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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Study of Women Faculty Members' Pursuit of Non-traditional Leadership Commitments Within Academic Medicine, Highlighting The Experiences of Women Faculty Members Enrolled In The Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership Program for Women in Academic Medicine®
by Simmons, Sharon, Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2015, 246; 3681005
Abstract (Summary)

For the last twenty years, literature has demonstrated that women have attained jobs as faculty members within academic medicine at a steady rate. Yet, women faculty members have been consistently underrepresented in traditional senior-level positions in academic administration. Their underrepresentation is attributed to career decisions. The main purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of ELAM participants who pursued non-traditional career commitments. The problem of practice addressed the impact of career choices of women faculty in academic medicine, an understudied topic. Toward filling this void in the literature, this study utilized a constructivist methodological framework that is shaped, in part, by the Feminist Standpoint Theory, thereby, allowing the researcher to draw on pre-transcribed interview data that provide insight into ELAM participants' decisions to pursue non-traditional leadership commitments. For the purposes of this study, Traditional Leadership Commitments are defined as positions on the traditional career ladder, including faculty member positions, president, vice president, and provost. Non-traditional Commitments are defined as Director of Residency, Deputy Dean of Education, and Associate Director Echocardiography Lab.

The main question generated four operational research questions that, in turn, yield four findings that facilitate an understanding of the experiences and decisions that influenced women faculty choices to pursue non-traditional leadership positions. Finding One indicated that there are no 'dedicated leadership pipelines' for women seeking to advance to senior-level positions, and the 'leadership pipeline model' has failed to provide women with viable professional strategies for advancement. Finding Two demonstrated that the misalignment between institutional policies and work-life integration impedes women's advancement to senior-leadership positions. Finding Three showed that Non-traditional careers are viable and sustainable interventions for women seeking advancement to senior level positions in academic medicine.

Finding Four revealed that ELAM is a valuable intervention that enables its participants to become self-determined and self-directed agents in the creation of their non-traditional commitments as alternative 'career choices' to traditional senior-level leadership positions. By examining the experiences of ELAM participants who pursued non-traditional leadership commitments within academic medicine, this study made a scholarly contribution to the larger body of literature regarding women faculty career choices.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Jakeman, Rick
Commitee: Chernak, Robert, McDade, Sharon
School: The George Washington University
Department: Higher Education Administration
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 76/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Womens studies, Higher education
Keywords: Academic medicine, Executive leadership in academic medicine, Leadership, Non-traditional leadership, Women faculty
Publication Number: 3681005
ISBN: 978-1-321-53424-5
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