The relationship between cognitive complexity-simplicity and the functional management systems of elementary school principals



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Purpose. The purpose of the study was to determine the measure of relationship between the personality dimension Cognitive Complexity-Simplicity and the perceived functional management systems of elementary school principals, as differentiated on the basis of sex. Procedures. Assessment instruments were administered to subjects in fifty randomly selected elementary schools. Complete data for forty-four schools were obtained for final analysis. The final sample consisted of forty-four elementary principals and 1,203 teachers. During Phase I the functional management systems of sample schools were assessed through the administration of the Profile of Organizational Characteristics (Likert, 1967) to full-time teachers. Cumulative scores on the measure provided a system categorization as follows: 'System One - exploitive authoritative,' 'System Two - benevolent authoritative,' 'System Three - consultative,' 'System Four - group participative.' A semantic differential technique was employed to construct a modified Role Construct Repertory Test (Kelly, 1955). This Rep Test was administered during Phase II of the study to assess the Personal Construct dimensions of the subjects' personalities. Through a factor analysis technique the Cognitive Complexity-Simplicity (Bieri, 1955) response measure was obtained for each subject. The Cognitive Complexity-Simplicity measure reflects a person's ability to differentiate among behavioral dimensions of his social environment based on perceptions derived from his 'personal construct psychology.' A cognitively complex individual has available a more differentiated construction system for perceiving the behavior of others than does a less cognitively complex person. [...]



School management and organization, School superintendents, School principals, Personality and cognition