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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Leadership Styles of Correctional Officers in the State and Federal Prison System: Do Leadership Approaches Matter when Interacting with Aging Prisoners?
by Grod, Lisa Wicksel , Ph.D., The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, 2020, 187; 27997194
Abstract (Summary)

Leaders and leadership styles are not readily discernable throughout state and federal prison systems, specifically among correctional officers working with an aging population. This quantitative study used a pragmatic worldview to explore the leadership styles being used within prison organizations across the United States as well as the perceptions of leader efficacy to gain insights into how decision-making approaches are being incorporated into the daily regimen of correctional officers working within the complex prison environment. This research study used the Organizational Description Questionnaire and the Leader Efficacy Questionnaire to capture real-time data to capture and classify leadership approaches or models and compared this to the decision-making processes (efficacy) used by correctional officers in minimum/low security, medium security, and maximum/supermax security prisons with an aging inmate population. A multinomial regression analysis was utilized due to the small sample size responses gathered where n=229. The research results identified organizational changes occurring across widespread penal systems in the areas of bureaucratic, transformational, and transactional leadership. Furthermore, the research study identified areas in which correctional officers demonstrate leader self-regulation efficacy and leader means efficacy which translates into the ability to think through complex issues and challenges and engage followers (other correctional staff members and inmates) and generate innovative solutions at the cellblock level to prevent disharmony and maintain safety. Future research is needed to identify the current organizational leadership styles that have been identified by the ODQ through this research study and to determine how best to integrate them in this changing prison environment as it slowly breaks away from its bureaucratic reactive model and begins to think more transformationally creating a new ethos, infrastructure, and collaborative management strategies.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Givan, Aaron L
Commitee: Hill, Sherri, Pitt, Cassady
School: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Department: Business Psychology: Consulting Track
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 82/4(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Organization Theory, Law enforcement, Educational leadership
Keywords: Aging prisoners, Correctional officers, Leader efficacy, Leadership, Leadership styles, Prisons
Publication Number: 27997194
ISBN: 9798678189783
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