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A two-site case study: Interim president perceptions and leadership

Cheryl Ann Roeber-Waddington, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

The purpose of this two-site case study was to explore and understand the perceptions of interim presidents. The focus of this case study included how two interim presidents defined their leadership roles and how they built relationships, initiated change, and assimilated information. Also discussed were how these two interim presidents handled difficulties and what insights were provided as advice for others pursuing appointments as interim presidents during this transitional period. ^ The transitional settings for this study were two mid-western state colleges. Both institutions experienced a change in presidential leaders during the fall of 1998. A naturalistic qualitative research methodology was followed (Merriam, 1988). To provide a holistic perspective of the interim presidents' experiences, information was analyzed using a coding and theme analysis. Themes that emerged in the inquiry were framed as chapters and sub-chapters. The themes include: (a) styles of leadership interim presidents employed in order to keep the organization moving; (b) types of relationships, expectations, and demands placed on the interim presidents; (c) challenges and difficulties interim presidents encountered during their appointments; (d) perceptions of how interim presidents perceived their roles, and (e) insights gained and advice offered by interim presidents toward everyday experiences of their diverse, challenging, and demanding roles. ^ Conclusions, implications, and an agenda for future research were also included in the final chapter. Some conclusions stated were as follows: (a) an interim president must be able to exhibit leadership behavior; (b) the interim president's role is changing; (c) pressures and demands on an interim president are diverse; (d) the expectation from the interim president is for immediate action and decision-making; (e) the injustice of the urgent may ironically prevent the interim president from accomplishing those things that are essential, such as building relationships and working with people; and (f) issues and challenges an interim president will encounter are unpredictable. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Roeber-Waddington, Cheryl Ann, "A two-site case study: Interim president perceptions and leadership" (2001). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI9992013.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI9992013

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