Abstract Harris - Characteristics, Behaviors, and Preparation for Leadership

Characteristics, Behaviors, and Preparation for Leadership of Educational Administration/Leadership Department Chairs

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TITLE Characteristics, Behaviors, and Preparation for Leadership of Educational Administration/Leadership Department Chairs
 
RESEARCHER Mary Judy Harris
Department of Education
University of Missouri - Columbia
Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation: December 2004

OBJECTIVE
The purpose of this study was to identify effective leadership behaviors and characteristics by chairs in highly ranked Educational Administration/Leadership departments.

METHODOLOGY
Five educational administration/leadership departments were purposefully selected for this study (all being Tier 1 research institutions, highly ranked and with a department chair serving at least two years). Two of these were located in the West, another two in the Mid-West and the last in the East. Each department chair completed the Leadership Practices Inventory-Self while faculty from four departments completed the LPI-Observer (N=34, response rate = 65%) and participated in a Q-sort and semi-structured interviews.

KEY FINDINGS
Department chairs reported engaging most frequently in the leadership practice of Enabling, followed by Modeling, Encouraging and Challenging, and then Inspiring. This was equivalent to the pattern of responses from their constituents. "Data from the qualitative interviews conducted with chairs supported the LPI data" (p. 200).

Composite scores of chairs, deans and faculty members ranked the following statements regarding leadership characteristics and behaviors in the top fourth of the Q-sort on what makes for an effective leader (connection with Kouzes Posner leadership practice added). The chair should:
1. Demonstrate good ethical behavior (Model).
2. Seek high levels of participation and involvement of decisions from faculty, staff and students (Enable).
3. Foster a sense of trust within the department and with other components of the university through open collaboration (Enable).
4. Promote professional development of faculty members in the department (Enable).
5. Possess a clear, observable philosophy of leadership (Model).
6. Emphasize teamwork and collaboration within the department (Enable).

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