ERIC Number: EJ1134832
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Leadership Identities, Styles, and Practices of Women University Administrators and Presidents
Wheat, Celeste A.; Hill, Lilian H.
Research in the Schools, v23 n2 p1-16 Fall 2016
To understand the complex factors that influence women's experiences in senior administrative roles in higher education, the purpose of this study was to give voice to how they made meaning of their leadership experiences. We employed a qualitative design in which a criterion-based sample of 14 women senior administrators (i.e., dean, vice president, provost, and presidents) at doctorate-granting universities were recruited for in-depth interviews that explored the ways that participants' gender intersected with other salient aspects of their identities to influence their leadership identities, practices, and experiences. Three main themes emerged related to: (a) participants' pluralistic leadership styles and practices; (b) the salience of gender in influencing women leaders' perceptions and experiences, and (c) the role of women's intersecting identities in shaping their leadership. A major outcome of this research study is that although participants did not view their gender as a direct obstacle or formal barrier to the attainment of their current positions, their perceptions indicated that gender does matter in regard to women's (a) leadership styles, (b) views concerning the influence of their gender on their leadership, and (c) gender role spillover of their family roles into their professional roles. As the first known study to apply a combined postmodern feminist framework and pluralistic leadership approach to the examination of women senior administrators' leadership experiences at doctorate-granting universities, we concluded that this conceptual framework represents a productive direction for future research that can deepen epistemological insights into how women leaders' experience and make meaning of their leadership experiences.
Descriptors: Leadership Styles, Females, College Administration, College Presidents, Higher Education, Qualitative Research, Sex Role, Women Administrators, Gender Differences, Leadership Role, Semi Structured Interviews, Grounded Theory, Women Faculty, Feminism
Mid-South Educational Research Association (MSERA). Web site: http://www.msera.org/publications-rits.html
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A