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Framing the Role of Leader: How Community College Presidents Construct Their Leadership
Community College Journal of Research and Practice
  • Pamela L Eddy, College of William & Mary
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Presidents are one of the most studied of administrative roles, yet little research occurs on understanding how these leaders construct their own leadership. Thus, the question guiding the research reported here concerned how community college presidents cognitively framed their leadership roles. This study involved the interviewing of 9 community college presidents. Findings uncovered 3 themes. The first theme identified how the presidents' underlying mental maps guided decision-making and leadership on campus. The second theme linked the basic cognitive orientation of the presidents with on-going situated cognition in their new work settings. Learning evolved based on environmental factors. The final category highlighted the dynamic and changing nature of the presidents' leadership role. The findings from the research reported underscore that college presidents are constantly learning and adjusting their conceptions of leadership. The foundation of this learning journey was each president's core schema and how the schema influenced the processing of new incoming information, ultimately impacting how the leaders made sense of it. While the college presidents were predisposed to a particular way of processing information and operating within an organization, they learned from their changing contexts.


Citation Information
Pamela L Eddy. "Framing the Role of Leader: How Community College Presidents Construct Their Leadership" Community College Journal of Research and Practice Vol. 29 Iss. 9-10 (2005) p. 705 - 727
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