Kent F. Murrmann is an assistant professor of industrial relations in the Department of Management at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Bruce S. Cooper is an associate professor of education at Fordham Univeriity. The research on which this study is based was funded in part by The National Institute of Education, Grant Nr. NIE-G-78-0061.
School principals are represented in collective bargaining in 28 states and the District of Columbia. Previous studies indicate that arbitration is provided in most principals' contracts, and that principals are represented by traditional unions as well as professional associations. The fact that substantial numbers of principals have collective bargaining representation, despite the essentially professional and administrative nature of their work, raises the question of how fully they accept arbitration as a method for resolving disputes with their superiors. In addition, the fact that they have joined both professional associations and traditional unions suggests that there may be important attitudinal differences related to organization preference.
This study develops empirical measures of principals' and assistant principals' attitudes concerning the acceptability of arbitration, seniority, and merit. Significant differences in attitude are found between principals represented by different labor organizations and in different job ranks.