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Article
Publication date: 4 November 2020

Devora Friedman and Izhak Berkovich

Principals are considered central in initiating and mobilizing changes in schools; however, their political behaviors in the course of school changes are underexplored…

Abstract

Purpose

Principals are considered central in initiating and mobilizing changes in schools; however, their political behaviors in the course of school changes are underexplored. The present research investigated the influence tactics used by school principals to induce teachers to join a process of second-order (deep and wide) change in the school teaching and culture. In specific, the authors were interested to know which influence tactics, principals and staff members considered to be efficient during such a second-order change process.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was based on a case study method focusing on four Israeli Jewish state public religious schools participating in the “Routes” program aimed at strengthening religious values in schools. Data collection included semi-structured interviews with principals, teachers with program coordinators responsibilities and teachers in four schools.

Findings

The results indicate that school principals who are considered successful in leading changes display two key influence prototypes: a hybrid type that combines soft and hard influence tactics and a unitype that relies on soft influence tactics.

Originality/value

The research study contributed to the limited knowledge in educational administration on micropolitics and political behaviors in the course of school changes.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

G. Stevenson Smith

This paper aims to examine the accountants’ stereotype as it is developed within a sample of fiction novels. The descriptions of accountants in these novels are used to…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the accountants’ stereotype as it is developed within a sample of fiction novels. The descriptions of accountants in these novels are used to determine the attributes associated with the accountants’ image. Further, the purpose is to identify and compare the results of the present study with those images that have been identified in previous studies.

Design/methodology/approach

The descriptions in the novels are analyzed using context analysis and the corpus available through the General Inquirer (GI). A comparison is made between the results found in the present study using context analysis with previous studies using social-cultural methods to investigate stereotypes. The current paper attempts to avoid investigator bias based on social learning; lessens subjective interpretations; and rather than using a non-transferable rating scale unique to one article, it uses a widely accepted evaluation measure in the GI.

Findings

The image of accountants in the sample of novels was found to be positive rather than the negative image described in previous papers. The conclusion reached is that past studies of the accountants’ image have not eliminated social-cultural biases from their research results. The present study suggests that an image filled with negative characteristics may vary with the medium, and there may not be a universal image of the accountant.

Research limitations/implications

One weakness of content analysis is that positive words are used in phrases that may have negative connotations. For example, the word “cool” as related to a person may have the meaning that a person is really neat or that they are standoffish. Another limitation of context analysis is coding bias as a consequence of the subjectivity among the various individuals performing the coding. The corpus used in the GI attempts to overcome these issues.

Practical implications

Managers’ potential interactions with accountants are affected by their internal perceptions of the accounting profession. If accountants are associated with negative images as outlined in previous research, why is their decision-making input still widely used? An understanding of why a group of such professionals are considered to be important to decision-making needs to be analyzed. If managers truly believe accountants are weak, negative and short-sighted, as has been confirmed in previous research, accountants and their skill set would not be used by managers. Yet, their skills are sought out by managers. The dichotomy is investigated in the paper.

Social implications

Stereotypes affect members of the public in their support, approach and interactions with a profession. The job functions available to a profession are affected and restricted by its stereotype. Unfortunately, many people develop distortions and biases in their perceptions and react toward a group based on those internally held perceptions. It is worthwhile to understand how a group is viewed in society to be able to understand how they can deal with these stereotypes.

Originality/value

The approach in the paper is the first application of context analysis to the study of the accountant’s image. In this context, data identified in the structure of a text provide a basis to the underlying patterns in the text and by implication its attributes. Unlike the past studies, which rely on social learning to evaluate the accountants’ image, the current research combines content analysis with corpus linguistics to identify themes and the significance of relationships in the data set.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

Keywords

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