leadership, frame analysis, community college presidents and direct reports, teams


Presidents of Community Colleges and the administrators who reported directly to them were the subjects for this study based on the Four Frame Leadership Theory of Bolman and Deal (1990b). The Leadership Orientation (Self) Survey (LOS) was mailed to 169 community college presidents and administrators in the presidents' direct report teams. The final usable response rate of 69.82% to the survey fell within the acceptable range for education as defined by Boser and Green (1997). In addition, the subjects were asked to write about the most difficult challenge they had faced in their current position and how they handled that challenge. The purpose of this study was to determine (a) the usage of leadership frames from both groups; presidents and their administrative teams, (b) if gender or years of experience in their current positions were factors in leadership frame usage in each group, and (c) if there was a relationship between a president's frame usage and the frame usage of the members of the direct report team. The major findings were: 1. The presidents and administrators displayed the highest mean scores for the human resource frame with the mean scores of the three remaining frames (structural, political, and symbolic) clustering as a second unit of responses. In the narrative segment of the survey, the most frequently rated central theme among the presidents and the direct reports was the political frame. 2. The results from statistical analysis of the responses from both groups (presidents and the administrators who directly reported to them) did not show any statistically significant difference among frame use based on gender or number of years of experience in their positions. 3. The correlation coefficients did not indicate that there was a relationship in either direction regarding leadership style between the two groups (presidents and administrators). A phenomenological analysis of the scenario statements from these two groups indicated that presidents who used the political frame as a central theme tended to have administrators who also used the political frame as one or as a pair of central themes. Presidents who used the symbolic frame as a central theme tended to have administrators who used all four frames as central themes in their narratives. 4. A fourth finding was the discrepancy in the ability of the leaders to use multiple frames as demonstrated in the results from the quantitative and qualitative findings. The quantitative data suggested that these leaders were practicing the techniques of multi-framing more than one-half of the time. Contrary to this finding, the qualitative data showed that 5 of 30 scenario statements showed paired frames being used as central frames. 5. One additional finding based on the qualitative statements by presidents and their administrators revealed much thought and intentional practice in the leaders' ability to build teams.


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Graduation Date



Taylor, Rosemarye


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education


Educational Research, Technology, and Leadership

Degree Program

Educational Leadership








Release Date

September 2008

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)