitment (Allen & Meyer, 1990; Ashforth
& Saks, 1996; Feldman & Weitz, 1990; King & Sethi, 1992; Laker & Steffy, 1995;
Mignerey et al., 1995; Saks & Ashforth, 1997); greater organizational identification
(Ashforth & Saks, 1996), lower turnover intentions and less role conflict (Ashforut fz
Saks, 1996; Jones, 1986; Saks & Ashforth, 1997), and less role ambiguity (Ashforth
& Saks, 1996; Jones, 1986; King & Sethi, 1992; Mignerey et al., 1995; Saks &
Ashforth, 1997).
34


Table 2.1 Classification and Definition of Socialization Tactics
INSTITUTIONALIZED vs. INDIVIDUALIZED
CONTEXT Collective Individual
Structure of Processes newcomers as a group, Processes newcomers individually,
initial putting them through a common set putting each one through a more or
socialization of experiences. less unique set of experiences.
programs.
Formal Segregates newcomers from the organization for an initial training period. Informal No special effort to differentiate or separate the newcomer from more experienced members.
CONTENT Sequential Random
Communication Specified sequence of discrete and Sequence of steps leading to target
of sequence and timing of events identifiable steps leading to target role. roles not identified or communicated.
in the
socialization Fixed Variable
process. Clear timetable adhered to by the organization and communicated to the newcomer. Recruit has few clues as to when to expect a given boundary passage.
SOCIAL Serial Disjunctive
ASPECTS Availability of social support in Role models are available to inform newcomers as to how to proceed in the new role. No role models are available.
adjusting to the
new role. Investiture Seeks to build upon the newcomers values and attitudes. Divestiture Seeks to tear down and completely reorient the newcomers values and attitudes.
Individualized Tactics
Individualized socialization encompasses individual, informal, random,
variable, disjunctive, and divestiture tactics (Jones, 1986). With individualized tactics,
newcomers are socialized informally and individually, with no role models, and are
given few clues about the sequence and timing of events in the socialization process.
35


Individualized tactics are generally associated with innovative role orientation (Allen
& Meyer, 1990; Ashforth & Saks, 1996; Baker & Feldman, 1990; Jones, 1986; King
& Sethi, 1992; Mignerey et al., 1995; Saks & Ashforth, 1997), performance (Ashforth
& Saks, 1996), job change (Black & Ashford, 1995), and goal-directed behavior
(Laker & Steffy, 1995).
In addition to categorizing the tactics along the institutionalized-
individualized continuum, Jones (1986) recognized that the tactics could also be
grouped into three dimensions, that are primarily concerned with either the context,
content, or social aspects of socialization. Finally, each of the three subdivided
categories was further divided into six pairs of opposite terms (e.g., collective vs.
individual, formal vs. informal, sequential vs. random, fixed vs. variable, serial vs.
disjunctive, and investiture vs. divestiture). In other words, these six tactical
dimensions are ways to categorize various types of socialization experiences that
newcomers may face (Wanous, 1992).
The Context
The context a person encounters may involve her or him alone or the entire
group of new members collectively. It is important to note that the rcseaicn ie veals,
however, that principal socialization tends to be overwhelmingly individual with
principals reporting strong feelings of isolation (Duke et al., 1984; Hart, 1991; Heck,
1995). Furthermore, the socialization tactics may consist of either a formal or
informal structure. In as much as the tactics may be either formal or informal, the
36


majority of socialization experiences provided new administrators were more
informal than formal and relied more on the self-initiative and self-direction of the
administrators involved (Aiken, 2002; Hart, 1991; Jares, 2002). Research affirms
while those socialized independently tend to be less homogeneous than members of a
cohort, they also are more likely to feel lonely (Hart, 1991). Furthermore, while
individual socialization leads to relatively high levels of role conflict and ambiguity,
it also enhances innovation (Van Maanen & Schein, 1979). Collective and highly
structured activities promote commitment and job satisfaction, but they suppress
creativity and change (Jones, 1986).
Additionally, mentors can play a large part in formal and informal
socialization tactics (Moir & Bloom, 2003). Some first-time principals work
exclusively with an assigned mentor (Bruckner, 2001; Daresh, 1992; West, 2002).
Research supports the notion that mentoring is mutually beneficial and that proteges
develop higher levels of credibility, gain greater confidence, achieve greater
awareness of strengths and deficits, and develop human resource skills and
competence in their work as practitioners (Barnett, 1990, May; Daresh & Playko,
1990, March; Reichc, 1986;, Inasmuch as Gergens, (1998) reported that little research
on informal mentoring and its use prior to a principal taking that first job and/or
during the induction phase of her or his continued professional development exists,
Hagers (2003) study regarding the mentoring relationships between doctoral students
and their faculty mentors in a school of education who concluded that mentoring
37


contributed to the doctoral students socialization. Similarly, the literature in
educational administration was sparse on the entry-year socialization needs of
principals (Anderson, 1989b; Hall & Mani, 1989) and on the strategies used by
districts to mentor or induct new principals. The literature and research that existed
ranged from simply handing over the keys (Hall & Mani, 1989) of the building to
the principal to requiring new principals to attend comprehensive mentoring and
induction programs (Anderson, 1989b). However, mandatory participation, unclear
criteria and methods for selecting mentors and assigning proteges, dilemmas inherent
in the assessment and evaluation of mentors and proteges, and time limitations are
common problems in mentoring programs (Restine, 1997).
The Content
What new members learn may be presented, in either a dependent or
independent sequence. In seems, however, that in education, random socialization
tactics prevail (Duke, 1987; Jares, 2002; Morford, 2002; Weindling & Earley, 1987).
Furthermore, after formal training is complete and the first job acquired,
administrators report almost exclusively variable socialization tactics which are
mostly unplanned and occurring at the school (L-aresn Sc Playko, 1992; Duke et al.,
1984; Duke, 1987; Greenfield, 1985; Jares, 2002; Parkay & Hall, 1992).
The Social Aspects
The environment may also be manipulated. In other words, socialization can
occur under varying levels of influence by both insider and outsider role models.
38


Utilizing role models as a socialization tactic appears to be a two-edged sword,
however (Hart, 1991). While an absence of role models leaves principals more free to
innovate, it also results in more ambiguity about what is expected of them (Cawyer &
Friedrich, 1998; Hart, 1991; Jares, 2002; Morford, 2002). A lack of role models also
brings benefits. Scholars report that when innovation is needed the socialization
process should minimize the possibility of allowing incumbents to form relationships
with their likely successors (Van Maanen & Schein, 1979, p. 250). Lastly, research
supports districts establishing formalized processes to help new principals build and
cultivate the networks and alliances with people who can best help them become
enculturated into their school and district (Aiken, 2002; Aiken & Blake, 2000; Jares,
2002; McEvoy, 2004; Morford, 2002).
The Socialization Stages
Socialization tactics help us to identify individual or institutional influences
on socialization outcomes. In addition to studying the tactics available to
organizations, socialization scholars use stage frameworks (Buchanan, 1974;
Feldman, 1976a, 1976b; Louis, 1980; Porter et al., 1975; Schein, 1978; Van Maanen,
U76; w'unous, 1980) to illuminate the steps through which aii ;;cv'*cbmeis pass
during organizational socialization. These stage frameworks are similar to the stage
frameworks reviewed by Wanous et al. (1984) and Miskel and Cosgrove (1985).
Stage frameworks view socialization experiences as either linear or cyclical. Linear
models portray new members to an organization moving along a continuum until they
39


transition from newcomer to insider (Schein, 1978) or reach equilibrium and
integration within the organization (Feldman, 1976b; Porter et al., 1975; Schein,
1968; Van Maanen, 1976; Wanous, 1992). Iterative perspectives see the stages as
cycling perpetually. While various labels are attached, scholars generally return to
three common stages: (a) anticipatory socialization; (b) encounter; and (c) adaptation.
Anticipatory Socialization
The first stage of socialization, alternatively referred to as anticipatory
socialization (Van Maanen, 1976), getting in (Feldman, 1976b), or pre-arrival
(Porter et al., 1975), refers to all the learning that prepares an individual for
organizational entry (Van Maanen, 1976). During this stage, expectations are
developed based on past experiences and pre-entry contact (i.e., recruitment and
selection), which presumably facilitates or hinders assimilation into the organization
(Feldman, 1976a, 1976b; Porter et al., 1975).
The Encounter
The second stage of socialization alternatively referred to as encounter
(Porter et al., 1975), accommodation (Feldman, 1976a, 1976b), or breaking in
(Feldman, 1976a, 1976b) refers to the early organizational entry period, where tat>ks-
are learned and relationships are formed (Feldman, 1976a, 1976b). Organizational
reality must be accepted, as expectations formed during the first stage are either
confirmed or disconflrmed (Buchanan, 1974; Porter et al., 1975; Schein, 1978).
40


Experiences during this stage are critical in shaping the individuals adjustment to the
organization (Fisher, 1986; Louis, 1980).
Adaptation
The third stage of socialization alternatively referred to as adaptation
(Louis, 1980), settling in (Feldman, 1976a, 1976b), mutual acceptance (Schein,
1978), change and acquisition (Porter et al., 1975), or metamorphosis (Jablin,
1982) signals the completion of the transformation from newcomer to insider (Louis,
1980). This is less of a stage and more of a state of being socialized, of understanding
how things really work (Fisher, 1986; Schein, 1978).
Socialization Outcomes
The socialization process has both personal and organizational implications.
These outcomes immediately become part of the context in a dynamic and changing
social system. Scholars predict a number of outcomes from the possible mix of
socialization features and tactics. Predicted outcomes occur at the personal and
organizational levels and involve many aspects of a principals role. Outcomes of
socialization can be classified as either early entry or later entry, although there is no
consensus as to what exactly constitute:; dariy or later entry (Bauer, Morrison, &
Callister, 1998). Successful socialization involves knowledge, adjustment, and
performance. That is, socialization is a learning and change process (Fisher, 1986).
Therefore, a successfully socialized individual is one who has learned the ropes
(Schein, 1968), mastered the basics of the job (Louis, 1980), or mastered the
41


important content of socializationthe politics, the people, the language and the
tasks (Chao et al., 1994).
Consequently, successfully socializing new members into an organization is
critical to both the organization as well as the new member. For example, Jones
(1986) discovered that well socialized members of an organization felt greater job
satisfaction than members who were not as well socialized. In their study, Allen and
Meyer (1990) cited greater organizational commitment among well socialized
individuals. Morrison (1993), found that a well socialized individual will be more
readily accepted and integrated into the work group and the organization. And, Saks
and Ashforth (1996), added that a well socialized individual will be well-adjusted,
experience less anxiety, and express lower turnover intentions. Furthermore, because
the well-socialized individual will have mastered the necessary content of
socialization and clarified the demands of the role, his or her performance should
meet or exceed standards.
Adult Learning and the Socialization Needs of Principals
Recent reforms in schools have focused more attention on the professional
envelopment of teachers than on the learning needs ofschobl leaders, especially
principals, who direct the process of change for their learning community (McCay,
2001a) and are being held accountable not only for the structures and processes they
establish, but also for the performance of those under their charge (Leithwood &
Riehl, 2003). Before principals can take on the dynamic challenges of school reform,
42


however, they must become active learners willing to change their own thinking and
practice as they lead others in implementing reform (Erlandson, 1994). To more fully
understand how principals best learn, it is imperative that we understand adult
learning theory and its implications for the socialization of principals (Aiken &
Blake, 2000; Restine, 1997). In other words, a primary concern in the socialization of
educational leaders is to provide experiences that enhance forms of knowledge,
develop habits of learning (Hart & Bredeson, 1996), through understanding what,
how, and why in ones thinking and in ones action (Schon, 1987), thus informing
and improving practice (Achilles, 1988). Learning may be defined as the
ways in which individuals or groups acquire, interpret, reorganize,
change, assimilate, or apply related clusters of information, skills, and
feelings. Learning is primarily the way in which people construct
meaning in their personal and professional lives. (Marsick, 1987, p. 4)
Lave and Wenger (1991), describe learning as legitimate peripheral
participation. By this, they mean that learners inevitably participate in communities
of practitioners, and the mastery of knowledge and skill requires newcomers to move
toward full participation in the socio-cultural practices of a community. Daresh and
Playko l1992) sp to the concept of legitimate peripheral participation m indue*-
when they talk about the relationship between newcomers and old timers and about
how activities, identities, artifacts, and communities of knowledge and practice are
developed.
43


Research on adult learning and development has produced distinct theories
and conceptual models for understanding life experience and the meaning of
experience, which, if applied, can be useful to those charged with the organizational
socialization of new members. Some theories suggest that development occurs in
relatively patterned, orderly, and sequential phases or stages (Erikson, 1963; Gilligan,
1982; Gould, 1978; Kegan, 1982; Kohlberg, 1973; Levinson, 1978; Loevinger, 1976).
Consequently, the search to find meaning is a fundamental aspect of these
developmental perspectives.
Constructivist views of learning offer propositions that learning occurs when
situations present ambiguous problems or dilemmas (Dewey, 1938); when
circumstances are non-routine (Argyris & Schon, 1974); when conflict between
personal biography and experience exists (Jarvis, 1987); and, when activities are
formal or informal, self-initiated or self-directed, incidental or unintentional, or
individual or collective (Marsick & Watkins, 1990; Marsick & Watkins, 2001).
Other theories and research focus on socio-cultural factors that affect
development, the impact of social roles and socialization experiences, ones
expectations and beliefs, the symbolic nature of the environment, and cross-cultural
perspectives (Aslanian & Brickell, 1980; Fiske & Chirboga, 1990; Merriam &
Caffarella, 1991; Neugarten & Neugarten, 1987, May; Schlossberg, 1984).
In 1968, Malcom Knowles proposed a new label and a new technology of
adult learning to distinguish it from pre-adult schooling (Knowles, 1968, p. 351). The
44


European concept of andragogy, which he defined as the art and science of helping
adults learn, (Knowles, 1980, p. 43) was contrasted with pedagogy, the art and
science of helping children learn. Knowles (1984) proposed four basic assumptions
of adult learning: (a) adults have a psychological need to be self-directing, (b) adults
bring an expansive reservoir of experience that can and should be tapped in the
learning situation, (c) Adults readiness to learn is influenced by a need to solve real-
life problems often related to adult development tasks, and (d) adults are performance
centered in their orientation of learning and want to make immediate application of
knowledge. Later, Knowles added a fifth assumption that learning is primarily
intrinsically motivated (Knowles, 1984).
The theory of andragogy, the study of adult learning, no longer receives the
uncritical acceptance that it once did, with questions increasingly raised about
whether androgogy could even be considered a theory of adult learning (Hartree,
1984). Questioned are the extent to which these assumptions are exclusively true of
adults (Tennant, 1997); and, the extent to which self-direction is an actual versus a
desirable preference of adult learners (Brookfield, 1986) and the conditions under
which andragogy may or may not apply (Meniam, 20ura). Before his death, Knowles
himself believed that that the differences between adults and children as learners are a
matter of degree and situation rather than a rigid dichotomy. Nevertheless, the theory
of andragogy is still accepted by many as a broad guide to thinking about adults
learning (Pratt, 2002).
45


In their work on principal induction, Daresh and Playko (1992) talk about the
importance of creating learning environments that take into account principals
previous experiences, and induction programs should be designed to meet the specific
individual needs of adult learners. Dareshs and Playkos research is consistent with
the assumptions expressed by proponents of adult learning (Knowles, 1984).
Another theory of adult learning that has received significant attention is
Mezirows (1981) theory of perspective transformation. Drawing on the influence of
German philosopher Jorgen Habermas, Mezirow emphasized the change in
perspective that often accompanies adult learning. Transformative learning is said to
most often follow some kind of disorienting dilemma. This could be an event or a
series of events that alter the routine flow of life. In defining organizational
socialization, Schein (1995) suggests that a disorienting dilemma could be defined as
the process that an individual goes through in learning the ropes within an
organization. Therefore, if an organizations socialization activities included praxis
(Freire, 1972) or reflection-in-action (Schon, 1987) those activities should enable
the adult to make his or her assumptions about beliefs regarding practice explicit
(Cmriiun, 1^94) and enable the adult learner to act on this knowledge. I hat is, when
developing principal socialization activities, reflective and critical thinking must be
encouraged as an important part of principal learning and planned into instructional
improvement efforts (Aiken, 2002; Browne-Ferrigno, 2003; Daresh & Playko, 1992;
Jares, 2002; McCay, 2001a).
46


Adult learning is probably the most studied topic in adult education (Merriam,
2001b). The learner, the learning process, and the context of learning form the
cornerstones of the field of adult education. Whether one is planning or administering
programs, or is directly involved in the teaching-learning transaction, adult learning is
at the heart of our educational practice (McCay, 2001b). Therefore, the more we
know about adult learning the more effective our practice will be in socializing
principals into the profession generally and into the school organization specifically.
In summary, socialization has both personal and organizational ramifications.
That is, successful socialization on the personal level equates to greater job
satisfaction, greater organizational identification, lower turnover intentions, less role
conflict, and less role ambiguity. At the same time, successful socialization at the
organizational level translates into greater organizational commitment, greater
organizational identification, lower turnover intentions, less role conflict, and less
role ambiguity. Consequently, both the aforementioned personal and organizational
ramifications suggest a need for a formalized organizational socialization process
designed to assist new principals with their cultural assimilation (Cunningham &
Gresso, 1993) and to buid "'seamless professional learning opportunities, as they
endeavor to make sense of their organizations and their roles (Aiken & Blake, 2000,
p. 39). Moreover, successfully socializing new members into an organization is
critical to both the organization as well as the new member.
47


Cognitive and educational theorists and researchers suggest that the learner,
the learning process, and the context of learning form the cornerstones of the field of
adult education (Kilgore, 2001). Whether one is planning or administering programs,
or is directly involved in the teaching-learning transaction, adult learning is at the
heart of our educational practice (McCay, 2001b). As Lane suggests (1984), the
shaping of school leaders and/or the making of a principal, (Duke, 1987) is a
complex process of sense making (Bransford et al., 2000; Weick, 1995) and
reflection during action (Schon, 1987) that requires socialization into a new
community and assumption of a new role identity. The transition requires a careful
balance of knowledge enhancement through classroom learning activities and skills
development through situated learning activities guided by qualified professionals
(Capasso & Daresh, 2001; Lave & Wenger, 1991; Schon, 1987).
Therefore, the more we know about adult learning, the more effective is our
practice and work in socializing principals into the profession generally and into the
school organization specifically. A primary concern in the socialization of
educational leaders is to provide experiences that enhance forms of knowledge,
develop habits of learning (Hart & Bredcson, 1996) through understanding the
what, how, and why in ones thinking and in ones action (Schon, 1987), thus
informing and improving practice (Achilles, 1988).
Inasmuch as, research substantiates the fact that within their first years on the
job, new administrators face a number of problems (Aiken, 2002; Aiken & Blake,
48


2000; Daresh, 1987; Gussner, 1974; Hall & Mani, 1989; Jares, 2002; McCay, 1998;
Nelson, 1986; Wolcott, 1973), and a variety of studies have found that organizations
are challenged to deal with the socialization of a newcomer as s/he learns a new role
(Aiken, 2002; Hart, 1991, 1995; Heck, 1995; Nelson, 1986). Moreover, the few
descriptive studies that have been conducted on the organizational socialization of
new administrators reports that new administrators generally describe their initial
socialization experience to be intense, short (Duke et al., 1984), and informal rather
than formal (Duke et al., 1984; Jares, 2002; McCay, 1998; Morford, 2002).
It would appear that support of newly appointed school leaders is critical
during the novice years (Doyle, 1984; Milstein, Bobroff, & Restine, 1991) thus
creating a pressing need to learn a great deal more about the lives of beginning
principals (Aiken, 2002). The more we can learn from newly hired administrators
about suggestions for approaching and succeeding in organizational entry, the better
schools, students and new administrators will be (Hall & Mani, 1989).
Summary and Suggestions for Further Research
The state of research on principal socialization, in general, is sparse. Most
studies employed quantitative techniques and used surveys gathering data on the perceived needs of principals (Leithwood et al., 1999). Several
studies were dissertations focusing on the mentoring efforts of one or several states
(Anderson, 1989a; Cale, 1990; Crews & Weakley, 1995; Elsberry, 1994; Rinehart,
Scollay, & Wells, 1999) or countries (Stott & Walker, 1992) which reported
49


inconsistent findings regarding the value of mentoring in supporting the socialization
of a new principal.
A number of qualitative studies deviated from that pattern, however. For
example, Kom (1989), utilizing a field study methodology, described the
socialization processes that assistant principals undergo within an organization.
Hurley (1989) designed a grounded theory study to determine how newly hired high
school principals are socialized into their new roles. Mannons (1991) qualitative
study of six novice principals intended to understand how principals acquired the
values, norms, required behavior patterns, knowledge, skills, and attitudes of the
principalship. McCay (1998) conducted an in-depth, case study of six elementary
school principals who had been principals for three or more years resulting in a
number of learning needs suggestions for principals. Gorius (1999) designed a
phenomenological study consisting of a postmodern description of the induction
phase of socialization as experienced by a neophyte principal and a researcher within
a rural context. Morford (2002) conducted a phenomenological study of 10 new rural
high school princioals regarding their decisions to accept or challenge norms in their
schools during their first year on the job. Lubinescus (2002) study was conducted
using a tripartite framework consisting of phenomenology, case study, and
sociological tradition methods to describe the faculty experience of socialization in an
online distance education system and understand the meanings faculty members
attach to their descriptions. Aiken (2002) utilized a phenomenological methodology
50


to investigate the experiences of 12 school leaders who were perceived to be
particularly successful principals in order to understand and be able to describe their
socialization experiences. And, Raschke (2003) used a case study design to help her
understand and explain the socialization of new school business administrators from
outside the educational field and identify ways to improve the socialization process
for future newcomers.
The majority of socialization research however has focused on what are
essentially secondary outcomes of socialization, such as job satisfaction,
organizational commitment, and turnover intentions (Bauer et al., 1998). While these
are important outcomes, they generally do not have a direct and unique relationship to
socialization theory (Ashford & Taylor, 1990). The primary outcomes of socialization
include task mastery (Morrison, 1993), role clarity (Morrison, 1993), social
integration (Morrison, 1993), acculturation (Louis, 1980), role innovation (Van
Maanen & Schein, 1979), sensemaking (Weick, 1995) or knowledge (Chao et al.,
1994). With the exception of role innovation, these primary outcomes have not
received adequate attention in the research (Bauer et al., 1998). This is particularly
true of knowledge. Despite the characterization of socialization as a learning process
(Fisher, 1986), little attempt has been made to judge the learning that occurs as a
result of socialization. While the structure of socialization programs has received a
great deal of attention, the content of these programs and the individuals mastery of
that content have been virtually ignored. One exception is the work of Chao et al.
51


(1994), who developed a scale to measure the acquisition of knowledge associated
with socialization. While the scale has a few weaknesses (e.g., confounding levels of
analysis by mixing items about the job, work group, and organization) and the topics
covered may not fully represent the critical content of socialization, the scale
represents an important breakthrough in measuring a key outcome of socialization.
The review of literature on principal socialization leads me to recommend
further study on a variety of principal induction issues. For example, it would be
interesting to research the kinds of guides or maps that successful principals have
constructed in order to become socialized into the cultural communities in which they
find themselves. That is, organizational socialization involves individual acculturation
not only to the task itself but also to individuals within the organization as well that
was perhaps previously unknown to the newcomer. Perhaps a deeper understanding
of the socialization process of new principals and how they make the necessary
cultural transitions in order to become stabilized in their positions will offer new
insights into the problems of qualified candidates reluctance to pursue administrative
roles and/or principal turnover.
in terms of a postmodern perspective wherein there are different realities and
different frameworks, it would be intriguing to study new principals as they endeavor
to make sensesensemaking (De Vos, Buyens, & Schalk, 2005; Gorius, 1999;
Weick, 1995) of their organizations and their roles in them, which represent an
important new context for leadership development. In other words, socialization is
52


dependent on how one goes about acquiring the knowledge, skills, and cultural
dispositions that will enable new principals to take on their new roles as school
leaders, to construct meaning about the complex cultures of their schools, and to act
on their knowledge (Sturgis, 1997).
As another recommendation for further study, socialization provides a
theoretical framework for studying the diversity (gender, ethnic, and cultural) of
needs of newly appointed administrators. For example, in her study, Hart (1995)
found important variations in the socialization experiences of women seeking
positions as school principals. Some new administrators are influenced by different
stages (Feldman, 1976b; Porter et al., 1975; Schein, 1978; Wanous, 1980, 1992;
Wanous et al., 1984) they may pass through and to what degree they are supported
and continue to learn through these stages. Scholars should examine the impacts of
various socialization tactics (currently woefully underutilized) on new administrators
with ethnic, cultural, and gender differences during organizational socialization
stages. In other words, is there a need to identify alternative approaches that men,
women, and individuals of color use that contribute to success in organizational
socialization?
Future research could also focus on the role of relationships in organizational
socialization. Van Maanen & Schein (1979) discussed a newcomers progression
through the inclusionary domain of an organization, from outsider to newcomer to
confederate to central figure. Movement along this dimension implies that a
53


members relationship with others in some segment of the organization changes to
move along this dimension is to become accepted by others as a central and working
member (Van Maanen & Schein, 1979, p. 95-96). The development of strong ties
with coworkers and supervisors, through general socializing or relationship building,
may be more important during early entry and may even be a precondition for the
development of wider networks of weak ties. Researchers should examine
newcomers development of strong and weak ties and the impact that this has on the
strength and rate of newcomer organizational socialization.
The successful socialization and enculturalization of principals requires new
types of leadership and support in schools (Aiken, 2002). And, through their research,
Leithwood et al. (1992) determined that principals experience different patterns of
socialization and that the district in which they work vastly influences the nature of
those experiences. Therefore, it would be interesting to inquire into the processes and
experiences of principals in relationship to how they move from strangers in a new
land (Crow & Matthews, 1998, p. 17) to insiders (Louis, 1980), leaders who can
link directly to the lifeworld of the schools (Sergiovanni, 2000).
in the face of demands for more creative leadership from principals and for
school restructuring, education scholars need to expand inquiry into deliberate
strategies to promote desired outcomes during organizational socialization when
expectations for change are high. The tension between a schools need for creativity
and the need for a new leaders integration into the social group remains a factor in
54


the socialization equation. Organizational socialization theory and research lay a
strong foundation for the expansion of knowledge about the socialization needs of
school leaders as well as the effective socialization strategies employed by
organizations.
Therefore, the purpose of this study is to advance the literature on principal
socialization. Specifically, by understanding and describing the meaning that four
principals, who have successfully navigated the socialization process during their
entry into the principalship, attribute to their socialization experiencestheir
thoughts, feelings, beliefs, values, and assumptive worlds (Marshall & Rossman,
1999; McCracken, 1988; Moustakas, 1994; Stanage, 1987), both the socialization
needs of principals will be better understood and addressed by school districts.
Hence, the grand tour (McCracken, 1988; Spradley, 1979) research question that
guides my study is, How do principals perceive and describe the phenomenon of
being socialized into their role by their respective school districts?
55


CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY
Methodology involves analysis of the assumptions, principles, and procedures
in a particular approach to inquiry, which, in turn, governs the use of particular
methods. Methodological adequacy must satisfy two criteria: first to clarify the
methods and rules of accomplishing the research purpose and, second, to provide
rationale justifying the appropriateness of that specific path to knowledge
(Macpherson, 1984). Both of these criteria will be described in this chapter in a
serious of sections and sub-sections as they pertain to my research study.
Research Question
Moustakas (1994) suggests that a human science research question should
have definite characteristics. Specifically, Moustakas (1994) states that,
1. It seeks to reveal more fully the essences and meanings of
human experience;
2. It seeks to uncover the qualitative rather than the quantitative
factors in behavior and experience;
3. It engages the total self of the research participant, and sustains
personal and passionate involvement;
4. It does not seek to predict or to determine causal relationships;
and,
5. It is illuminated through careful, comprehensive descriptions,
vivid and accurate renderings of the experience, rather than
measurements, ratings, or scores, (p. 105)
56


Therefore, the grand tour (McCracken, 1988; Spradley, 1979) research
question that guides my study focuses on how principals perceive and describe the
phenomenon of being socialized by their respective school districts. Knowing that
socialization (Louis, 1980; Schein, 1968; Van Maanen & Schein, 1979; Wanous et
ah, 1984) is perceived differently by different people, and by the same person in
different situations, my work focused on interviewing and spending time with four,
third year principals who were perceived by their supervisors to be highly successful
school leaders. As I interviewed each participant, I sought to find both the outward
appearances and inward consciousness, based on memory, image, and meaning
(Creswell, 1998) of the essence, invariant structure, or central underlying meaning of
socialization, or being socialized by a school district into the role of a principal.
Willower, (1981) labels this as reality-oriented methodologies. Reality refers to
searching for what is perceived and understood by individuals as they make sense of
their everyday activities.
Research Design
This study was an investigation of the socialization experiences of four
principals into their respective roles. That is, it was my aim to determine what the
socialization experience meant for the individuals who lived the experience and were
able to provide a comprehensive description of it (Moustakas, 1994). Consequently,
in order to understand this experience from the principals own point of view, I
selected a phenomenological research approach. By applying this methodology, I
57


could explore, first-hand, intuit, and describe socialization as a person feels it,
experiences what it was like to be part of it, and is conscious of it (Stanage, 1987).
Phenomenology
Phenomenology is a complex, multifaceted philosophy, which defies simple
characterization because it is not a single unified philosophical standpoint.
Phenomenology has its roots in the philosophical perspectives of Edmund Husserl
(1859-1938) and philosophical discussions to follow by Heidegger, Sartre, and
Merleau-Ponty (Spiegelberg, 1982). As a research methodology it has been used in
the social and human sciences, especially in sociology (Borgatta & Borgatta, 1992;
Swingewood, 1991), psychology (Giorgi, 1985; Polkinghome, 1989,1994), nursing
and health sciences (Nieswiadomy, 1993; Oiler, 1986), and education (Tesch, 1990).
The history of phenomenology starts with the transcendental phenomenology
of Husserl (1962), the German mathematician. The two major variants of
phenomenology that are manifest in contemporary qualitative methodologies are the
hermeneutic (Gallagher, 1992) and existential. The former, perhaps best known
through the work of Hans-Georg Gadamer and Paul Ricoeur, tends to focus on the
collective or inter-subjective features of moral-political life as evident in a primary
concern with issues of language and the nature and structure of communication
(Hammond, Howarth, & Keat, 1991). The latter variant is perhaps best known to
social scientists through the work of the phenomenological sociologist Alfred Schutz
(1899-1956)a colleague of Husserl. This kind of phenomenology is oriented more
58


toward describing the experience of everyday life as it is internalized in the subjective
consciousness of individuals. It is the latter form of phenomenology that forms the
basis for my research.
Phenomenology is a formidable word. What does it really mean? Spiegelberg,
(as cited in, Stanage, 1987), the brilliant phenomenological researcher, perceived
phenomenology as the name of a philosophical movement whose objective was the
investigation and description of phenomena as consciously experienced free from
theories, preconceptions and presuppositions. That is, through the consciousing
(Stanage, 1987) processes laid out by phenomenological exploration, descriptions,
and analysis (Moustakas, 1994), our experiencings (Stanage, 1987) and feelings as
persons are also shown forth for further understanding. As a research methodology,
phenomenology aims to identify and describe the subjective experiences of research
participants by studying their everyday experience (Schwandt, 2001).
In view of this, I selected the descriptive phenomenology research method
(Moustakas* 1994) because it is extremely useful for exploration (Krathwohl, 1998)
as the inquiry attempts to gain entry into the conceptual world of my research
participants (Bogdan & Biklen, 1998) in order to understand and to describe the
meaning of their lived experiences (Creswell, 1998; Moustakas, 1994; Stanage,
1987). Because the essence of a phenomenological research study is an orderly and
systematic investigation and description of a persons felt experiences (Stanage,
1987), a qualitative researcher, working within a natural setting (Krathwohl, 1998),
59


can begin their investigation with a target of interest and seek explanations that
provide the best understanding of what was observed (p. 26).
Qualitative research is generally seen as being especially helpful when it
provides us with someones perceptions of a situation (Krathwohl, 1998). More
specifically, phenomenology permits us to work the soils of science (Stanage,
1987) and unearth, examine, determine what an experience means for the persons
who have had the experience, and provide a comprehensive description of that
experience. In view of this, the remaining portion of this section outlines five related
sub-sections that describe the methods I used to unearth, examine, and provide a
comprehensive description of the socialization experiences of the research
participants.
The Credibility of Phenomenological Research
As phenomenology has been identified as a theoretical foundation to this
study of four, third year principals who were perceived to be highly successful school
leaders, it seemed appropriate to discuss the credibility of phenomenology as a
method. In discussing the postmodern move toward narrative research, Constas
(1998) decried the highly elevated assessment of localized knowledge found in recent
educational literature. He believed that a procedural problem exists in using narrative
with educational research; that this promotes a general acceptance of informality in
research methods. Constas (1998) lauded researchers who displayed an interest in
narrative research and who also demonstrated connections to philosophical thought
60


within their practical research applications. This research relies heavily upon the
philosophical underpinnings of phenomenology and on the structured research
approach of Moustakass (1994) phenomenological method.
Although naturalistic alludes to ways in which one may seek to
examine reality and these ways emphasize the wholeness and
phenomenological interrelatedness of the real world, qualitative
alludes to the nature of the understanding that is sought. The
qualitative nature of resulting description enables the researcher to see
the real world as those under study see it. (Owens, 1982, p. 7)
Ray (1994) suggested that in naturalistic inquiry, credibility and affirmation of
phenomenological research could be understood by Heideggers (1977) concept of
truth as unconcealment and Ricoeurs (1981) idea that truth of the text may be
regarded as the world it unfolds (Thompson, 1981).
Based on this premise, I consider my descriptions or interpretations to be
appropriate, because the reflective process awakens an inner moral impulse
(Bollnow, 1974, as cited in Ray, 1994, p. 130).
Research Methodology
In deriving scientific evidence in phenomenological investigations, the
researcher establishes and carries out a series of methods, steps, and procedures (see
Appendix H) that satisfy the requirements of an organized, disciplined and systematic
study. Hence, this section describes the phenomenological model (Moustakas, 1994)
as a research technique, including subsections on phenomenological procedure and
four research steps.
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The Phenomenological Model
The central tenets of thinking in phenomenological studies is to determine
what an experience means for the persons who have had the experience and are able
to provide a comprehensive description of it. From the individual description, general
or universal meanings are derived and the essence of the experience (Moustakas,
1994) is revealed. To determine the model that I would use for my study, I first
reviewed research on phenomenological models form such leaders in the field as
Giorgi (1985), Polkinghorne (1989), Moustakas (1994), Van Kaam (1966), Colaizzi
(1978), Spiegelberg (1982), Dukes (1984), Oiler (1986), and Tesch (1990). In the
end, I selected Moustakass (1994) model for my research as he provided the most
comprehensive and up-to-date description of the phenomenological process. His
analytical framework provided general guidelines and an outline of a process, which
included methodology steps I used to develop my own specific plan of study
especially suited to understand the particular experimental phenomenon that was the
object of my study (Polkinghorne, 1989).
Phenomenological Procedure
' Moustakass (1994) phenomenological model consists of four processes: (a)
Epoche, (b) Phenomenological Reduction, (c) Imaginative Variation, and (d)
synthesis of composite textural and composite structural descriptions, which is
depicted in Figure 3.1.
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Step Epoche
Step 2Phenomenological Reduction
Step 3Imaginative Variation
Step 4Synthesis of Composite Textural/
Structural Descriptions
Figure 3.1 Moustakas s phenomenological model
Epoche. Epoche is a Greek word meaning to refrain from judgment, to abstain
from or stray away from the everyday, ordinary way of perceiving things. This first
analytical step requires the researcher to set aside prejudgments and opens the
research interview with an unbiased, receptive presence known as the
phenomenological attitude. This shift in attitude moves beyond the natural attitude
where phenomena are imbued with meaning toward experience, which gains deeper
meaning. Katz (1980, pp. 36-37, as cited in Patton, 1980) explains:
Epoche is a process that the researcher engages in to remove, or at
least become aware of prejudices, viewpoints or assumptions
regarding the phenomenon under investigation. Epoche helps enable
the researcher to investigate the phenomenon from a fresh and open
viewpoint without prejudgment or imposing meaning too soon. This
suspension of judgment is critical in phenomenological investigation
and requires the setting aside of the researchers personal viewpoint in
order to see the experience for itself, (p. 407)
This shift does not mean the researcher must lay aside his or her belief in
reality itself in order to do phenomenology. Rather, Epoche requires that looking at
the phenomenon must precede judgment, and that judgment of what is real or most
63


real be suspended until sufficient evidence is accumulated. Included are all
phenomena of the experience and excluded are metaphysical and reality judgments
(Ihde, 1977). That is, it is an ongoing analytical process rather than a single, fixed
event and epitomizes the data-based, evidential, and empirical (versus empiricist)
research orientation of phenomenology (Patton, 1990, p. 408).
Phenomenological reduction. Phenomenological Reduction is the second
analytical step, which required me to block out the world and to bracket
presuppositions in order to identify the data in pure form, uncontaminated by
extraneous intrusions. This process involved locating key phrases and statements
within the personal experience which speak directly to the phenomenon in question
(Denzin & Lincoln, 1994; Patton, 1990). I interpreted the meanings of these phrases;
they were inspected for what they reveal about the essential, recurring features of the
phenomenon. A tentative statement of the phenomenon was offered in terms of those
features. Phenomenological Reduction provided a unique way to deliberately identify
those understandings.
After data was bracketed, they were horizonalized or spread out for
examination, with all perspectives treated with equal value in analysis (Ihde, i'977).
Subsequent to the data being grouped into meaningful clusters, a delimitation process
was undertaken, which involved elimination of irrelevant, overlapping, or repetitive
data. Invariant themes were identified so that the step of imaginative variation could
be performed on each theme.
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The final challenge, then, of Phenomenological Reduction is the construction
of a complete textural description of the experience. From the themes and delimited
horizons of each research participants experience, a textural description is
constructed. A textural portrayal of the themes involves descriptions of organizational
socialization, which do not contain the experience itself (e.g., feelings of being
overwhelmed by information overload may be described, etc.). The textural portrayal
is an abstraction of the experience that provides content and illustration but not yet
essence (p. 409). Finally, from the total group of individual textural descriptions the
Composite Textural Description is developed. The invariant meanings and themes of
every participant are studied in depicting the experiences of the group as a whole.
Imaginative variation. The third analytical step, entitled Imaginative
Variation, involves making sense of something from different viewpoints.
Imaginative Variation was described through different perspectives of principal
socialization-, that is from each of the four participants as well as from the perspective
of myself as the researcher.
Through Imaginative Variation, enhanced or expanded versions of the
invariant themes were developed (Patton, 1990). In Imaginative Variation the world
disappears, existence no longer is central, and anything whatever becomes possible.
The drive is away from such things as facts and measurable entities and toward
meanings and essences. Through Imaginative Variation I was able to derive structural
65


themes from the textural descriptions that have been obtained through
Phenomenological Reduction (Moustakas, 1994).
Synthesis of composite textural/structural descriptions. The final step of
Moustakass (1994) phenomenological model requires an integration of the
composite textural and composite structural descriptions, providing a synthesis of the
meanings and essences of the experience. That is, the researcher looks beneath the
effect inherent in the experience to deeper meanings. As a result, the true meanings of
the experience are described and the essence of the phenomenon is revealed (Patton,
1990).
In review, each of these four steps (Epoche, Phenomenological Reduction,
Imaginative Variation, and synthesis of composite textural and structural
descriptions) was used to find and describe the phenomenon of orchestrating the
organizational socialization experiences for new principals in a school district. Next,
the methodological steps to these four processes will be described.
Four Research Steps
The four process steps provide the basis for the four methodological research
steps. These steps include: preparation required to collect the data; collecting the data
itself; organizing, analyzing, and synthesizing the data; and the summary,
implications, and outcomes of the research.
Preparation to collect the data. Interview data are the result of a series of
selections made by the researcher both before and during fieldwork. I made decisions
66


about which setting to conduct the research in, who to interview, where and when the
interviews would take place, and what instruments to use (Marshall & Rossman,
1999). Data collection preparation also included formulation of the question to arrive
at a topic and question that have social meaning and personal significance
(Moustakas, 1994). In addition to the need to compile a literature review, participant
selection criteria must be developed, and a set of grand-tour questions, and the
floating and planned prompts (McCracken, 1988), taking care to see that data are
collected for all of the categories and relationships that were identified as being
important. McCrackens Four Part Interview Model is depicted in Figure 3.2.
Prior to the interviews, I engaged in the Epoche process described earlier so
that past associations, biases, facts, and understandings were set-aside in order not
to color or direct the interview.
In this manner, then, data collection preparations were ensured. Chapter 1
formulated the question. Chapter 2 provided a review of the literature. Section Four
of Chapter 3 will describe the participant selection process. Section Five will describe
the verification of the data, and Section Six will establish ethical principals
considered in this study.
Collection of the data. The data was collected by engaging in Epoche, by
bracketing the questions, and by conducting long interviews (McCracken, 1988) to
obtain descriptions of the experience.
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Analytic
Data
Review
Processes
/ Stage 1 Review of analytic categories 1 & interview design Stage 4 N Discovery of analytic categories & analysis/write-up^
7 Stage 2 Stage 3 ^
Review of Discovery of
cultural categories cultural categories
V & interview design & interview /
Discovery
Processes
Cultural
Data
Figure 3.2 McCrackens four-part method of inquiry
The raw data were collected from May to September 2005 and were
transcribed into verbatim transcripts by the end of January 2006. Within those
transcripts are formal and informal interviews, which consisted of literally hundreds
of pages of data. Each of these transcribed interviews required a minimum of 10-16
hours to review and analyze. Furthermore, as descriptions of the participants
experience were recreated, follow-up meetings with each of the participants occurred
to give them an opportunity to critique these early drafts and to offer suggestions for
68


alternative wording. Sometimes these member checks (Ely et al., 1991; Erlandson
et al., 1993; Glesne & Peshkin, 1992; Lincoln & Guba, 1985; Merriam, 1988; Miles
& Huberman, 1994) of recreated descriptions took only a matter of minutes and at
other times it required more extended amounts of time. Suffice to say, hundreds of
hours of reflection, writing, re-writing, and follow-up interviews were required to
both collect and analyze the data. The interview itself offered me the opportunity for
an authentic gaze into the soul of another (Denzin & Lincoln, 1994, p. 823).
In summary, the taped recordings, field notes, long interviews, and informal
interviews comprised data collection techniques. As data collection procedures
included Epoche, bracketing, and interviews through informal means as well as
through long interviews, I concluded that I adhered to McCrackens (1988) data
collection methodology appropriately.
Organizing, analyzing, and synthesizing the data. This methodological step
instructed me to follow one of several phenomenological data analysis methods.
Subsequent to a review of the van Kaam (1966) method, the Stevick (1971) method,
the Colaizzi (1973) method, the Keen (1975) method, Moustakass (1994)
modification of the van Kaam method, and Moustakass (1994) modification of the
Stevick-Colaizzi-Keen, I selected Moustakass (1994) modification of the Stevick-
Colaizzi-Keen method because, according to Creswell (1998) it is the method being
used frequently in phenomenological studies (p. 147). Each of Moustakass (1994)
steps is presented in the appropriate order of analysis in Appendix A.
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I organized the data by studying the verbatim, transcribed interviews
(Creswell, 1998) using the methods and procedures of phenomenological analysis
(Moustakas, 1994). The phenomenological analysis I performed produced meaning
units, (Creswell, 1998; Moustakas, 1994) which I then listed, and clustered into
common themes (Creswell, 1998; McCracken, 1988; Moustakas, 1994). I used the
clustered themes and meanings to develop the textural descriptions of the
participants organizational socialization experience. Last, I constructed textural
descriptions, structural descriptions and an integration of textures and structures into
meanings and essences (Spiegelberg, 1965; Stanage, 1987) or particularizings
(Stanage, 1987).
Summary, implications, and outcomes. Chapter 5 comprises the culminating
step of this dissertation. The final step in the phenomenological model summarizes
the study and relates it back to the literature review, to possible future research, and to
personal and professional outcomes.
In summary, Moustakass (1994) phenomenological model includes research
processes and methodology. The purpose of the research was to understand and
describe the meaning that participants attribute to their principal socialization
experiencestheir thoughts, feelings, beliefs, values, and assumptive worlds
(Marshall & Rossman, 1999; McCracken, 1988; Moustakas, 1994; Stanage, 1987).
Therefore, a phenomenological analysis of the verbatim, transcribed long
70


interviews (McCracken, 1988) appeared to be an appropriate methodology for this
study.
Research Participants
My research involved working with four, third year principals who were
perceived to be highly successful by their supervisors. Within my research, I also
included myself as a secondary participant. Prior to my current role as a central office
administrator supervising principals, I was a principal in four different school
settings. Therefore, I served in a bifurcated role of researcher and participant
observer in principal socialization.
The Participant Selection Process
For the purposes of this study, I selected a criterion (Miles & Huberman,
1994) sampling strategy. That is, all four participants represented individuals who had
experienced the phenomenon of being socialized into the pricipalship in their
respective school districts (Creswell, 1998; Marshall & Rossman, 1999; McCracken,
1988; Miles & Huberman, 1994). By selecting third year principals to study, each of
these individuals was able to reflect upon their socialization experiences. They were
all able to articulate their conscious experiences with the phenomenon. All of the
individuals were approached and asked if they would like to participate in a research
project involving the audio tape recording of them describing their experiences with
principal socialization. Written consent was obtained, and participants secured their
71


initials on the permission form to tape the description. Finally, all individuals were
informed that they did not have to complete the recording and could stop at any point.
Contextual Setting and Situation
First, because this is a phenomenological study which typically relies upon the
use of in-depth, extensive and multiple interviews with participants (Creswell, 1998;
Marshall & Rossman, 1999; McCracken, 1988; Moustakas, 1994), I selected sites,
two medium sized40,000 to 48,000 students-suburban school districts in the state
of Colorado, which were convenient for me to obtain participants who were easily
accessible (Creswell, 1998). Furthermore, negotiations for entry and access to various
levels of these school systems were aided by professional relationships with the
central office staff in both districts. Second, the two school districts reflected similar
organizational characteristics (e.g., size, rate of growth, organizational configuration,
minority representation, funding levels, etc.) and, presented a high probability that a
rich mix of organizational socialization processes, people, interactions, and structures
relative to this phenomenon were present. Third, given the researchers similar ethnic,
cultural, and educational and experience background, a high probability of building
trusting relationships with the participants of the study existed. Last, although not
exactly like all other suburban school districts within the state of Colorado, the two
site districts were not atypical, which lead me to conclude that the data quality and
credibility of the study were reasonably assured.
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Unit of Analysis
The level of inquiry on which my study focused was the phenomenon of
socialization (Feldman, 1976a; Hart, 1991, 1995; Jones, 1986; Louis, 1980; Van
Maanen & Schein, 1979; Wanous et al., 1984). Specifically, I focused on how four
principals perceived and described their experience of being socialized into their new
role.
Verification of the Data
All research responded to general principles of qualitycriteria against which
the trustworthiness of the research can be evaluated (Marshall & Rossman, 1999).
These general principles can be phrased as questions to which all social science
research must respond (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Lincoln and Guba (1985) and several
years later Guba and Lincoln (1989) refer to these questions as establishing the truth
value (p. 290) or the truth of things (Moustakas, 1994, p. 57) of the study and
propose four constructs that reflect the assumptions of the qualitative paradigm.
Credibility
The first is credibility, in which the goal was to demonstrate that the inquiry
was conducted in such a manner as to ensure that the subject was accurately identified
and described. The inquiry then must be credible to the constructors of the original
multiple realities (p. 296). van Manen (1990) adds that, credibility is the
phenomenological nod. That is, the description and interpretation of the
socialization experience is something we can nod to and recognize as experiences that
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we had or could have had. Finally, Ray (1994) suggested that in naturalistic inquiry,
credibility and affirmation of phenomenological research could be understood by
Heideggers (1977) concept of truth as un-concealment and Ricoeurs (1981) idea
that truth of the text may be regarded as the world it unfolds (Thompson, 1981). The
issue of credibility or assurance of the fit between the participants views of their
organizational socialization experiences and the researchers reconstruction and
representation of the same, was addressed in this study primarily through the use of
two procedures (a) peer review (Ely et al., 1991; Erlandson et al., 1993; Glesne &
Peshkin, 1992; Lincoln & Guba, 1985; Merriam, 1988) and (b) member checks
(Ely et al., 1991; Erlandson et al., 1993; Glesne & Peshkin, 1992; Lincoln & Guba,
1985; Merriam, 1988; Miles & Huberman, 1994).
Peer review provided me an external check of my research process by making
use of a peer debriefer (Lincoln & Guba, 1985) who served to keep me honest and
asking the hard questions about methods, meanings, and interpretations...
(Creswell, 1998, p. 202).
In member checks, I solicited participants views of the credibility of the
findings and interpretations (Ely et al., 1991; Eilandson et al., 1993; Glesne &
Peshkin, 1992; Lincoln & Guba, 1985; Merriam, 1988; Miles & Huberman, 1994).
That is, participants were asked to examine rough drafts of my work and to provide
alternative language, critical observations or interpretations (Stake, 1995, p. 115).
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Lincoln and Guba (1985) consider this technique to be the most critical technique
for establishing credibility (p. 314).
Transferability
The second construct proposed by Lincoln and Guba (1985) is transferability.
Broadly interpreted, transferability or generalization (Kennedy, 1979; Schwandt,
2001) refers to the wider relevance or resonance of ones inquiry beyond the specific
context in which it was conducted. Stake (1995), for example, defends the importance
of what he calls naturalistic generalizationsconclusions that both inquirer and
reader arrive at through engagement in life or through vicarious experiencein
contrast to formal, propositional generalizations. Further, he argues that inquirers
should assist readers in making naturalistic generalizations by developing interpretive
accounts that are personal, narrative in structure, and richly detailed. Denzin (1989)
holds the view that the inquirer engages in generalizing by making vivid and critically
examining the connections between unique, uncommon lived experiences and the
commonality of groups, social relationships, and culturally constructed images that
partially define those experiences. And, Marshall and Rossman (1999) add that a
study in which, multiple informants, or more than one data-gaihcring method
triangulation (Miles & Huberman, 1994)are used can greatly strengthen the studys
usefulness for other settings.
Within this study, I attempted to increase the likelihood that the reader could
engage in reasonable speculation about whether my findings were applicable to other
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cases with similar circumstances by providing sufficient detail rich, thick
description (Erlandson et al., 1993; Lincoln & Guba, 1985; Merriam, 1988) about
the participants socialization experiences (Lincoln & Guba, 1985).
Dependability
The third construct is dependability. Dependability involves the researcher
attempting to account for changing conditions in the phenomenon chosen for study
and changes in the design created by an increasingly refined understanding of the
setting. That is, I believe my discussions in Section One of this chapter, which
outlines the research design as well as the discussion in Sections Two through Five
clarify the methods and rules of accomplishing the purpose of this research, which
ensures that the inquiry process was logical, traceable, and documented (Lincoln &
Guba, 1985).
Confirmability
The final construct identified by Lincoln and Guba is confirmability. In other
words, can the findings of the study be confirmed by another study? For Dukes
(1984), four distinct procedures exist for verification in a study and include the lens
of both the researcher and outside reviewers. His verification procedures begin with
the notion that data can be submitted for confirmation to a different researcher who
looks for identical patterns. Next, an outside reader can recognize the logic of the
experience and how it matches his or her own experience or the eureka factor (p.
201). This procedure is followed by, what Dukes refers to rational analysis of
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spontaneous recognition (p. 201) where the researcher asks whether the patterns fit
together logically and whether the same elements could be arranged to constitute an
entirely different pattern. Finally, the strength of the results depends, in part, on
whether the researcher can subsume them under other data.
In summary, Lincoln and Guba (1985) describe four constructs, which
establish the criteria against which the trustworthiness of the qualitative research
project can be evaluated: (a) credibility; (b) transferability; (c) dependability; and (d)
confirmability. I gave careful consideration to each of these criteria in an effort to
respond to the canons of quality.
Phenomenology and Intersubjective Validity
Phenomenologist view standards and verification mainly as related to
researcher interpretation. To illustrate different conceptions of verification, neither
transcendental nor existential phenomenologist places a substantial emphasis on
verification beyond the perspective of the researcher. For Moustakas (1994),
establishing the truth of things (p. 57) begins with the researchers own perception,
of seeing things as a solitary self:
However much we may want to know things with certainty and
however much we may count on others experience to validate our
own, in the end only self-evident knowledge enables us to
communicate knowingly with each other. (Moustakas, 1994, p. 58)
However, if we go beyond Moustakass (1994, p. 110) phenomenological
model for verification purposes, one must consider Creswells (1998) concerns. He
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maintained that the criteria which should be used to judge a phenomenological study
have not been clearly delineated in the literature, but he judged that Polkinghome
(1989) came closest when he discussed whether the findings could be considered
valid or not (p. 57). Polkinghome (1989) identified five questions researchers might
ask themselves in conducting phenomenological research:
1. Did the interviewer influence the contents of the subjects
descriptions in such a way that the descriptions do not truly
reflect the subjects actual experience?
2. Is the transcription accurate, and does it convey the meaning of
the oral presentation in the interview?
3. In the analysis of the transcriptions, were there conclusions
other than those offered by the researcher that could have been
derived? Has the researcher identified these alternatives and
demonstrated why they are less probable than the one decided
upon?
4. Is it possible to go from the general structural description to the
transcriptions and to account for the specific contents and
connections in the original examples of the experience?
5. Is the structural description situation-specific, or does it hold in
general for the experience in other situations? (Polkinghome,
1989, p. 57)
In review, given this study deliberately follows Moustakass (1994)
phenomenological method, I adhered to his stance on intersubjective validity and
attempted to supplement u -ut position with the added rigor of Polkinghome (1989V
Ethical Principles
This study maintained the necessary ethical principles of mainstream field
researchers (Bogdan & Biklen, 1998; Marshall & Rossman, 1999; Miles &
Huberman, 1994; Moustakas, 1994). That is, I took steps to respect confidences, to
78


communicate the aims of the research, to safeguard rights, interests, and sensitivities,
to share the results of my research with affected parties, and to be sensitive to the
diversity of values and interests of those studied (May, 1980).
Because minimal risk was involved in terms of the well being of the
participants, and myself I did not need to terminate any of the interviews. Because the
interviews were conversational and open-ended, misconceptions were clarified as
they occurred and open disclosures were accepted and supported. The importance of
self-reflection in data collection was emphasized so that the participant knew his/her
contributions were valued as new knowledge on the topic and as an illumination of
meanings inherent in the question. At no time did I relay any information about
individuals, which I had heard about through my contact with participants, nor did I
share any information with individuals at the research sites who could choose to use
the information in personal or political ways.
Anonymity and confidentiality, two of the conventional codes adopted in
social research, were promised in initial agreements with participants. For my use
only, the verbatim transcripts contained participants actual initials so that I could
remember the conversations most clearly in order to make sense of the incidents in
later reflections. All participants as well as myself were assigned a pseudonym for the
purposes of supplying examples of verbatim transcripts within the attached
appendices.
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Informed Consent
I explained to each participant the purpose of the study and what the study
would involve. An informed consent letter and forms were distributed to each
participant and their consent to participate secured. Furthermore, the paragraphs
contained within the informed consent letter were reviewed with each participant and
served as the basis for the introduction to the research study.
Security of Raw Data
Electronic copies of the verbatim transcriptions of tape-recorded interviews
were used to store, retrieve and analyze participants responses to the interviews. All
of the interview data is stored, retrieved and analyzed at the researchers home office
in order to protect anonymity and confidentiality. Additionally, the data is
electronically backed-up in a safe and secured file.
Common research practice is to store the data in locked files and to destroy
them after a specified time following research completion (Simons, 1989). To that
end, the data will be kept for three years in confidential and locked computer and hard
copy files in the researchers home office.
Plan for Rendering Data
My research method assumed a descriptive approach. My aim was to
understand and describe what the principal socialization process meant for the
individuals who had this experience and were able to provide a comprehensive
description of the phenomenon. From the individual descriptions general or universal
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meanings are derivedthe essences or structures of the lived experience. Therefore,
displaying the data drawn from the full range of persons, events, and processes under
study so that it is presented systematically, and permits the researcher to absorb large
amounts of information quickly (Cleveland, 1985) was important to me.
For this research project, I employed the use of three types of data displays:
(a) matrices; (b) networks; and, (c) vignettes. Both time ordered and event
ordered (Miles & Huberman, 1994) matrices were used to help describe the flow of
organizational socialization tactics and processes as well as to describe the interaction
of participants within the same. Networks, an illustrative display format, were used to
help me processes related to organizational socialization. And, vignettes, a vivid
portrayal of the conduct of an event of everyday life, in which the sights and sounds
of what was being said and done are described in the natural sequence of their
occurrence in real time, (Erickson, 1986, pp. 149-150), were used to help mine
(Miles & Huberman, 1994) pockets of data and to formulate core issues.
Summary
Chapter 3 outlined a Research Design and Methodology, which provided the
means by which the organizational socialization experiences of four central office
administrators could be peeled back (Macpherson, 1984, p. 72) to expose the
essence of the phenomenon. Phenomenology is a methodological approach, which
makes us see what might otherwise be concealed. It is taking the hidden out of its
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hiding (openness), and detaching it as unhidden; that is, as truth (Cohen & Omery,
1994; Spiegelberg, 1982).
Section One presented the formulated research question, which included
specific human science research characteristics (Moustakas, 1994).
Section Two described the Research Design thoughts, which laid the
foundation for identification of the phenomenological method through a discussion of
the Credibility of Phenomenological Research.
Section Three discussed Research Methodology through identification of the
Phenomenological Model (Moustakas, 1994).
Section Four, described the Research Participants through detailed accounts of
the Participant Selection Process including the Contextual Setting and Situation, and
Units of Analysis.
Section Five described Verification of the Data in terms of Credibility,
Transferability, Dependability, and Conformability, and Phenomenology and
Intersubjective Validity. Section Six addressed Ethical Principles, Informed Consent,
Security of Raw Data, and Plan for Rendering the Data.
' In me succeeding chapters, Chapter 4 presents the results or findings from the
applied phenomenological methodologies (Bogdan & Biklen, 1998; Creswell, 1998;
McCracken, 1988; Moustakas, 1994) and Chapter 5 contains my conclusions. It
revisits my original question and explains what the findings mean in terms of the
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original problem. This next chapter, then, provides the essence of the recorded
verbatim transcripts, which comprised immersion within the research context.
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CHAPTER 4
RESULTS
The Socialization of principals can be conceptualized as a career-long process
of learning (Van Maanen & Schein, 1979) and yet it is most intense when one first
joins an organization (Chao et al., 1994). This study focuses on the socialization or
lived experiences (van Manen, 1990) of four, third-year principals who were
perceived to be highly successful school leaders by their respective school districts
senior leaders. That is, I want to understand and describe the meaning that
participants attribute to their socialization experiencestheir thoughts, feelings,
beliefs, values, and assumptive worlds (Marshall & Rossman, 1999; McCracken,
1988; Moustakas, 1994; Stanage, 1987).
For the purposes of this study, I have selected a criterion (Miles &
Huberman, 1994) sampling strategy. In other words, all participants represent people
who have experienced the phenomenon of socialization as they entered their school
disc; .7 as new principals (Creswell, 1998; Marshall & Rossman, 19>'; McCracken,
1988; Miles & Huberman, 1994). My efforts focus on finding both the outward
appearance and inward consciousness, based on memory, image, and meaning
(Creswell, 1998) of the essence, invariant structure, or central underlying meaning of
socialization, or being socialized by a school district into the role of a principal.
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Freeman (1980) described this process as investigating the inner contours of
consciousness (p. 114).
All participants had been in their current position for at least three years. Each
individual could articulate his or her conscious experiences with the phenomenon.
Next, because this is a phenomenological study which typically relies upon the use of
in-depth, extensive and multiple interviews with participants (Creswell, 1998;
Marshall & Rossman, 1999; McCracken, 1988; Moustakas, 1994), I have selected
sites, two medium sized40,000 to 48,000 studentssuburban school districts in the
state of Colorado, which were convenient for the researcher to obtain participants
who were easily accessible (Creswell, 1998). This chapter presents the results in five
sections followed by a discussion of the findings.
This chapter presents methods of analysis of data and examples of research
data derived from my study. Section One will follow the phenomenological process,
depicted in Table 4.1, (see Appendix H), which consists of four procedures: (a)
Epoche, (b) Phenomenological Reduction, (c) Imaginative Variation, and (d)
synthesis of composite textural and composite structural descriptions. That is, Section
One includes the analyzed raw oata resulting from Epoche, the long qualitative
interview (McCracken, 1988), and from the Phenomenological Reduction of the
taped interviews of four participants individual and composite textural descriptions.
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