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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Women deans and department chairs in medical education: A study of enabling and inhibiting factors impacting their leadership success
by Ruger, Katherine M., Ed.D., Pepperdine University, 2015, 129; 3725283
Abstract (Summary)

Women are occupying leadership roles in medical education, yet are underrepresented in senior leadership positions. This qualitative study explored the enabling and inhibiting factors that select women deans and department chairs experienced throughout their career ascent. The qualitative research included eight women, both deans and department chairs, in medical education. The deans and department chairs participated in an interview where the primary data were obtained.

Qualitative research methods were used to analyze the data, and the findings were presented in narrative format. The findings were consistent with the literature review and reviewed similarities in enabling and inhibiting factors experienced. The findings suggest specific leadership styles, characteristics, and skillsets for aspiring deans and department chairs to consider.

The recommendations suggest that women considering senior leadership positions in medical education may benefit from a gender-neutral workplace, which supports the professional growth of women through development opportunities in areas such as finance and strategic decision-making. A collaborative leadership approach, along with decision-making, flexibility, humility and confidence, were identified as common characteristics enabling leadership success. Women aspiring to obtain senior leadership positions may also benefit from encouragement and mentorship in obtaining department chair positions to better prepare them to move into dean roles.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: McManus, Jack
Commitee: Harvey, Andrew, Hurst, Emily
School: Pepperdine University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 77/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Womens studies, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Academic medicine leadership, Barriers in medicine, Leadership in medicine, Sexism in medicine, Women deans, Women in medicine
Publication Number: 3725283
ISBN: 978-1-339-09494-6
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