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A Comparative Analysis of Scientific Research Administrators’ Leadership Practices in Public and Private Universities

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TITLE A Comparative Analysis of Scientific Research Administrators’ Leadership Practices in Public and Private Universities
 
RESEARCHER Amin Muhammad
Graduate School of Education
Texas Southern University
Doctoral Dissertation: May 1996

OBJECTIVE
To examine the leadership ability, managerial skills, and decision-making skills of research administrators in the scientific research laboratories at public and private universities and at independent research laboratories.

METHODOLOGY
The population consisted of research administrators who were members of the National Council of Administration of Research. From a random sample of 850, a total of 629 usable surveys were returned (74%). Respondents completed the Leadership Practices Inventory (Self), with the researcher creating subheadings for the five leadership practices (scales) normally associated with the LPI: Leadership ability (Challenging and Inspiring), Managerial Skills (Enabling and Encouraging) and Decision-Making Skills (Modeling). The typical respondent was male (80%), Caucasian (98%), over 46 years of age (76%), and more than 11 years of research experience (73%). They were about equally divided by geographical region and nature of the research affiliation (public, private or independent).

KEY FINDINGS
No significant differences were found in leadership, management or decision-making skills by age, or gender or geographical location. Research center type made a difference for management ability but not leadership ability. Research administrators affiliated with universities (public or private) reported higher levels of management ability than did those associated with independent research centers. Those with more years of experience reported greater levels of leadership ability but no differences by years of experience were reported for management ability. Those with more experience, and those in public institutions, reported greater levels of decision-making skills than their counterparts.

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