Higher Education Managers/Executives/Administrators
To examine the leadership ability, managerial skills, and decision-making
skills of research administrators in the scientific research laboratories at public and
private universities and at independent research laboratories.
The population consisted of research administrators who were
members of the National Council of Administration of Research. From a random sample
of 850, a total of 629 usable surveys were returned (74%). Respondents completed the
Leadership Practices Inventory (Self), with the researcher creating subheadings for the
five leadership practices (scales) normally associated with the LPI: Leadership ability
(Challenging and Inspiring), Managerial Skills (Enabling and Encouraging) and
Decision-Making Skills (Modeling). The typical respondent was male (80%), Caucasian
(98%), over 46 years of age (76%), and more than 11 years of research experience (73%).
They were about equally divided by geographical region and nature of the research
affiliation (public, private or independent).
No significant differences were found in leadership, management or
decision-making skills by age, or gender or geographical location. Research center type
made a difference for management ability but not leadership ability. Research
administrators affiliated with universities (public or private) reported higher levels of
management ability than did those associated with independent research centers. Those
with more years of experience reported greater levels of leadership ability but no
differences by years of experience were reported for management ability. Those with
more experience, and those in public institutions, reported greater levels of
decision-making skills than their counterparts.