Communications Project

Document Type:Dissertation
Name:Wilbert Delanor Hawkins
Degree:Doctor of Education
Department:Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
Committee Chair: Dr. David J. Parks
Committee Members:Dr. Christina M. Dawson
Dr. Samuel D. Morgan
Dr. Stephen R. Parson
Dr. Mary E. Yakimowski
Keywords:Organizational Commitment; High School Principals; Affective Commitment
Date of defense:April 7, 1998
Availability:Release the entire work for Virginia Tech access only.
After one year release worldwide only with written permission of the student and the advisory committee chair.


This study was an assessment of the importance of age, gender, organizational tenure, perceived organizational support, perceived fairness, and perceived autonomy in explaining affective organizational commitment among high school principals in the United States. Stepwise multiple regression was used to determine which independent variables explained a portion of the dependent variable, affective organizational commitment. A sample of 396 high school principals, stratified by gender, was drawn from a national data base developed by Quality Education Data of Denver, CO. The sample consisted of 132 females and 264 males. Data were collected from responses to a questionnaire that was mailed to all persons in the sample. Usable responses were received from 60 females and from 142 males. Results of the stepwise multiple regression indicated that 58 percent of the variation in affective organizational commitment among high school principals was explained by perceived fairness, organizational tenure, perceived organizational support, and high school principals' age. Perceived fairness explained the greatest percentage of variation; age, which entered the regression equation last, explained the least amount of variation. This study indicates that high school principals, first and foremost, valued fairness from school districts in return for their commitment to school districts. The challenge for superintendents and others who work with high school principals is to maintain fairness in educational settings where there are many diverse and competing student needs in the same school district.

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