Higher Education Managers/Executives/Administrators
The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a difference
between institutional characteristics and leadership practices that are necessary to
construct a successful distance education program.
Study participants were selected via “purposeful sampling”
(Charles & Mertler, 2002). A total of 86 institutions were selected because of
their “leadership” in the field of distance education, and 38 participated (44%
response rate). Most respondents possessed a doctorate (58%), and the majority
(47%) had 10 years or fewer in the distance education field, with another 32
percent having 11-20 years of experience. Respondents completed the LPI (in an
actual and ideal mode), along with providing demographic and institutional data.
Internal reliabilities with this sample on the actual mode ranged from .63 to .88
and from .61 to 91 on the ideal side.
Ideal LPI scores were consistently higher than actual scores.
The rank order for actual was Enabling, Encouraging, Modeling, Challenging, and
Inspiring and for the ideal mode the rank order was Encouraging, Modeling,
Enabling, Inspiring and Challenging. There were no statistically significant
differences between institutional types for either the actual or ideal leadership
practices, suggesting “that distance education administrators can be successful at
different types of institutions” (p. 77).