The role of the chief academic officer: Leadership frame alignment within the office of the CAO in the Massachusetts Community College System

by Greenwood, Michael T., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2008, 116 pages; 3315229


The purpose of this study was to examine the alignment of leadership frames within the office of the chief academic officer (CAO) within the Massachusetts Community College System. Two instruments were used to collect data from CAOs, deans, and faculty chairs. The first was Bolman and Deal's (1990) Leadership Orientations Instrument, which collected chairs' and deans' views of their CAOs' leadership frames and also was used to assess the chairs', deans', and CAOs' views of their own leadership frames. The second instrument was a researcher-created demographic questionnaire. Analysis that was based on Bolman and Deal's (1990) “Self” instrument showed that the CAOs' “Self” description of leadership frame use did differ from the deans' “Self” description on the human resource frame, but this was the only difference that reached significance. Bolman and Deal's (1990) “Other” instrument was used by the deans and chairs to describe their view of their CAOs' leadership frame use. The analysis revealed that the deans' and chairs' descriptions of CAOs' leadership frame use differed significantly from the CAOs' description of their own leadership frame use. On this basis there were significant differences on two of the four frames: CAOs differed significantly from the deans on the structural frame, whereas the deans differed significantly from the chairs on the symbolic frame on the basis of how chairs and deans viewed their CAO fame use. This study also confirmed that academic division, years in higher education and years in roll have no significant influence on an individual's leadership frame use. This study recommends that CAOs should examine the appropriate use of leadership frames and also consider the bias for a human resource frame use by CAOs revealed in this study and the subsequent potential for misalignment with deans.

AdviserJay Avella
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsCommunity college education; Management; Educational administration
Publication Number3315229

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