A study of community college leadership practices in response to the impending leadership crisis

by Corbett, Jane, Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2012, 160 pages; 3498079


The literature attests to a leadership crisis that is predicted to impact leadership pipelines in just about every industry imaginable, including community colleges. This impending crisis is thought to be a result of baby boomer retirements plus the lack of next generation workers equipped with the skills to replace them. Community colleges are facing unprecedented challenges and have had to adapt to keep up with the changing times. The past, once steeped heavily in bureaucratic traditions, has now paved the way for a new generation of leaders, ones that are attuned to adversity and can envision new directions and growth while maintaining institutional integrity and intrinsic values. This type of leader is known as the transformational leader and it may provide the framework for helping community college leaders cultivate and maintain the integrity of their leadership pipelines for a sustainable future.

The purpose of this study was to assess current leadership developmental practices with respect to identifying and developing prospective leaders, and to assess the feasibility of implementing a talent management strategy to ensure the continuity and cultivation of the leadership pipeline. The population chosen for this study included the presidents of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. It is their perceptions that form the basis of this study. The research design was qualitative in nature and participants were interviewed by phone or they could email their responses. Themes were identified that may hold situational value for other community colleges that may be facing similar situations.

While community college leaders have been alerted about this potential leadership crisis, some are slow to act. Further, they believe they have strategies in place that help develop potential leaders but are lacking in implementing a more formalized talent management strategy that encompasses a holistic approach to identifying, developing, and retaining a skilled workforce. Talent management strategies are seen as a proactive approach to cultivating the leadership pipeline. Community college leaders may leave their colleges vulnerable if they choose to ignore or postpone taking active measures to prevent the dilution of their leadership pipelines.

AdviserMartin Lees
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsCommunity college education; Higher education administration; Management
Publication Number3498079

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