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A Study of Two Generations of Cultural Diverse Community College Student’s Views on Leader Attributes in Self and Others

Paula Jeanine Hodkowski

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TITLE: A Study of Two Generations of Cultural Diverse Community College Student’s Views on Leader Attributes in Self and Others
 
RESEARCHER: Paula Jeanine Hodkowski
Graduate School of Education
Old Dominion University
Unpublished doctoral dissertation: December 2011

OBJECTIVE
The purpose of this study was to determine if two generations of community college student participants differed significantly in their use of the leadership practices of Model the Way and Enable Others to Act.

METHODOLOGY
This study used a convenience sample of 376 students enrolled in a large public suburban Midwestern community college, serving 26 culturally diverse communities. Respondents completed 12 statements from the Leadership Practices Inventory (scales for measuring Model the Way and Enable Others to Act), rated the importance of various leadership traits (Lord, Foti & DeVader, 1984), and provided demographic information. Eighty-five percent of the respondents were Millennials (ages 18-28; with 177 men and 143 women) and the remainders were Generation X (ages 29-49; with 21 men and 35 women). Fifty-four percent of the sample was Caucasian, and the remainder was considered non-Caucasian.

KEY FINDINGS
None of the demographic variables (generation, gender, ethnicity, nor any combination of them) showed statistically significant differences (MANOVA) for either Model the Way or Enable Others to Act. Frequency scores on Enable were uniformly higher than those reported for Model. Ratings of 35 leader traits in others did not differ significantly based on generation, gender, ethnicity, or any combination of these three variables. The researcher suggests that the similar views on leadership in such diverse groups of students could be a starting point to overcome other cultural differences: “That the findings showed no culturally significant differences is significant. It is important that community college leaders examine and capitalize on ideas of commonalities in culturally diverse populations” (p. 144).


 

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