In the Eye of the Beholder: A Configurational Analysis of Followers’ Conceptualizations of the Ideal Academic Department Leader at Private Universities
University of Southern Indiana; University of Mississippi
Keith R. Absher
Union University - McAfee School of Business Administration
Darin W. White
Samford University - Brock School of Business
March, 11 2012
Leadership, Forthcoming 2012
This paper examines followers’ conceptualizations of the ideal business department leader within private universities. Using an internet survey of 273 faculty members and 31 department leaders from 59 private, non-ivy league universities, this paper examines how faculty members and department leaders conceptualize the ideal leader in terms of abilities and traits, and investigates the measures by which they define departmental success. A principal components analysis is utilized to identify the underlying cognitive framework of these abilities, traits, and success measures from both the faculty member and department leader perspective. The results indicate that faculty members desire equity rather than personalized treatment, and the measures by which business faculty and administrators define departmental success reflect the best interests of the institution in which they are employed. Implications of these findings and directions for future research are discussed.
Keywords: Leadership, Academic Leadership, Followership, Implicit Leadership Theory, Leadership Education
Date posted: March 12, 2012
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