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The Relationship Between Leadership Practices of Presidents and the Organizational Culture of Christian Colleges and Universities

Jeremy Blake O'Dell

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TITLE: The Relationship Between the Leadership Practices of Presidents and the Organizational Culture of Christian Colleges and Universities
 
RESEARCHER: Jeremy Blake O’Dell
Talbot School of Theology
Biola University
Unpublished doctoral dissertation: May 2014

OBJECTIVE
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the leadership practices of presidents and the organizational culture of Christian colleges and universities.

METHODOLOGY
The target population for this study was the presidents of the 115 member institutions of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) in the United States, from which 32 participated. Each completed the Leadership Practices Inventory-Self (and had a random ample of one administrator, one faculty member and one administrative staff member complete the LPI-Observer; a total of 56 were returned), the Spiritual Leadership Practices scale (adapted from the Ministry Gifts Inventory with both a Self and Employee version; Miller, 2002) and organizational culture types were assessed utilizing the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (Cameron & Quinn, 2006). Internal reliability (Cronbach alpha) for the LPI Self were .71 Model, .77 Inspire, .71 Challenge, .65 Enable and .69 Encourage and for the LPI Observer were .94 Model, .90 Inspire, .90 Challenge, .92 Enable, and .87 Encourage.

 The typical respondent was 60 years of age or older (53%), male (97%), had served one-to-five years in their current position (41%), had 16+ years of experience as a college administrator (69%), and 34 percent had no experience as a college faculty member. The typical “employee” in the study was 60 years of age or older (46%), male (84%), had served one-to-five years in their current position (45%), had 11+ years of experience as a faculty member (55%) and 54 percent had no experience as a college administrator. At an institutional level, 12 had an enrollment of between 1,000 and 2,499 students while only five had an enrollment of over 5,000 students; 23 had between 100 and 499 employees; and 14 were in a rural setting while 11 were in an urban setting. Concerning the church/denominational affiliation of the institutions, 10 were affiliated with some type of Baptist church or denomination while 7 identified themselves as Non-Denominational or Other. Other churches and denominations represented in the sample of institutions included the Church of Christ (3) and Nazarene (2).

KEY FINDINGS
Presidents rated themselves most frequently using the leadership practices of Inspire and Enable, followed by Model, and then Encourage and Challenge. The employee group rated the presidents as engaging most frequently in Inspire, followed by Enable, and then Model, Challenge, and Encourage. They only statistically significant difference in average scores between the two groups was on EOA, with scores from presidents higher than those from observers. For observers/employees there were strong statistically significant correlations between each of the five leadership practices and the Spiritual Leadership Practices scale. No significant relationship was found on the Spiritual Leadership Practices scale between responses of presidents and their employees. Correlational analysis revealed statistically significant weak to moderate, positive, relationships between all five leadership practices (Observers) and the Clan organizational culture type; while a statistically significant weak, positive, relationship was found between Challenge the Process and the Adhocracy organizational culture type, and statistically significant weak to moderate, negative, relationships between all five leadership practices and the Hierarchy and Market organizational culture types.


 

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