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  • Self-reported honesty and measured trust. An experiment in comparing head teachers´ self-reported honesty and trust as measured in job satisfaction survey in compulsory schools in Reykjavík, Iceland.
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    Previous research indicates that trust between head teachers and staff in schools is essential and that it affects students´ learning. Honesty is one precondition for trust and scholars argue that head teachers need to be honest to be able to build up and sustain trust. Nevertheless, there is a debate on how to measure honesty or how to evaluate if a person is honest or not. Self-reporting character strengths tests have been used for the task, for example in recruitment processes. Still, even scholars who have developed such tests stress the importance of comparing the results from self-reporting character strengths tests to other measurements that indicate their validity. The aim of this dissertation is to explore if there is a correlation between measured trust and head teachers´ self-reported honesty. “Is there a correlation between trust in compulsory schools in Reykjavík as measured in a job satisfaction survey and head teachers´ self-reported honesty?” is a fundamental question in the research. By exploring the state of trust in compulsory schools in Reykjavík, according to a recent job satisfaction survey, and compare to findings from a character strengths questionnaire used to measure self-reported character strengths amongst head teachers in Reykjavík this question is answered. In the research the hypothesis that there is a significant correlation between head teachers´ self-reported honesty and trust in schools was rejected. However, the hypothesis that there is not a significant correlation between head teachers´ self-reported honesty and trust in schools was confirmed. A Spearman´s rho data analysis revealed a weak negative correlation but it was not significant (r(22) = -.214 p = .316). Even if correlation was not measured significant in the present research it is important to note that it does not mean that there is not a correlation between honesty in leadership and trust in the workplace. The main findings are that there is good reason to use self-reporting character strengths tests in a delicate manner since it includes various complications. In this study the following factors affecting the findings were drawn forth for special discussions: 1) Tendencies in self-reporting honesty, 2) Lack of distribution in the data, and 3) Inconsistency in understanding of concepts. If educational authorities are to be better equipped to recruit leaders, not only based on what they can do but also who they are as persons, further research in the field is essential.

  • Master in Educational Leadership and Management. University of Warwick
  • 16.8.2018

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