Document Type



Doctor of Education


Adult & Higher Education

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Patricia G. Boyer, Ph.D.


Dr. Sheilah Clark Ekong

Dr. Dwyane Smith

Dr. Shawn Woodhouse


ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to examine the self-reported leadership styles of female Senior Student Affairs Officers at public and private 4-year institutions. This study sought to determine if (a) there is a dominant leadership frame usage among female SSAO’s, (b) determine if leadership style varies significantly among females with less than 5 years of experience in the profession as compared to those with 5 or more years of experience in the profession and (c) identify whether multi-frame leadership style usage differs between female SSAOs at public and private 4-year institutions. This study employed a cross-sectional research design through the use of a structured response survey, Bolman and Deal’s Leadership Orientation Survey (LOS). The LOS assists individuals in determining the degree to which they utilize each of the four leadership frames. The sample consisted of 347 SSAOs who responded to the Leadership Orientation – Self survey. The findings revealed that leadership frame usage among SSAOs at public and private 4-year institutions had similar response patterns with human resources being the primary frame identified. Findings of this study demonstrating a preference for a human resources approach by the SSAOs is consistent with prior research conducted using Bolman and Deal’s leadership frames. The respondents also scored similarly on the four leadership frames indicating no statistical multi-frame leadership dominance. This finding was in contradiction to previous research which utilized Bolman and Deal’s frame theory. Finally, SSAOs scored similarly on the LOS regardless of the number of years of experience in the profession.

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