ERIC Number: ED453120
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
Women and Their Effectiveness as Leaders: What Makes the Difference among Deans?
Rosser, Vicki J.
A growing body of literature has found that between women and men as leaders there are important differences in leadership styles, qualities, and priorities. Yet there are few studies that empirically examine the gender differences from a subordinate perspective, particularly in higher education. It is important to identify those factors that best contribute to the leadership effectiveness of both female and male leaders as perceived by their unit participants. This paper reports on a study that examined the differences in the way female and male deans lead their academic units as perceived by their faculty and administrative staff. Surveys were mailed to all 1950 faculty/staff members reporting to 22 deans at a major research university. The survey consisted of items measuring seven leadership domains of responsibility based on the professional literature on deans and a review of existing evaluation instruments. Results indicated that the combination of deans' leadership dimensions and respondents' demographic characteristics contributed significantly to the group classification of male and female deans. Of the demographic variables, sex and minority status of the respondents and holding the rank of full professor discriminate faculty and staff perceptions of effective leadership. Among the leadership dimensions, findings suggested that faculty members and administrative staff perceived that women and men reflect differing patterns in their role as leaders. Female deans were perceived to be more likely than male deans to enhance the quality of education in their units, engage in research, community, and professional endeavors, promote and support institutional diversity within their units, and manage personnel and financial resources fairly and effectively. Contains 3 tables and 37 references. (BT)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Seattle, WA, April 10-14, 2001).