|M.Sc Student||Chen Yaffa|
|Subject||High School Principals' Managerial Perceptions and Their|
Tolerance of Ambiguity
|Department||Department of Education in Science and Technology||Supervisor||Professor Michael Moore|
The literature has shown that a principal in the school of the future must possess a great measure of tolerance of ambiguity. This study, therefore, examined the administrative styles that characterize principals in senior high schools, and if they are characterized by a dimension of tolerance of ambiguity. This dimension could indicate to the principal's readiness to cope with the educational changes, innovations and initiatives on the part of the teachers.
The research tool called "Questionnaire for the Principal" was composed from the Management Style Diagnosis Test, developed by Reddin (1970), and from the The Scale of Tolerance - Intolerance of Ambiguity,
developed by Budner (1962) . The "Questionnaire for the Principal" enable us to identify the scale of tolerance of ambiguity as a part of the principal's administrative styles, and to examine if there is a correlation between a certain administrative style and the dimension of tolerance of ambiguity.
Of the 72 questionnaires delivered to the principals, 49 were returned (68% of all the questionnaires distributed) and these comprise the sample group.
Findings show that: 1) Administrative styles that most principals adopt are a Missionary, Compromiser
or Developer style, or a combination of the three. This indicates that most
high school principals are people-oriented. The administrative styles (in
decreasing order) described as Benevolent Autocrat, Bureaucrat, Executive,
Autocrat and Deserter did not stand out among the principals and therefore they
do not characterize their method of work. In addition, there was a negative
correlation between orientation to interpersonal relationships and orientation
to tasks (P=.036, r s = -.301). This indicates that most of the principals have
a high level of orientation to interpersonal relationships or a high level orientation to tasks.
2) Independent Samples t-Test yielded no significant differences between the administrative styles of men and women.
3) A statistically
significant negative correlation was found between intolerance of ambiguity and
an interpersonal relationship orientation (P=.010, r s = - .331) and a
significant positive correlation was found between intolerance of ambiguity and
task orientation (P= .009, r s = .333). The meaning is that a task-oriented
principal is less tolerant towards ambiguity while an interpersonal
relationship-oriented principal shows a greater measure of tolerance towards
ambiguity. Indeed, it was found that any principal who leans towards a
Benevolent autocrat and/or Autocrat administrative styles is less tolerant of
ambiguity (P= .017, r s =.301 ; P= .044, r s =.246, accordingly). In contrast,
principals who leans towards Developer style demonstrate tolerance of ambiguity
(P=0.003, r s = -.381) .
The reason for not finding significant correlation between the Missionary and Compromiser administrative styles and the trait of tolerance of ambiguity is discussed.
The average value for the dimension of tolerance of ambiguity that was found for all the principals was 3.5024 (a value above 3 constitutes intolerance of ambiguity on a scale of 3 to 7). Therefore, it can be stated that among all principals the measure of tolerance of ambiguity is moderate. Furthermore, it was found that only 30% of the principals in the sample group have a dynamic - Developer - administrative style, which, is characterized by tolerance of ambiguity.
Implications of the findings for school administrative preparation are discussed.