Abstract Plowman - Perceptions of Presidential Leadership Behavior and Institutional Environment

Perceptions of Presidential Leadership Behavior and Institutional Environment by Presidents and Vice Presidents of Selected Four-Year Colleges and Universities in Florida

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TITLE Perceptions of Presidential Leadership Behavior and Institutional Environment by Presidents and Vice Presidents of Selected Four-Year Colleges and Universities in Florida
 
RESEARCHER Rodney James Plowman
University of Mississippi
Waco, Mississippi
School of Education
Doctoral Dissertation: May 1991

OBJECTIVE
To assess the leadership practices of college presidents and to determine whether the college's institutional environment was significantly related to the president's leadership practices.

METHODOLOGY
The sample was comprised of the nine state-supported, four-year public institutions that embody the State University System of Florida (SUSF) and the 20 private, four-year institutions that comprise the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida, Inc (ICUF). Surveys were returned by 18 ICUF Presidents (90%) and seven SUSF (78%) Presidents. Each of the President's administrative team members (Vice Presidents) responsible for academic affairs, business and finance, student affairs, and institutional advancement were also surveyed. Fifty-nine ICUF and 23 SUSF Vice Presidents completed surveys (82% response rate).

Presidents completed the LPI-SELF and Vice Presidents completed the LPI-OTHER. Both groups also completed an Institutional Environment Survey, based upon the "Excellence Audit" from The Tom Peters Group, which focused on people, leadership, and systems (30-items). This instrument served as a proxy for organizational effectiveness.

KEY FINDINGS
President's perceptions of their leadership practices were all significantly higher than those provided by their administrative team members. The Presidents generally rated themselves in the 70th percentile or above in comparison to all others in the normative LPI profile (generally private sector executives). Presidents also rated their Institutional Environments more favorably than did their Vice Presidential colleagues.

There was no statistically significant relationship between the President's leadership assessments and perceptions of Institutional Environment. However, there were consistent significant relationships between the Vice President's views of their President's leadership practices and Institutional Environment. Higher LPI (LPI-OTHER) scores were significantly associated with higher Institutional Environment (organizational effectiveness) assessments.

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