An ethical becoming for senior student affairs officers: phronetic leadership

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University of Alabama Libraries

This study investigates the leadership and decision-making approaches of two Senior Student Affairs Officers. Through in-depth qualitative data analysis and findings from participant interviews, conclusions were developed regarding how the participants' approaches to leadership are similar to phronetic leadership. Phronetic leadership is developed with an understanding of an Aristotelian conception of virtue ethics and a Foucauldian conception of regimes of rationality and relations of power. The effects of technical rationality and relations of power on the participants' abilities to practice and develop phronetic leadership were explored through the study. It is argued that phronetic leadership is a form of leadership that should be developed and practiced by Senior Student Affairs Officers, as this approach to leadership makes possible an ethical approach to leadership. It is argued that the moral philosophy of phronetic leadership-virtue ethics-is superior to the moral philosophy of leadership approaches that are technically rational, such as managerialism. Yet, the dominant discourse in higher education lends to practices, norms, and relations of power that are indicative of technical rationality, and not of phronesis (practical wisdom).

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Educational leadership, Educational philosophy, Educational administration