Title

Conflict management mode, budget decision criteria, and selected demographic features of Rhode Island elementary school principals

Date of Completion

January 1991

Keywords

Education, Finance|Education, Administration

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to examine the possible relationships between conflict management mode and budget decision criteria. This study also addresses demographic features that may influence budget decisions.^ All public elementary school principals in the state of Rhode Island were asked to complete the Rahim Organizational Conflict Inventory-II, the Hartley/Ferry Budget Decision Criteria Instrument, and a demographic and personal data survey. The Rahim Organizational Conflict Inventory-II measures five conflict management modes: obliging, dominating, integrating, avoiding, and compromising. For purposes of this study, the five modes were organized as strategic (integrating or compromising) and tactical (dominating, obliging, or avoiding). The Hartley/Ferry Budget Decision Criteria Instrument measures the importance or priority a school administrator places on each of 15 budget criteria. The demographic and personal data survey collected information relative to gender, administrative experience, and school district size of the respondents.^ Five null hypotheses were generated to investigate the relationships between conflict management mode and budget decision criteria as well as demographic features that may influence budget decisions. Hypotheses One and Two were analyzed using discriminant function analysis. Hypothesis One was not rejected because none of the 15 budget criteria were statistically able to predict group membership of principals as strategic or tactical. Hypothesis Two was not rejected because the three covariates: gender, administrative experience, and school district size, together with the 15 budget criteria, statistically did not explain or predict group membership.^ Hypotheses Three, Four, and Five were addressed through correlation analysis. Hypothesis Three was rejected because a statistically significant correlation existed between years of administrative experience and one budget criterion, "State and Federal Laws and Regulations." Hypothesis Four was rejected, as a statistically significant correlation existed between gender and one budget criterion, "Principle of Least Opposition." Hypothesis Five was rejected because a statistically significant correlation existed between school district size and three budget criteria, "Governing Board Fiscal Policies," "Staff Recommendations and/or Needs Assessment," and "State and Federal Laws and Regulations." ^