Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Joseph W. Licata


The fundamental purpose of this study was to describe the occupational ethos of Executive Directors of State Councils on Vocational Education. As the literature concerning education-related occupational ethos is sparse, the study was an effort to contribute to the literature and to provide an understanding of the occupation of Executive Director of State Councils on Vocational Education. The description of the ethos was derived from two significant viewpoints--orientations and sentiments exhibited by the executive directors. Collection of data for this study was accomplished through two means. The first method involved elite interviewing of a sample of 15 current executive directors to secure their personal characterizations of their work. The second phase involved administration of a survey sent to the entire population of directors. The survey was designed to provide data on the structures of occupational recruitment, socialization and reward. Forty-seven executive directors responded to the survey. The analysis of job recruitment, socialization and reward was aimed at determining orientations that emerged from common themes. Certain attracting aspects of the job were found to influence the recruitment of its potential members. Entry into the position was also found to be facilitated by several common factors. Findings showed that the occupational socialization of directors occurs in two distinct realms--formal training programs and on-the-job experience. Certain non-monetary rewards were found to be significant factors to the work of executive directors. The subsequent analysis concerned executive directors' descriptions of their day-to-day work to determine sentiments held towards this work. Common characteristics were observed relative to the tasks and roles of executive directors. Their portrayal of needed job skills, knowledge and attributes was further studied for identifying themes. The methods of job assessment and indications of job satisfaction as described by the directors provided additional insight into the meanings executive directors attach to their work. The final phase involved synthesizing these orientations, meanings and sentiments to describe the basic elements of the ethos. Two major themes, those of job efficacy and pluralism, emerged from this synthesis of findings.