In the Eye of the Beholder: A Configurational Analysis of Followers’ Conceptualizations of the Ideal Academic Department Leader at Private Universities

Leadership, Forthcoming 2012

Posted: 12 Mar 2012  

Jack Smothers

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

Date Written: March, 11 2012

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Smothers, Jack and Absher, Keith R. and White, Darin W., In the Eye of the Beholder: A Configurational Analysis of Followers’ Conceptualizations of the Ideal Academic Department Leader at Private Universities (March, 11 2012). Leadership, Forthcoming 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2020106

Jack Smothers

University of Southern Indiana ( email )

8600 University Boulevard
Evansville, IN 47712
United States
812-465-1012 (Phone)

University of Mississippi ( email )

Oxford, MS 38677
United States

Keith R. Absher

Union University - McAfee School of Business Administration ( email )

1050 Union University Dr.
Jackson, TN 38305
United States

Darin W. White (Contact Author)

Samford University - Brock School of Business ( email )

800 Lakeshore Drive
Birmingham, AL 35229
United States
205-726-4477 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.samford.edu/business

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