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Author ORCID Identifier



Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Sharon F. Rallis

Second Advisor

Kathryn A. McDermott

Third Advisor

Daniel S. Gerber

Subject Categories

Educational Leadership | Leadership Studies


The phenomenon of ethical administration and decision-making in the context of school administration is a recent trend even in the Western scholarship on school administration. Although there have been a many academic endeavors in the last two decades of the 20th century to explore the ethical dimension of school leadership mainly in the works of Greenfield (1985), Starratt (1991,1994), and Hodgkinson (1996). However, in the first decade of 21st century, there have been much more concerted efforts to explore and propose theoretical models to explain the ethical dimension of school leadership. There have been a many attempts to analyze the ethical dilemmas or value-conflicts faced by school administrators by proposing new ethical paradigms. The notable examples are the works of Noddings (2003), Samier (2003), Furman (2004), Greenfield (2004), Stefkovich and O'Brien (2004), Stefkovich (2007), Shapiro and Gross (2008), Shapiro and Stefkovich (2011), and Shapiro, Stefkovich, and Gutierrez (2014). Although these theoretical approaches have a global outlook towards ethical dimension of school leadership but the context of all these theoretical endeavors is wholly western. However, this study uses the theoretical works of Hodgkinson (1996) and Stefkovich (2004, 2007, 2011, 2014) not only to ground this discussion in a theoretical context of related literature but also as an analytic framework to look into the responses of the school principals in their value-conflict situations between school law and moral values.

To understand the value-conflict situations faced by government high school principals in Azad Kashmir, their resolution strategies and underlying moral frameworks, seven experienced and well-reputed effective high school principals were interviewed. The analysis of participants’ value-conflict experiences provided valuable feedback on the utility and limitations of ethical theoretical perspectives used in this study. Moreover, in the context of Azad Kashmir, this research study is a first organized inquiry to understand the difficult situations and value-conflicts epxerienced by high school principals. This study provides a peek to understand the state of public sector in Azad Kashmir. The findings of this study reveals the increasingly dysfunctional state of public sector education sector through school principals' narratives.