PERCEPTIONS AND DEVELOPMENT OF POLITICAL LEADERSHIP SKILLS OF WOMEN IN ACADEMIC MEDICINE: A STUDY OF SELECTED WOMEN ALUMNAE OF THE HEDWIG VAN AMERINGEN EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP IN ACADEMIC MEDICINE® (ELAM) PROGRAM Open Access
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Abstract of Dissertation Perceptions and Development of Political Leadership Skills of Women in Academic Medicine: A Study of Selected Women Alumnae of The Hedwig Van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM) ProgramDespite women having much to offer in the field of academic medicine, women may not be sufficiently attuned to developing their political leadership skills, which are crucial for successful leadership (Ferris, Frink, & Galang, 1993; Ferris & Perrewe, 2010). The study's purpose was to examine how 14 women in academic medicine perceived their development of political leadership skills following their participation in the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM) Program for Women. The purpose was addressed by analyzing interview transcripts from ELAM alumnae, using a qualitative, exploratory, case study research design based on a constructivist perspective. The problem of research addressed by this study was that if women are to increase their leadership contribution in academic medicine, they will need to improve in the various skills of leadership, including political leadership; yet, there are few empirical studies that have looked at the development of political leadership in general, and no studies that have used the Bolman and Deal (1984, 1991, 1997, 2003) political leadership frame as a tool to focus on how women in academic medicine make meaning and develop their political leadership skills. The study used the Bolman and Deal political frame as an analytical framework and Belenky, Clinchy, Goldberger, & Tarule's (1986 & 1997), Women's Ways of Knowing (WWK) as an interpretive lens.There were three primary findings. One, the most frequently referenced themes were building coalitions: within the participant's organization and with allies and colleagues outside their institutions; handling power: being in command and control and asserting influence and authority; and managing conflict: work related and work/family balance conflict. Two, there was greater engagement with each theme in Tier Three interviews over Tier One interviews in the order of bargaining and negotiations, building coalitions, scarce resources, managing conflict, and handling power. With interpretation through WWK, the women were found to be advanced in their relationship to political leadership and their construction of knowledge in this framework. These findings have implications for training and preparation of women for political leadership.