What transformational leadership characteristics did six African American female educational leaders possess?
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Help new window. Print Copy link 1 of 1 documents. Uplift: An examination of six African American female educational leaders during the Reconstruction, Segregation and Equal Opportunity eras. We hope to see you at our next celebration. The deadline for applications has passed. Check back later this year for applications.
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Together, we can make a difference and foster a permanent legacy. In the early 's a group of women got together to discuss how they could teach others about the importance of philanthropy and the impact of collaborating with like-minded women. Those engaging in the conversation enjoyed bouncing ideas off of each other and wanted to create a community where women could spark change in the lives of others. Because of this, WPLC was born! Today we have expanded to be an organization supporting faculty and students. Here, then, are the practical questions I needed toaddress and the answers I developed for them.
Studying leadership is not an easy thing to do. It is usually recorded and interpreted withthe 20—20 vision of hindsight and is often inferred from a combination of observedevents, behaviors, and feelings that are reported through the biased perceptions andsometimes distorted memories of interested and biased parties. Leadership as aconcept is therefore unlikely to be value free; it is dependent upon individual orcollective perceptions and beliefs. This makes leadership an extremely challengingsubject to research as it is prone to contamination as much through the perceptualframeworks of researchers as through those of their subjects Middlehurst, , p.
Leadership scholarship is further challenged because it is not limited to the interestof any one academic discipline. Educators like my colleagues and mebut also sociologists, psychologists, historians, political scientists, military personnel,the government, businesspersons, leaders themselves, and many others havecontributed to the enormous body of scholarly work about leadership.
The diversedisciplinary conceptual lenses that have been brought to bear on the subject nodoubt add a richness, texture, and depth that probably would not be possible ifleadership were studied strictly within one academic discipline. However, theextremely varied interests, education, and backgrounds of leadership scholars fromso many academic disciplines and experiences also bring a complexity and incon-sistency to the task of decoding and analyzing leadership.
Different scholars focuson different aspects of leadership according to their personal interests; these areoften inconsistent.
As Zaccaro and Klimoski pointedout, the various parts of the empirical and conceptual leadership literature still appearto be disconnected and directionless. Yukl agreed, suggesting that what is akey concept in one leadership taxonomy may be completely missing from another. How to study leadership is another huge area of debate. The dominant methodfor studying leadership has been and remains to be quantitative research Hamlin, However, there are inadequacies in using quantitative methods to studyleadership because they tend to be too narrow and result in behavioral descriptionsthat are in need of generalization Hamlin.
Edwards counted approximately 40 theories of leadership. They assume that individualsin a given organization or even in society more broadly share a common experienceand understanding of leadership. Yet, people hold very different understandings ofleaders and leadership.
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Employees even within a single institution may hold a rangeof ideas about what it is to be a leader Bennis, Furthermore, accordingto Avery, the very ideas of leadership vary depending upon the research methodsand the level of the organization to which they are applied. My review of literatureenabled me to conclude that many of the theories and models of leadership fail toprovide a satisfactory explanation of leadership and therefore, could not serve asthe model for my work, a conclusion that is consistent with several scholars. Forexample, Gill suggested that a huge problem in applying any theory of leadership isthat leadership theories are biased.
Many are based on limited, even biased, research: the answers one getsdepends upon which question one asks. Wright charged that the variety of different theoretical frameworks constitutesa relatively fragmented and disparate body of knowledge, and this reduces theirvalue. Many leadership theories also proved to be inadequate for my research studybecause each appears to be a product of its own particular economic and socialcontext.
Some of the more recent modelsof leadership attempt to integrate several dimensions of leadership Gill, Nonetheless, no single theory ofleadership proved to be complete or universally accepted. This post-industrial theoretical framework was especially appropriate for my studyof leadership because my work was sited at an institution of higher learning. Collegesand universities exist for one reason — to improve the quality of lives. This study examinedthe use of interpersonal forgiveness in the leadership practices of women leaders inhigher education, focusing on six women with senior level administrative positionsin a large public university.
The selection criteria used in that study were A minimum of 20 years of experience in higher education2. Supervisory experience 7. A history of extensive committee work4. High visibility as leaders within the institution, and5. High level of professionalism and administrative contributions to the universitycommunity.
However, my literature review suggestedto me that there is also a great need for more leadership scholarship particularlyin higher education. I was greatly impressed by her use of celebrated psychologist AbrahamMaslow as a fascinating case study in midlife higher education leadership. Maslow had come to Brandeis University from Brooklyn College in to assume a leadership role as chair of the psychology department.
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In his early 50s, Maslowwrote how he found himself to be surprisingly unhappy with his work, especiallyhis chairmanship duties in the psychology department. The most weighty of his responsibilities and midlife problemsremained his chairmanship of the psychology department.
Ultimately, Maslowleft his leadership role at Brandeis to take the directorship of a research project inCalifornia. Yet it would seem possible for an institution of highereducation to work with deans or chairs to help them move to a level of work that wouldplease both sides.
They may also seek leadership positions in order to realize their generativitymotivation. Adds Mills, higher education institutions shouldwork to develop an awareness of the typical need to change on the part of leadersentering the second half of life. My literature review suggested that psychosocially healthy midlife women aregenerative, but that only some are generative through their careers. For example,Stewart and Ostrove examined several key features of adult development,including generativity, in the cohort of American women born during the babyboom.
The authors focused on women in this group and compared their experienceswith older cohorts and research on men.