An Analysis of Leadership Styles and Practices of University Women in Administrative Vice Presidencies

Higher Education    Managers/Executives/Administrators

Download a Printer Friendly Version (PDF)
TITLE: An Analysis of Leadership Styles and Practices of University Women in Administrative Vice Presidencies
RESEARCHER: Aparajita Maitra
Department of Higher Education Administration
Bowling Green State University
Unpublished doctoral dissertation: August 2007

This purpose of this study was to survey the perceptions of current female vice presidents in nonacademic roles regarding the leadership practices and styles they use to lead their functional areas and analyze the impact of demographic characteristics on their success.

The sample was recruited from the population of women vice presidents in nonacademic affairs functional areas of higher education in the Carnegie doctoral/research universities-extensive (N=351) and 68 completed the surveys (21.5% response rate). The typical respondent had a doctoral degree (47.1%), specializing in education and others areas of administration (33.8%), holding her first VP appointment (63.2%) in either finance/administration (25%), student affairs (16.2%) or alumni affairs and development (13.2%), was Caucasian (82.4%), and married (70.6%). Reliability coefficients were calculated for the LPI as follows: .70 Model, .85 Inspire, .76 Challenge, .77 Enable, and .89 Encourage.

Women VPs rated themselves engaging most frequently in Enable Others to Act, followed by Model, Encourage, Challenge, and Inspire. No significant correlations were found between any of the five leadership practices and the education variables (highest level of education, highest degree specialization, or years since highest degree completed). Respondents who indicated this was their first-time as a VP were significantly correlated with Inspire and Challenge, while those who reported this was not their first VP appointment were negatively correlated with Inspire. Generally no correlations were found between current functional area (alumni affairs, business affairs, planning and budget, finance and administration, human resources, technology, government, facility, and others) and any of the five leadership practices; with the exception of Inspire being correlated with student affairs and Challenge with university communications,. No personal variable (race/ethnicity, marital status, working spouse, or dependent children status) yielded any significant correlation with the five leadership practices.