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Relationship between theory and practice of moral leadership in a faith-based school, including discussion of institutional dissonance, moral capital, team management, conflict resolution, and the challenges of idealism. Link to thesis (offsite).
Dissertation for Doctor of Education, University of Leicester.

Moral Leadership: The Leadership of the Future:
An Exploratory Study in a Bahá'í-Inspired Faith School

by Adrian John Davis

Abstract: This thesis is an exploratory qualitative study of the relationship between the theory and practice of moral leadership in the educational administration of a Faith school. In particular, the study critically investigated the understanding and perceptions of moral leadership through a field exploration of the cultural world of a single Bahá'í-inspired school over a period of one academic year. The main lens through which this cultural world was viewed was the Principal of the School, although his perspective was compared to and contrasted with the perceptions of selected School Foundation members, teachers, parents, and students. The study highlights the claims to moral governance that a relatively newly revealed religion promises in the light of the spiritual and ethical teachings of the Bahá'í Faith and the opportunities accruing from them while throwing into dramatic relief the challenges that are posed in the manifestation of such idealized claims. Such claims include the thesis that all true leadership is moral leadership, and that any person claiming to be a leader must be a moral leader first; secondly, that moral leadership implies shared leadership characterized by the use of a team management approach. While challenges to the achievement of the faith-driven mission of the School certainly existed, such as institutional dissonance, these were found to be overcome by the distributed presence of moral capital that in turn was available due to the existence of what is termed spiritual capital amongst the staff as a result of access to a body of revelatory writings. Such scripture generated a powerful force inspiring levels of enthusiasm, commitment, and sacrifice that would be the envy of any organization. Implications and recommendations congruent to the ethical spirit of the Bahá'í Faith are made, such as team management and the Faith-inspired decision-making and conflict-resolution method of consultation.
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