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A theory of transition from faculty to chair in occupational therapy: A grounded theory study

Brenda Marie Coppard, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Although there are approximately 80,000 academic department chairpersons in higher educational institutions in the United States, many persons often accept the position without any formal education in leadership, management or educational training (Dudek-Shriber, 1997). The transition from the role of faculty-to-chair is often abrupt (Bennett, 1983; Seedorf, 1991) and not well understood. The purpose of this grounded theory study was to generate a theory of the transition of occupational therapy (O.T.) faculty members becoming department chairpersons at four-year higher educational institutions. Four female, first-time chairpersons were interviewed. Data collection included interview transcripts, curriculum vitas, and statements of administrative philosophy. Analysis followed grounded theory procedures and included open and axial coding. The theory that emerged from the data was the model of transitional alignment. The model consists of four components including (a) internal factors, (b) external factors, (c) context, and (d) resources. The results of the study enhance knowledge about the transition from faculty-to-chair in occupational therapy departments. The findings have implications that relate primarily to the development, recruitment, and support of occupational therapy academic O.T. chairpersons. ^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Rehabilitation and Therapy|Education, Administration|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Coppard, Brenda Marie, "A theory of transition from faculty to chair in occupational therapy: A grounded theory study" (2000). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI9991983.