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ERIC Number: EJ927159
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-1559-5676
Characteristics and Qualities Needed for Success by School Nutrition Directors
Rushing, Keith; Nettles, Mary Frances; Johnson, James T.
Journal of Child Nutrition & Management, v33 n2 Fall 2009
Purpose/Objectives: The purpose was to identify the leadership characteristics and qualities perceived by school nutrition (SN) directors as necessary for success and determine whether training is needed to develop these attributes. Methods: A panel of seven SN professionals was assembled to ascertain their opinions regarding leadership characteristics and qualities needed for success by SN directors. This information was used to develop a survey that was mailed to 932 SN directors in all seven USDA regions. The survey asked SN directors to rate the importance of 33 leadership characteristics and qualities and rate the importance of training to develop these characteristics and qualities. SN directors were also asked to provide information about themselves and their SN programs. Results: There was a 38% response rate. Over three-fourths of SN directors (76.5%) reported they have worked in SN programs for 11 or more years. Characteristics and qualities with the highest mean ratings were: "maintains integrity," "accepts responsibility," "finds solutions," and "leads in an ethically appropriate manner." When these mean importance ratings were compared by school district enrollment size, it was observed that SN directors from the smallest districts (less than 2,799 students) rated four characteristics and qualities ("creates a vision for their SN operation," "has a global perspective," "takes risks," and "possesses political savvy") significantly less important (p less than 0.002) compared to SN directors from larger districts. Applications to Child Nutrition Professionals: Findings suggest that training programs are needed to assist in preparing SN professionals to lead SN programs. These programs should be targeted at all SN professionals. The leadership characteristics and qualities identified in this study could provide the foundation for educational and training programs. (Contains 4 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A