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Factors Affecting Leadership Styles of Prison Wardens: A Case Study of Public Adult Prisons Within Virginia

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TITLE: Factors Affecting Leadership Styles of Prison Wardens: A Case Study of Public Adult Prisons Within Virginia
 
RESEARCHER: Nancy E. Santiago
Urban Studies
Old Dominion University (Virginia)
Doctoral Dissertation: April 1998

OBJECTIVE
To identify the leadership styles of Virginia prison wardens within public adult prisons, and to determine which factors contribute to the development of their leadership styles.

METHODOLOGY
A total of 46 wardens completed the surveys (100%), which were distributed at the warden's semi-annual meeting at the Academy for Staff Development. The "typical" warden was male, white, age 48, with a master's degree, and college major of sociology. Respondents completed the Leadership Practices Inventory and the Leader Behavior Analysis II-Self (Zigarmi et al., 1995), along with providing demographic information.

KEY FINDINGS
LPI scores revealed that most Virginia wardens rated themselves above average in their ability to engage in each of the five leadership practices. Demographic variables (e.g., race, gender, age, educational level, institutional size, career expectations, security level, etc.) were generally unrelated to LPI scores. There was no significant correlation found between scores on the LPI and those on the LBAII - "apparently then the LPI and LBAII Self measure a different aspect of leadership. The LPI measures ‘visionary' or ‘Transformational’ leadership (non-traditional management), and the LBAII Self measures ‘transnational’ (traditional) management" (p. 95).

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