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Title:Transformational leadership in the small Christian college
Author(s):Faughn, Shirley J.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Fley, Jo Ann
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Administration
Education, Religious
Education, Higher
Abstract:The purpose of this study was to develop a more qualitative understanding of transformational leadership by observing the activities of those fulfilling leadership responsibilities. Research in the past on transformational leadership has relied primarily on quantitative methods which solicit the perceptions of subjects as they imagined an "ideal" leader. This study, however, represents an effort to advance our understanding of transformational leadership by exploring, through more qualitative field methods, the nature of situated transformational leader behavior and its phenomenology.
Much of the behavioral data was collected in direct observation of an identified transformational leader, President Frank Brock of Covenant College. Limited observations of four other Christian college presidents served to confirm identifiable transformational behaviors among these leaders. Four clusters of identified behaviors were discovered. They included: attending to mission and vision; attending to symbols; attending to people; and, attending to change.
It became clear early on that how transformational leaders are perceived is as important or more important than what they actually do. Therefore, the perceptions followers held of the leaders in this study were gathered through extensive interviews. Three predominant attributions were made of these transformational leaders. First, they were perceived as embodying the essential values, and as singularly able to address the salient needs of their organizations. Second, they were imputed to be visionaries. Third, they were perceived to be agents of change in their institutions.
The implications of this study seem threefold. First, for the practitioner or leader who seeks to be transformational, this study suggests that they must attend to mission, vision, symbols, people, and change. Their activities must be consciously directed at shaping, framing, enabling, and modeling the essential values of the institution. Second, a fundamental implication is that context is salient and must be given more consideration in the study of leadership. Last, the use of multiple methods afford perspectives into transformational leadership not fully provided by previous, more quantitatively driven research.
Issue Date:1991
Rights Information:Copyright 1991 Faughn, Shirley J.
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9136590
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9136590

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