Decision Making for Educational Leaders

Underexamined Dimensions and Issues

By Bob L. Johnson Jr. & Sharon D. Kruse

Subjects: Education Policy And Leadership, Education
Series: SUNY series, Educational Leadership
Paperback : 9781438429168, 252 pages, January 2010
Hardcover : 9781438429151, 252 pages, January 2010

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

List of Tables and Figures
Part I. Decision-Making Theory and Theorizing

1. Introduction: Leadership, Decision Making, and Underexplored Issues in Decision Making

2. Theories, Theorizing, and the Art of Theory-Use in Decision Making

Part II. Context and Contextual Issues in Decision Making
3. Organization as Context: Decision Making in Educational Organizations

4. The Political Context of Decision Making in Educational Leadership

Part III. The Decision Maker: Logic, Intuition, Data Use, and Skill
5. The Logic of Decision Making: Problematizing Decision Assumptions and Examining Inferential Leaps

6. The Intuitive Decision Maker in the Information Age

7. Data-Driven Decision Making for School Improvement

8. Dispositional Aspects of Effective Decision Making and the Competent Decision Maker

9. Making Tough Decisions: Issues and Considerations

Part IV. Conclusion: Underexamined Issues in Decision Making
10. The Educational Leader as Decision Maker: Themes, Inferences, and Conclusions


A guide to decision making for school administrators.


Why another book on decision making? In this increasingly complex world, there are many tensions inherent in the daily practice of school leaders. This book illuminates these tensions, and acknowledges the reality that there are already multiple approaches to decision making in any school. The authors offer a guide to integrate the influences of school and community members as well as data and organizational context into the decision making process. They focus on underexamined dimensions of decision making, including 1) the art of theory-use; 2) organizational context; 3) political dynamics; 4) inferential leaps and causal assumptions; 5) the role of intuition; 6) data-driven decision making; 7) the role of emotions and affect; and 8) making the tough decision. Dispositions that enhance success are highlighted. These ideas will empower school principals, superintendents, and other leaders to approach with confidence the decisions they are called on to make.