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Promoting Teamwork: Leadership, Attitudes, and Other Characteristics of a Community College Chief Financial Officer

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TITLE Promoting Teamwork: Leadership, Attitudes, and Other Characteristics of a Community College Chief Financial Officer
RESEARCHER Susan Stephenson
College of Education
University of Arkansas
Doctoral Dissertation: May 2002

The purpose of this study was to identify characteristics of chief financial officers most likely to promote teamwork in the community college environment.

A stratified sample (by size and geography) of 300 of the 895 community colleges listed in the American Association of Community Colleges were selected, from which 138 responded (43% response rate). The average age of respondents was 50 years, with 8.4 years in their current position, 73 percent were male, predominantly Caucasian (89%), and most (75%) with a master’s degree. Respondents completed the LPI, and responded to questions about teamwork and demographics.

Internal reliability for the leadership practices were .84 for Challenging, .84 for Inspiring, .81 for Modeling, .75 for Enable and .85 for Encouraging. Factor analysis revealed a four-factor solution, but because of limited sample size the researched continued with the five-factor conceptual model. Inspiring alone accounted for 41% of the variance in the self-reported promotion of teamwork variable. Along with the belief/benefit teamwork variable and Encouraging, and Inspiring, 55% of the variance was accounted for. Analyses by gender, ethnicity, years of service, or educational level did not influence any of the relationships (findings). Inspiring a shared vision and challenging the process were highly correlated (r = .81). Indeed when Challenging was substituted for Inspiring in the regression model, a significant amount of the variance was still explained (54.2%).

“These results,” say the author, “confirm the importance of inspiring a shared vision as a basic leadership role in a team-based work environment. After inspiring a shared vision and belief in the importance and benefits of teamwork, encouraging the heart and modeling the way were the next two leadership behaviors to contribute to the regression model. However, these two leadership behaviors only explained an additional 2.4% of the variability of the promotion of teamwork” (p.121).


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