Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

May 1999


The primary purpose of this study was to develop case studies providing a description of how two higher education institutions addressed the role of values. The researcher attempted to provide insight and understanding into the implicit and explicit values of the institutions through a values audit process. The methods of transmitting those values internally and externally were examined, as well as, implications for students, faculty, and staff. There was also an analysis as to what evaluation process was used to ensure compliance or alignment and to gauge that alignment between educational practices and the institutions' mission and purpose. The study examined the established and appropriate reward systems for recognizing and assuring compliance or alignment. The ethnographic case study was chosen as the research model for the investigative process for this study. Two case studies were conducted in which a four-year public institution, East Tennessee State University; and a four-year private Christian, liberal arts institution, Milligan College were examined. Each institution was treated as a case study, then a cross-case analysis was conducted between institutions noting similarities and differences. Four ethnographic techniques were used in the data collection phase of the research study: researcher's notes, face-to-face interviewing, document analysis, and participant observation. In each technique, the researcher emerged as the primary instrument for data collection. Based on the data collected, it was found that an institution's vision, mission, values, and goals provide the context in which it operates. The leader emerged as the individual who sets the tone for values for the institution. Effective strategies for communicating and implementing the values throughout all levels of the organization are critical. Compliance and alignment of members with the values must be expected, encourages, rewarded, and punished. Institutions may employ differing, yet, effective strategies for values definition, communication, and implementation. Recommendations made, as a result of the study are the following: (1) a periodic, broad-based review of the vision, mission, and values be conducted, (2) effective and continuous communication strategies be formulated and implemented into the hiring, supervision, and evaluation process, (3) an individual or an area be responsible for reviewing, transmitting, and evaluating the values, (4) periodic values audits be conducted internally and externally, and (5) further research be conducted in areas impacted by institutional values.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted