Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring the Spiritual Leadership Practices of Female Private College and University Presidents
by Wagner, Tracy A., Ph.D., Barry University, 2018, 298; 10747912
Abstract (Summary)

While progress towards advancing women to private college and university presidencies now stands at 27.3% (Gagliardi, Espinosa, Turk, & Taylor, 2017), more needs to be done to encourage women to pursue these top leadership positions. This study's purpose was to more fully describe the relationship between the inner lives/spiritual practices of current female private college and university presidents and their leadership. This study may serve to explicate the connection hypothesized by Fry (2008) in his Spiritual Leadership Theory between inner life/spiritual practices of spiritual leaders and the spiritual leadership components of hope/faith, vision, and altruistic love. This study may also provide insight on how spiritual practices support successful presidencies. The research design was a transpersonal phenomenological study using intuitive inquiry methods as developed by Anderson (2011), with roots in Moustakas's (1990) heuristic research and feminist approaches. It features a five-cycle hermeneutical process. The methodology included purposively sampling current female college and university presidents for semi-structured interviews. Intuitive inquiry includes the discernment of preliminary lenses held by the researcher regarding the topic and revised lenses developed during the analysis of the data (Anderson, 2011). Preliminary lenses included intimacy, alignment, immediacy, being present, and resilience. Of the preliminary lenses, all were included in the final presentation of lenses. One, alignment, was unchanged in its definition, while intimacy, immediacy, being present, and resilience were revised. Three new lenses emerged from the Cycle Four process: authentic calling, calling to members, and formation. Linkages between the lenses were also identified and explained in Cycle Five. The Cycle Three findings identified eight overarching themes and 23 related categories of meaning in the data. Theoretical implications of the study confirm the hypothesized relationship in Fry's (2008) Spiritual Leadership Model between spiritual practices and altruistic love. Less evidence was apparent to support hypothesized connections between spiritual practices and hope/faith or hope/faith to vision. Spiritual practices did impact the development of vision for participants working to shift attention to firmer missional and financial footing. The relationships affecting followers' Spiritual Well-Being were also confirmed through the connections evidenced between vision and calling and between altruistic love and membership.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Fischweicher, Priva
Commitee: Ban, Ruth A., Borgen, Rosa D.
School: Barry University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 79/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Educational leadership, Educational administration, Spirituality
Keywords: College and university, Intuitive inquiry, Presidents, Private, Spiritual leadership theory, Spiritual practices
Publication Number: 10747912
ISBN: 9780438029613
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