Campus Access Only

All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of University of the Pacific. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Dennis Brennan

First Committee Member

Lynn Beck

Second Committee Member

Michael Elium

Third Committee Member

Louis Wildman


This study examined the effects of experience on the ethical decision making of elementary school principals through the use of personal interviews. Five beginning principals (two or less years of experience) and five veteran principals (greater than ten years of experience) were asked to respond to a set of ethical dilemmas based on realistic administrative situations. Each interviewee was asked to provide a course of action and explanation for each dilemma or situation. Interview results were analyzed and compared within the two groups, beginning and experienced, and between the two groups as well. Results were classified according to Roche's Framework. Results showed a strong pattern of similarity between the responses of the two groups. While responses or choices for courses of action were similar between the groups, differences were noted in the rationales for the solutions between the two groups. Beginning principals tended to be more rules based in their responses because of their lack of experience and knowledge of potential consequences. Because they possessed a depth of experience and knowledge of consequences, veteran principals tended to be more ends based in their thinking and decision making.





To access this thesis/dissertation you must have a valid email address and log-in to Scholarly Commons.

Find in PacificSearch Find in ProQuest



If you are the author and would like to grant permission to make your work openly accessible, please email