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Transformational leadership qualities in distance education leaders during organizational change in the Virginia Community College System

Karen Cowart Newtzie, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

This mixed method study used a combination of survey research, interviews, and focus groups to investigate the degree transformational leadership qualities existed among mid-management level distance education leaders in the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) during a time of systemic change. Between 1997–2001, a system-wide innovation of distance education was adopted by the 23 colleges in the VCCS. ^ Research participants were distance education faculty and leaders in the Virginia Community College System. The Multifactor College Leadership Questionnaire (MCLQ-III) was used with permission to identify transformational leadership qualities in distance education leaders. Web-based surveys were e-mailed to 546 distance education faculty members and distance education leaders in the 23 institutions. Dependent variables of distance education student enrollment, institutional size, and location of college were used to determine possible differences in transformational leadership qualities in distance education leaders. No significant differences were found when testing for those variables. ^ Interviews with distance education leaders focused on decreasing faculty resistance to change, and their roles when integrating distance education into their colleges. Focus groups, composed of distance education faculty members from various colleges in the VCCS, identified (a) leadership behaviors and qualities associated with successes in distance education, and (b) common themes of leadership for success in a distance learning initiative. Qualitative findings generally supported survey responses on the existence of transformational leadership qualities in distance education leaders during organizational change. ^ Leader-follower congruence, a state of similarity or agreement between leaders and followers, was examined quantitatively and qualitatively. In this study, transformational leadership qualities were identified among selected distance education leaders in the VCCS during a time of systemic change. However, findings were inconclusive concerning the relationship between transformational leadership qualities and institutionalization of change to distance education throughout colleges in the VCCS. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration

Recommended Citation

Newtzie, Karen Cowart, "Transformational leadership qualities in distance education leaders during organizational change in the Virginia Community College System" (2002). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3059959.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3059959

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