Principals’ moral agency and ethical decision-making: Towards transformational ethics

Sabre Lynn Cherkowski, Keith D Walker, Benjamin Kutsyuruba


This descriptive study of the ethical decision-making among a group of Canadian principals provides a rich portrait of how and why principals engage their moral agency through their decision-making processes. Using a leadership responsibility framework linking moral agency and transformational leadership, the researchers found that: modeling moral agency is important for encouraging others to engage their own moral agency in the best interests of all children; despite efforts to engage in collaborative decision-making, principals are often faced with the reality that they are the one to absorb the cost of the decisions; and principals tend to engage less often in transformational aspects of leadership as part of the decision-making process. More research is needed to understand how school leaders can engage more often and more substantially in transformational leadership among their teachers and staff and how they build moral agency capacity in their schools.


Moral agency; ethical decision-making;moral leadership;principals

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Copyright (c) 2015 Sabre Lynn Cherkowski, Keith D Walker, Benjamin Kutsyuruba

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