Electronic Thesis/Dissertation

 

A Study of Birnbaum's Theory of the Relationship Between the Constructs of Leadership and Organization as Depicted in His Higher Education Models of Organizational Functioning: A Contextual Leadership Paradigm for Higher Education Open Access

Downloadable Content

Download PDF

Abstract of the Dissertation A Study of Birnbaum's Theory of the Relationship Between the Constructs of Leadership and Organization as Depicted in His Higher Education Models of Organizational Functioning: A Contextual Leadership Paradigm for Higher Education This quantitative, nonexperimental study used survey research design and nonparametric statistics to investigate Birnbaum's (1988) theory that there is a relationship between the constructs of leadership and organization, as depicted in his five higher education models of organizational functioning: bureaucratic, collegial, political, anarchical, and cybernetic (an integration of two or more models). Four of Birnbaum's models (bureaucratic, collegial, political, and anarchical) can exist alone or simultaneously in the same organization, although their presence may vary at any given time. The cybernetic model (an integration of two or more of the four models) represents a loosely coupled, open system. Birnbaum's theory of models of organizational functioning integrates organization theory with a cognitive and systems approach to leadership. A research instrument was developed to gather data to test Birnbaum's theory, as no empirical evidence existed to confirm or reject his theory. The Models of Leadership and Organization survey was used for the purpose of this study to gather faculty perceptions of the model of leadership of deans and the model of organization of the educational unit led. The conceptual framework used, as a lens to view leadership within the context of the characteristics of the higher education organization, is the contextual leadership paradigm, not commonly used to study college and university leadership. Study findings contribute to the body of knowledge of higher education leadership through confirmation of the existence of Birnbaum's cybernetic model of leadership and organization (an integration of two or more models of leadership or organization). Findings revealed that the majority of respondents perceived the model of leadership of a dean as cybernetic (an integration of two or more models of leadership). The majority of respondents also perceived the model of organization of the educational unit led by a dean as cybernetic (an integration of two or more models of organization). Of the total number of respondents who perceived the cybernetic model of organization, the majority also perceived the cybernetic model of leadership when describing the leadership behavior of a dean. Results of the chi-square test of independence revealed a significant relationship between cybernetic models of leadership and cybernetic models of organization. The finding that the majority of respondents perceived the cybernetic model of leadership when describing a dean and the cybernetic model of organization when describing the educational unit led answers the primary research question of this study: Is there a relationship between faculty perceptions of the model of leadership of deans and the model of organization of the educational unit led, as theorized by Birnbaum? Findings support Birnbaum's conjecture that no single model of leadership or organization can adequately describe the complexity of college and university leadership and the higher education organization.

Author Language Keyword Date created Type of Work Rights statement GW Unit Degree Advisor Committee Member(s) Persistent URL
License

Relationships

Items