Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Patrick M. Jenlink

Second Advisor

Dr. Charles Hodge

Third Advisor

Dr. Marjorie Viehl


The focus of this study was an examination of the relationship between academic deans and department chairpersons with respect to leadership practices and job satisfaction. In particular, the purpose was to study the impact of academic deans' leadership practices on the job satisfaction of department chairpersons.

The study involved a random sample of 300 academic deans and 300 department chairpersons from colleges and universities in four upper Midwest states. Testing of seven null hypotheses was based on the responses of 170 deans (57%) and 140 chairpersons (47% ). The instruments used were the Leadership Practices Inventory (Kouzes & Posner, 1987), the Job Descriptive Index (Smith et al., 1987; Smith, Kendall, & Hulin, 1969), and a researcher-developed demographic data form. Statistical analysis was carried out with Pearson product-moment correlations, appropriate t tests, and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). Demographic data were compiled.

Both academic deans and department chairpersons were found to be primarily middle-aged males who have been in their present positions less than 8 years. Of the seven null hypotheses tested, two were found to be significant at the .05 level. The conclusions drawn from the two rejected hypotheses were:

1. Academic deans consistently saw themselves engaging in the leadership practices under study more frequently than did the department chairpersons. The mean scores of the deans and chairpersons were significant at the .001 level.

2. In general, the academic deans were more satisfied than department chairpersons in their current positions. Most significant differences were in the categories of work on present job, pay, and job in general.

No significant difference was found between the leadership practices of the academic deans and the job satisfaction of the department chairpersons.

In comparison to national norm groups, the academic deans engaged in the measured leadership practices significantly more frequently than did the norm group. Department chairpersons engaged in the same leadership practices less frequently than the norm group. In general, deans and chairpersons were less satisfied with their jobs than a norm group with 17 or more years of education.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access