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ERIC Number: ED566159
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 175
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3037-3938-5
Three Studies on the Leadership Behaviors of Academic Deans in Higher Education
Brower, Rebecca
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Florida State University
This three article mixed methods dissertation is titled "Three Studies on the Leadership Behaviors of Academic Deans in Higher Education." Each article is based on a sample of 51 academic deans from a three state region in the Southeastern United States. In the first study, the results of the statistical analyses reinforce the gender similarities hypothesis which states that "males and females are similar on most, but not all psychological variables" (Hyde, 2005, p. 581). Male and female deans did not differ significantly on political skill and social capital. However, the study did contain two methodological concerns which may have obscured the relationship between gender, political skill, and social capital. First, the sample size was necessarily small due to the time consuming nature of converting survey data into social network data for statistical analysis. Second, the political skill scores and social capital scores were based on self-reported data. Ultimately, there is ambiguity in my results because it is difficult to determine whether the results indeed support the gender similarities hypothesis as I argued or whether methodological limitations have resulted in non-significant statistical findings. In the second study, the central result is a conceptual model of information use in problem solving in academic administration. The conceptual model is a visual representation of the relationship between information use and problem solving among decision makers in academic administration. In my model, the problem solving process begins with a problem catalyst which initiates the information filtering phase of the process. The decision makers then embark on an iterative process of questioning, seeking information, verifying information, and weighing decision options. This information filtering phase is fed by information streams including explicit, tacit, cultural, external, internal, received, and sought information. The information filtering process narrows until a decision point is reached. After the administrator makes the decision, the institutional action phase initiates with successive cycles of decision sharing and institutional action. Ultimately, the possible outcomes of the problem solving process represent a continuum with unresolved problems at one end, resolved problems leading to incremental organizational change at the midpoint, and resolved problems leading to organizational paradigm shifts at the far end of the continuum. Data representing each of these phases of the problem solving process are presented. The third study illuminates the ambiguity of sexual discrimination and the issues around gender roles in academic administration. From these data, four propositions regarding gender are presented. First, there is ambiguity surrounding gender in academic administration in higher education because of the culture of academia. This explanation for the unwillingness of deans to express certainty surrounding the influence of gender in academic administration is that they are adopting the social norms of universities, which emphasize uncertainty both in their organizational culture and in the ideas they produce. Second, academic leaders who must represent the broad interests of male and female employees keep their own feelings of discrimination private as part of their practice of impression management within the organization. Ambiguity also surrounds gender in academic administration in higher education because of attributional ambiguity (Crocker, Voelkl, Testa, Major, 1991). This term suggests that there is considerable ambiguity about whether social interactions have occurred because of gender or for other reasons. Finally, changing gender roles creates ambiguity in academic administration in higher education Gender roles in the modern era are now constantly in flux, being quite rigid under some circumstances and quite flexible under other circumstances. (Abstract shortened by UMI.). [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A