The purpose of the study was to identify perceived effective leadership in higher education by examining the indicators of effective leadership in a holistic viewpoint from an executive female leaders approach. Theoretical studies have examined female leadership development; however few have statistical data to address the concept. In addition, leadership competencies in four year higher education institutions have not been clearly stated; therefore evaluations are not consistent and have no baseline by which to begin. The study addressed both leadership competencies in four year institutions as well as female leadership. The study utilized Q Methodology with a two tier approach to conceptualize the perception female leaders in higher education have on effective leadership. Participants received a concourse of 61 statements to sort according to their perception of effective leadership indicators which they have observed in others they have worked alongside with a ranking system of “most effective leadership indicator” (+5) through “least effective leadership indicator” (-5). Participants were also asked to sort the same statements, with the same ranking scale, based off the perception of their own leadership indicators. Participants included 18 (for Qsort1) and 15 (for Qsort2) female vice-presidents/chancellors from higher educational institutions in North Carolina and Maryland. In addition, participants completed post-sort questions for demographic purposes as well as to further explain their rankings of the top three and lowest three statements in each of their sorts. For both Qsort1 and Qsort2, two factors emerged from each as effective leadership indicators: Adaptive Leadership and Enabling Leadership.
The results of this study indicate that effective leadership in higher education needs to be both adaptive and enabling to the environment in which one is placed. A primary need for effective leadership is the ability to provide long-range planning through objective analysis, thinking ahead, and planning. In addition, using frameworks to analyze complex situations and understanding complexities as well as emerging trends in higher education are important for effective leadership in higher education. The overarching areas which the participants point toward in their rankings of the statements are the need for flexibility, adapting to circumstances, and helping others learn their roles to be self-sufficient. The area which did not appear as important for effective leadership was the theme of administrative leadership. These statements encompassed following procedure and process to complete tasks.
The insight provided by the female executive leaders in higher education regarding effective leadership indicators are relevant to several areas. Gaining a deeper understanding of what areas females can pursue in order to be effective leaders can only strengthen their positioning in the higher education career ladder. In addition, higher education institutions seeking to utilize more accurate performance standards for those in leadership positions could utilize the results to place a threshold for executive leaders to adhere to. The current study should be utilized as a springboard for future leadership studies in the areas of higher education and female leadership to further provide empirical information which could enhance the leadership skills of future female leaders.
|Advisor:||Bartlett, James E.|
|School:||North Carolina State University|
|School Location:||United States -- North Carolina|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Higher Education Administration, Educational leadership, Womens studies, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Effective leadership, University leadership, Women leaders|
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