Leadership Skills in Management Education
Kalargyrou, Valentini, Pescosolido, Anthony T., Kalargiros, Emmanuel A., Academy of Educational Leadership Journal
Leaders in management education face diverse challenges in today's competitive and changing environment. However, educational administrators are often faculty members with little direct leadership experience, formal preparation, or skill development. Since leadership skills are abilities that can be developed, formal training should take place before these individuals enter leadership roles.
This study examines the required skills that lead to effective leadership in hospitality management higher education from the perspective of faculty and academic administrators using Mumford, Campion and Morgeson's (2007) strataplex model of leader behaviors as a framework. Both faculty and administrators ranked business skills as the most important skills for leadership; this was followed by cognitive skills, interpersonal skills, personal values, and strategic skills. Specifically, they unanimously ranked communication as the most important individual leadership skill and indicated that the method of communication depends on the audience and the content of the message. Ethics and fairness were prevalent personal values, as well as recognition that leadership should be able to understand faculty's interpretation of fairness.
Leaders in management education face diverse challenges in today's competitive and changing environment. Evolving demands from superiors, financial challenges, faculty, and students create a turbulent environment in which administrators must thrive. One of the keys to being an effective leader in this situation is the application of the necessary leadership skills. However, leaders in educational institutions are generally faculty members that do not have formal leadership experience; as such, their formal preparation and skill development are practically non-existent, and consist mainly of on-the-job training. Since leadership skills are abilities that can be developed, formal training should be in place before the entrusting of administrative duties. The purpose of this study is to examine the required skills that make effective leaders in managerial higher education.
Leadership has often been thought of as based upon inborn personality traits, abilities, or gifts (e.g., Kenny & Zaccaro, 1983; Lord, Devader, & Alliger, 1986; Weber, 1947). However, in the middle part of the twentieth century leadership scholars began conceiving of leadership as being bound to the particular social context in which it occurs, thus leading to theories of leadership as being based in individual behavior (e.g., Blake & Mouton, 1978; Fleishman, 1953). From the idea of leadership as a set of behaviors performed by the individual, it was only a small step to begin thinking of leadership as a definable set of skills that can be learned and developed (Connelly, Gilbert, Zaccaro, Threlfall, Marks, & Mumford, 2000; Katz, 1974; Mumford, Zaccaro, Harding, Jacobs, & Fleishman, 2000). Therefore, in this study, we examine leadership in an educational setting using Mumford, Campion, & Morgeson's (2007) taxonomy which describes leadership skills using four distinct categories of cognitive, interpersonal, business, & strategic skills.
This paper examines the expectations of leadership constituents in a hospitality management education setting: the faculty (the followers of these leaders), and the administrators within the larger university setting. We draw upon email surveys that are analyzed as a whole sample as well as within and between the two different sub-samples (faculty and administrators). Our findings show that there is a perceived hierarchy of skills for leaders within the context of management education, which suggests implications for both leadership theory and for the practice of leadership development.
Leadership skills in an education setting
Historically leadership research has utilized a variety of guiding frameworks, balancing between enduring, person-specific traits on the one hand and context-specific behaviors or skills on the other hand. This variety of approaches has been largely complementary (Bass, 1990). However, some have argued that a greater emphasis should be placed on leadership skills (Kanungo and Misra, 1992). These arguments tend to be based upon the ideas that 1) skills are behaviors that can be learned and developed, as opposed to personality traits or intellectual abilities; and 2) focusing on skills ensures that we are examining leadership within a specific context, with the explicit understanding that a required leadership skill in one context may be less relevant in a different context (Mumford, Campion, & Morgeson, 2007).
Leadership skills framework
Since Katz's classic (1955) work detailing the skills of an effective manager as being technical, conceptual, and interpersonal, there have been multiple attempts to categorize the skills or behaviors needed to be an effective manager, administrator, or leader (Boyatzis, 1982; Mintzberg, 1973; Peterson & Van Fleet, 2004). According to Katz, "skill implies an ability which can be developed, not necessarily inborn, and which is manifested in performance, not merely in potential." The important point is that skillfulness is demonstrated by effective action under various circumstances (Katz, 1955, p. 33). Much of the interest in skill-based conceptualizations of leadership appears to be based on the notion that while trait-based theories and measures of leadership describe who leaders are, skill- or behavior-based theories and measures of leadership describe what leaders actually do (Northouse, 2007), and as such may have more pragmatic value to both theorists and practitioners alike.
However, while most organizations appear to operate under the assumption that technical skills are the fundamental need for leaders (Hill, 2003; Rosen et al., 1976; Stumpf &London, 1981), academics studying high performing leaders and managers tend to focus primarily on either the interpersonal skills (Boyatzis, 1982; Sy, Cote, & Saavedra, 2005) or upon the leader's problem-solving or decision-making skills (Connelly, et al, 2000; Mumford, et al., 2000).
The skills-based model of leader performance proposed by Mumford, Zaccaro, Harding, Jacobs, and Fleishman (2000) does not diminish the importance of traits. Within this model, skills are in interaction with traits and experience; however the developed capabilities, referred to as knowledge and skills, have a more direct and immediate impact on leader performance than do traits. Broadly speaking, the model proposes that leader performance is based on three key types of capabilities: (1) creative problem-solving skills, (2) social judgment skills, and (3) knowledge (Mumford, Zaccaro, Connelly, et al., 2000; Mumford, Zaccaro, Harding, et al., 2000). Creative problem solving is important, especially in upper level leadership positions, because leaders are asked to solve novel and ill-defined problems due to the constantly changing organizational environment (Mumford, Zaccaro, Harding, et al, 2000). Leaders must be able to understand and motivate subordinates, influence and persuade their peers, and communicate the vision of the organization. Therefore, it is important to have social judgment skills that can be distinguished in four key social skills, such as perspective taking, social perceptiveness, behavioral flexibility, and social performance (Mumford, Zaccaro, Harding, et al, 2000; Northouse, 2007). Knowledge, the third competency suggested by this model, is defined as both accumulating information and also effectively structuring that information to facilitate effective problem solving and performance. To solve complex, ill-defined problems leaders must be able to quickly use information about the tasks at hand, the organization, and the people they work with (Mumford, Zaccaro, Harding, et al., 2000).
Some of the criticisms of Mumford et al. 's (2000) model are that it has low predictive value, and that it is not a pure skills approach to leadership because it includes traits. Additionally, some have criticized this model as it was constructed based solely upon observations of military personnel, and as such may have limited generalizability (Northouse, 2007).
More recently Mumford, Campion, & Morgeson (2007) identified a stratified approach to identifying leadership skills, which holds the assumption that part of the context of effective leadership is one's level within the organization and therefore that leaders will need to emphasize different sets of skills as they rise through an organization's hierarchy. Their strataplex model (Mumford et al., 2007) further elaborates on earlier typologies by examining leadership in terms of cognitive, interpersonal, business and strategic skills. In their model, "cognitive skills" refer to thinking, conceptual, and communication skills such as gathering and processing information, speaking and listening skills, and adaptability to new environments, information, technologies, etc. The category of "interpersonal skills" is centered on interacting with and influencing people through social awareness and interpersonal understanding. The category of "business skills" is related to specific functional skills for an individual's position, and includes the management of personnel, material, and financial resources in order to successfully accomplish critical business goals. Finally, the category of "strategic skills" is described as high level conceptual skills focused on managing complexity, ambiguity, and change within the organization. Strategic skills are inherently based upon a systems perspective (Zaceare·, 2001), and involve understanding what is required to move the organization through a complex and dynamic environment towards specific goals (Mumford, Zaccaro, Harding, Jacobs, & Fleishman, 2000).
In addition to this four-part determination of leadership skill, Mumford et. al. (2007) also built upon previous work (Jacques, 1978; Mumford, Marks, Connelly, Zaccaro & Reiter-Roni, 2000; Schriesheim, Hunt, Hosking & Stewart, 1984; Zaccaro, 2001) establishing that the skill requirements of leadership interact with level. For example, at junior levels leaders need much higher levels of cognitive skills than strategic skills in order to be effective, whereas at the senior levels the need for strategic and cognitive skills was nearly equal (Mumford et al., 2007).
Leadership in an academic setting
There is a scarcity of research on leadership in higher education. Most leadership research has been conducted in business organizations with a secondary emphasis on the military and on government agencies (Vroom, 1984). This is perhaps partially because university leaders have not been as receptive to studies about what they do (Vroom, 1984) and partially because there are many more non-educational organizations in which to study leadership. Many of the studies that have been conducted on leadership in an educational setting have focused either on classroom teachers as leaders of their students, or have focused on primary school principals as leaders within their school. Relatively few studies have looked at the leaders of institutions of higher education.
Academic leadership is traditionally conceptualized in one of two ways. Some researchers define academic leadership as a series of tasks and functions performed by individuals, such as vice chancellors, deans, and department chairs, within universities (Gmelch & Miskin, 1993; Hecht, Higgerson, Gmelch, & Tucker, 1999; Learning, 1998). Alternatively, the term "academic leadership" is used to describe the characteristics or qualities of particular individuals who are recognized by others as being academic leaders (e.g., Fisher & Koch, 1996; Ramsden, 1998). Consequently, leadership in the academic setting is routinely described as either the function of a particular office, completely independent of the individual holding that office, or it is described as an individual trait and not something that can be emulated, learned, or developed.
Leaders in academic institutions may have a particularly unique set of skills required for effectiveness, as opposed to those in business, military, or government settings. This is partly due to the fact that colleges and universities have unique purposes in society, and any definition of academic leadership should also be deeply concerned with what Duignan and Macpherson (1993) term "value-based leadership [which] ... should be primarily concerned with the generation of knowledge and the promotion of effective teaching and learning" ( p. 10). As such, this type of values-based leadership is focused on goals which may be less tangible than the goals of the more traditionally studied business organization.
Additionally, there is some conflict within the academic community itself about the goals and behaviors on which academic leaders should focus. Murry and Stauffacher (2001) surveyed faculty and administrators from different disciplines within the physical sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities, and their findings demonstrated that depending on the discipline, different skills and behaviors are deemed important for department chairs. Faculty within the physical and social sciences, for example, tended to believe that effective department chairs needed to focus on promoting research and scholarly activity in the department. Whereas faculty in the arts and humanities wanted their department chairs to foster open communication, respect, and mutual trust among faculty and staff (Murry & Stauffacher, 2001). Interestingly enough, neither of these groups associated administrative tasks (e.g., preparing budgets, scheduling teaching assignments, handling faculty evaluations, managing office personnel, etc.) with effective academic leadership. This finding is supportive of the now widely accepted general notion that leadership skills will vary by context, even as slight-seeming a change in context as moving from one academic department to another.
In contrast to these perceptions of what behaviors academic leaders should be focused upon, a 1999 study by Wolverton, Gmelch, Wolverton & Sarros found that academic leaders are required to balance a multitude of diverse tasks, including: 1) resource management (preparing budgets and schedules, managing non-academic staff, etc.), 2) faculty leadership (encouraging research and professional development, maintaining a positive work environment), 3) personal scholarship (continuing one's own publication stream), 4) resource development (training and supervision of graduate students and junior faculty), and 5) faculty development (including recruiting faculty, measuring and monitoring faculty performance, etc.) (Wolverton, et al., 1999). This suggests that the lived experience of academic leaders is quite complex and demanding. This is bolstered by Bowman's (2002) comment that academic leaders require "a diverse set of leadership capabilities: well-honored communication skills [such as listening deeply to colleagues and students with empathy and curiosity], problem-solving skills, conflict-resolution skills, cultural-management skills, coaching skills, and transition-management skills" (p. 161).
Bryman (2007) further elaborated on this "diverse set of leadership capabilities" required by leaders within academic institutions through a comprehensive meta-analysis of the academic leadership literature. This meta-analysis revealed 13 different forms of leadership behavior associated with academic unit effectiveness, ranging from strategic skills such as creating a vision, making reputation-enhancing appointments, and advancing the unit's academic standing, to interpersonal skills such as consideration, trust, and treating staff fairly.
Additionally, academic leadership is complicated by the structure and nature of academic institutions. Individuals often rise to leadership positions within academic institutions without the advantage of leadership training, and often without a clear understanding of the new demands of the role compared to their previous role (Gmelch & Seedorf, 1989). These leaders are often asked to lead both their peers and their seniors within the institution. Additionally, academic leaders are often unable to exercise the traditional transactional ("carrot and stick") approaches to influencing others, as academic reward systems follow their own circuitous processes and the tenure system greatly reduces the ability of academic leaders to use coercive power.
Consequently, this study describes an effort to better understand the required skills that lead to effective leadership in management higher education from the perspective of hospitality management faculty and administrators.
Population and Sample
This study is a part of a larger study that examined leadership in hospitality management education and was interested in a purposive sample (Kalargyrou & Woods, 2011; Kalargyrou and Woods, 2012). Therefore, intentional sampling of a specific group of individuals was used in order to best inform the researchers about the research problem under examination (Creswell, 2007). In this study, the sample consisted of both administrators and faculty of hospitality management education programs, since they are the stakeholders and evaluators of leadership effectiveness (Gay, Mills, & Airasian, 2006). The researchers were interested in identifying the required skills in academic leadership positions.
Purposive criterion maximum variation sampling was used where even a small sample of great diversity yields significant findings (Merriam, 1998). The selected cases were based on two criteria, the position of the participants, i.e., active faculty and administrators in hospitality management higher education, and the place of their employment, i.e., working for higher educational institutions located in the United States (Merriam, 1998; Miles & Huberman, 1994). In an effort to select representative cases that showed different perspectives of the problem and captured the diversity of educators, the initial sample consisted of all 236 individuals registered as educators in baccalaureate and/or graduate degree programs within the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education (I-CHRIE).
After the data from the email questionnaire were analyzed, the researchers conducted a focus group to validate the findings. The population of the focus group included participants from the initial study because of their familiarity with the study and its purpose.
A pilot study was conducted with eight experts - four faculty and four administrators - from a four-year hotel administration baccalaureate program in a university located in a major metropolitan area. The final questionnaire included structured demographic questions, as well as semi-structured, open-ended questions about required skills that leaders such as deans and department chairs, in hospitality management education must have in order to be effective.
The decision was made to distribute the initial survey using email rather than a more anonymous method, for example Survey Monkey or some other survey tool. This decision was reached for two reasons. First is that the usual reason for adopting an anonymous survey technique is the assumption that anonymity will lead to increased honesty or authenticity on the part of the respondent. In this case, while respondents were identifiable to the primary researcher, the content of the survey itself (beliefs regarding what leads to leadership effectiveness in an academic setting) and the fact that the primary researcher did not have a relationship with respondents (other than the brief email exchange introducing the survey) led us to believe that respondents would not engage in self-censorship in their responses to the survey. The second and perhaps more important reason for administering the survey via email as opposed to a more traditional survey tool is that in this study, the open ended survey simply served as the initial round of data collection, and consequently was a background to the focus group interviews which followed. Consequently, it was of critical importance that the primary researcher had the ability to go back to the survey respondents in order to ask for clarification of their initial responses and to minimize the likelihood of misunderstanding the content of the questionnaire. This would not have been possible if using a more anonymous method of distributing the initial survey.
The examination of the email responses included the analysis of the demographic profile of the participants and a multiple case study that incorporated the within-case analysis (analysis on the individual level), and the cross-case analysis (analysis comparing the two main groups, faculty and administrators). The within-case study involved the analysis of data within the case, providing a description of each case and themes within it (Creswell, 2007). It was imperative to understand the differences of opinions between those two groups in order to evaluate their points of antithesis and agreement.
ATLAS .ti, a qualitative analysis software package, was used to assist the researchers with coding and comparison of segments of information, and the organization of codes hierarchically, so that smaller codes/categories were placed under larger units, such as themes. Both quantitative and qualitative content analyses were performed. Qualitative content analysis, analyzed text with text (e.g., themes/codes) and quantitative reported the frequencies with which a given concept appeared in the text, suggesting the magnitude of a specific concept (Berg, 2001).
The study applied a combination of a priori and emergent coding. The a priori codes were based on the taxonomy of the leadership skills strataplex (Mumford, Campion, & Morgeson, 2007). Emergent codes that appeared during the analysis of data were also employed in an attempt to not limit the analysis to pre-figured codes (Creswell, 2007).
This approach was abductive - a combination of deductive and inductive analysis. Specifically, the abductive research started deductively with an existing categorical scheme: the leadership skills strataplex. Since the data did not entirely fit these categories the researchers developed categories inductively, such as personal values and general/leadership skills, which were grounded in the data, in an attempt to best fit the data (Berg, 2001). The objective was the development of existing theory, rather than its confirmation (Dubois & Gadde, 2002).
According to the leadership skills strataplex taxonomy, the first category, cognitive skills, referred to skills relating to basic thinking, conceptual, and communication capabilities such as collecting, processing, or disseminating information. These included both oral and written communication skills (e.g., speaking, active listening, and writing comprehension), as well as other cognitive skills such as the ability to learn and adapt (Mumford et al., 2007).
The next category, interpersonal and social skills, related to influencing and interacting with others. This category focused on social perceptiveness, which is awareness of others' reactions and understanding of the reasons they react the way they do. Interpersonal skills were used interchangeably with social skills, people skills, and human skills (Mumford et al., 2007).
The third category, business skills, were skills related to particular functional areas that create the context in which mainly leaders work. Business skills included: (1) management of personnel resources where leaders identify, motivate, promote, and develop individuals in their work; (2) management of material resources where leaders manage equipment, facilities and materials needed to do certain work (e.g., technology), and develop the promotion and sales of the educational product of their institutions; (3) management of financial resources, where leaders determine how money will be spent to get the work done, such as budgeting, accounting, and fundraising (Mumford et al., 2007).
Strategic skills, the fourth skill category from Mumford and colleagues (2007) are highly conceptual skills needed by leaders to deal with change, to understand the complexity of their organization and environment, and to influence their business. They include financial planning, visioning, and systems perceptions that determine when essential changes in the system occurred or were likely to occur (Mumford et al., 2007).
During the analysis of data a fifth category, personal values, was added to the four categories described in the leadership skills strataplex model (Mumford et al., 2007). Values have been defined as abstract beliefs about behaviors or end-states of existence that transcend specific situations and guide the selection or evaluation of behavior and events (Schwartz & Bilsky, 1987, p. 551). Rokeach (1973) argued that values can be learned, and once they are learned they are hierarchically ordered into a system based on the individual's perceived importance. For example, several studies support the notion that individuals can be educated to be ethical and moral (Maldonado, Lacey, Candace, & Thompson, 2007).
According to Bass (1990), personal values can include ethical conduct, achievement orientation, desire to excel, competitiveness, objectivity, independence, acceptance of responsibility, tough mindedness, persistence against obstacles, initiative, determination, confidence, inner-direction, preference for risk, and responsibility in the pursuit of objectives. Several of these concepts were discussed by the participants.
Demographics of Email Questionnaire
Tables 1 and 2 provide details of the participants' demographic breakdown and experience levels. Of particular note are that 68% of study participants had at least some experience with leadership positions within academia, and a full 90% of participants had experienced a leadership position within the hospitality industry (outside of academia). Thus, the participants have direct knowledge of what makes effective leaders both through their own lived experience, as well as through their observations of others.
Aggregate Opinions of Faculty and Administrators
Business skills were ranked first according to frequency among the five main categories (see Table 3). They were analyzed in four sub-categories: personnel management skills, general management skills, financial management skills, and material management skills.
Personnel Management Skills.
Personnel management skills had the highest frequency among all leadership skills, with 62 quotations (see Table 4). According to study participants, effective leaders build teams by "understanding and encouraging teams," and by forming teams so that the strengths of some team members compensate for the weaknesses of the others (6 counts). Effective leaders also build consensus by using democratic procedures and embracing diversity (4 counts for each category). Finally, participants noted as important skills: (1) creating an environment of trust, especially "for those [faculty] who want to keep growing," (2) empowering faculty by "giving authority," (3) setting and enforcing high standards, (4) recruiting skills, (5) resolving disputes, and (6) conducting performance appraisals by "follow[ing] up regularly with individuals performing activities."
For leaders to effectively manage their faculty, they must "offer [their] faculty professional development opportunities in the university and in the discipline," and develop the staff, students, and culture of their organization. Administrators should be motivators (5 counts). A leader must be "a cheerleader," and must have "the ability to motivate faculty members to work as a team ...." Furthermore, leaders must be mentors and delegators (5 counts). Leadership needs "to understand the educational, administrative, and financial management piece, and be able to successfully delegate these duties to properly trained individuals."
General Management Skills.
General management skills were second in ranking after personnel management skills (43 counts). Organizing was heavily emphasized among general management skills (11 counts). "A leader should be an organized, competent administrator," and "be able to prioritize and have excellent time management skills." Six participants highlighted negotiating skills for acquiring resources and resolving conflicts.
Participants noted transparency as being significant in managing people (4 counts). "Transparency [is] a big issue now, everybody should know what is going on, e.g., financially, how much money do we have as a school, where are they going? If there is transparency, even if the faculty doesn't agree with his [administrator] decision, they will respect it."
Management of Financial Resources.
Financial acumen is increasingly seen as an important skill for leaders in an academic setting. The management of financial resources included fundraising (8 counts), budgeting (7 counts), general management of financial resources (4 counts), and accounting (1 count). Leaders should "generate support for their program primarily from funding and subsequently from gifts," and therefore be effective in forming relationships with funding sources such as the government or industry. Finally, budgeting skills were imperative "to help leaders know how to position their department, school, or whatever they are leading."
Management of Material Resources.
The management of material resources included the promotion and sales of the educational program/college to the industry, the public, and the administration (4 counts), technology (3 counts), and other diverse material resources such as "visit[ing] classes, ask[ing] for syllabi each semester, monitor[ing] the textbooks and peripheral materials being used," and "manag[ing] the curriculum" (2 counts).
According to frequency count, cognitive skills ranked second among the five main categories (see Table 3). Cognitive skills include collecting, processing, and disseminating information, learning, and critical thinking (Mumford et al., 2007). For the purpose of this analysis the categories described below were oral and written communication (29 counts), the ability to adapt (41 counts), and problem solving (4 counts).
Communication skills, such as written and verbal communication skills were the most frequently reported necessary skills for effective leadership (29 counts). "Leaders in academia most importantly must be strong communicators who are not afraid of controversy."
The ability to adapt refers specifically to the ability to navigate the trends of higher education (18 counts), the institutional environment (11 counts), and the hospitality industry (8 counts). At the level of higher education, an effective administrator should have knowledge and understanding of the following: (1) trends in higher education; (2) a wide variety of hospitality topic areas; (3) educational administration and financial management; (4) research and grant writing; (5) faculty responsibilities; (6) changing pedagogies and technology; (7) academic administration policies and practices; and (8) the specific needs of students and faculty. Specifically, one participant stressed the importance of having a dean from the hospitality discipline. In her college the previous dean came from the Business College and he was unable to understand the needs of the faculty and students. The food and beverage department of the college was operating a restaurant and the dean was entirely focused on the return on investment (ROI) of the restaurant, disregarding the fact that the main purpose of the restaurant's operation was the training and practical experience of students.
Administrators need to have "extensive teaching experience in hospitality management, and practical working experience, e.g., in hotels/resorts, for providing guidance, encouragement, and problem solutions to faculty in teaching, curricular planning and development, research and grant seeking." Administrators must "keep up with the fast changes of the environment, [be] eager to understand and learn new things, e.g., foreign culture, language, [and] technology," by being "perennial students and always learning from others," and by "being open minded with the ability to compromise."
Interpersonal skills relate to interacting and influencing others. The prevalent subcategory of interpersonal skills was engaging in public relations with groups of people such as the industry, faculty, staff, students, and the community (public relations, 36 counts), and the second sub-category included personal characteristics of how a leader should conduct him- or herself when interacting with others on a personal, one-on-one basis, i.e., leaders should be caring, empathetic, forgiving, hospitable, patient, respectful, and trustworthy (interpersonal qualities, 18 counts, see Table 4).
The distinction between interpersonal skills and business management of personnel resources was that interpersonal skills included interacting with people in general (18 counts), although management of personnel, as the definition dictates, was limited to interacting with the personnel, such as faculty and staff.
Primarily, effective administrators must be able to engage in public relations with the industry (12 counts), with the students and faculty/staff (6 counts for each group), and finally with the community (5 counts) and other administrators (4 counts). The most important ability for a leader was to develop strong support from the industry for the achievement of the school's mission. Personal contacts in industry as well as strong and active relationships with alumni were specifically mentioned as being critical for leadership success.
Other interpersonal skills referred to personal characteristics of how a leader should interact with others. Patience had the highest frequency among those characteristics (4 counts). One faculty-participant noted that administrators must be patient when dealing with higher administration and faculty.
Leaders should be empathetic and have an understanding of the needs and wants of faculty, students, and students' parents. Administrators should recognize that even amid different departments the needs of faculty and students are different because of the different focuses. For example, the food and beverage department needs more instructors that teach in laboratories versus the marketing department that teaches mainly theory in classrooms.
Leadership should also demonstrate concern to the faculty, staff, and students. Leaders should be compassionate, caring, forgiving, and hospitable (for frequencies see Table 5). Administrators must be respected and respectful, meaning that they should cultivate a mutual respect between themselves and the people they lead.
Ethics were considered the most important attributes to successful leadership from a personal values perspective (18 counts). Leaders must have strong ethical standards and a sense of fairness; they "must not play favorites." Ethical leadership was also related to integrity, honesty, and transparency. Transparency was also discussed at the general management skills section. Therefore, administrators should manage their faculty and staff with transparency.
Fairness and objectivity were the second most frequent sub-category among personal values (12 counts). A faculty member noted that administrators must "be consistent regarding the level of rigor that [they] require from others, by imposing the same rigor upon themselves." An administrator-participant suggested that "the administrator needs to treat faculty not fairly but equitably." There is a thin line between equity and fairness that leaders must walk.
Administrators must be committed to excellence and "must set high standards and enforce those high standards" to their faculty, staff, and students. Rewarding excellence can be a good motivation for achieving it. Additionally, leadership must embrace risk and be daring when making decisions and planning for the future, while "dream[ing] big dreams and seeking any opportunity."
Effective administrators must value success and before they assume administrative positions they should demonstrate a successful academic career. Other important personal values were humor, humility, persistence, and "boldness; [that] means [for administrators] to stand their ground, and not change with the wind."
Strategic skills are highly conceptual skills and in this study they rated fifth among the main leadership skills categories (see Table 3). Administrators should have "an understanding of strategy development and execution." The most important strategic skill according to study participants was the strategic planning of the vision (18 counts).
Leaders must "create and follow a vision" with the intent to "provide direction to the educational program/college." They must "see things others can't see" and must be able to picture the future. An administrator noted "I like to picture what is important to me, how things look, or the curriculum. I visualize the curriculum in my head; I visualize what graduation is going to look like in my head . . .."
Another participant (an administrator) described that leaders "MUST have a vision, communicate that vision as a missionary, sleep NOT until [they] achieve it, and be flexible through the process." When leaders define the vision/mission of the unit they lead, e.g., college department, this vision/mission must fit into the broader institutional vision. Furthermore, administrators should be able to properly place the strengths and weaknesses of the team within the vision; they must know how to use the strengths of some team members and compensate for the weaknesses of others.
Strategic skills included recognizing opportunities and the appropriate strategies to deal with them (Mumford, et al., 2007). Thus, leaders must be able to bring and manage change (5 counts). Therefore, they should be "change agents" that can "keep up with the fast changes of the environment, [be] eager to understand and learn new things." They must promote the free exchange of ideas and "stimulate creative ideas by challenging the status quo."
Similarities and Differences between Faculty and Administrators
Faculty represented 58% of the sample and administrators 42%, which approximated an equal representation of both populations, thus enabling comparisons between faculty's and administrators' opinions. The ranking below was based on the frequency count of faculty's and administrators' quotations.
First Level of Analysis
With some exceptions, there was a general difference of opinions between faculty and administrators in ranking the leadership skills that were deemed important to leading effectively. Primarily, faculty and administrators agreed that business skills are an essential requisite for effective leadership in a higher education institution. Business skills include organizing, negotiating, and managing personnel, financial, and material resources. Both faculty and administrators put business skills in the highest ranking of leadership skills (see Table 6).
Faculty ranked cognitive skills second (21% of quotations), including communication skills, the ability to adapt to change, and problem solving. In contrast, administrators ranked interpersonal skills in second place (21% of quotations). Interpersonal skills emphasize interacting and influencing others, and mainly include engaging with the industry, faculty, and staff, students, and other administrators.
Faculty ranked personal values in the third position. These include ethics, fairness, creativity, responsibility, risk taking, and passion (17% of quotations). Administrators ranked cognitive skills in the third position (17% of quotations). In the fourth position faculty ranked interpersonal skills (16% of quotations) and administrators ranked strategic skills (13% of quotations). Finally, near the bottom of the taxonomy, administrators considered that personal values (12% of quotations) such as ethics and fairness were important for leadership effectiveness, while faculty placed strategic skills (8% of quotations) at a similar level of importance. Both groups ranked general leading skills, the ability for administrators to guide their team by example, last.
Second Level of Analysis
At the second level of analysis, Table 7 depicted the differences and similarities between the opinion of faculty and administrators. For both groups, management of personnel, including building teams by consensus, creating an environment of trust, and empowering faculty and staff, was the most important leadership skill (17% of quotations).
Administrators ranked second engaging in public relations with the industry, the personnel, the students, and the community (12% of quotations). In contrast, faculty rated fifth engaging in public relations. Faculty ranked general management skills, including directing, negotiating, organizing, time management skills, and transparency, as the second most important group of skills (12% of quotations).
Faculty agreed that the ability to learn and adapt to the changes in higher education, and the industry was the third most important skill in the ranking of leadership skills (11% of quotations). Administrators ranked third general business skills, along with strategic planning (10% of quotations). Faculty ranked strategic planning sixth, lower than administrators. Other similarities between the two groups were that both administrators and faculty ranked fifth the skill of oral and written communication (9% of quotations for both groups). Management of financial and material resources and general interpersonal skills ranked towards the bottom of importance for both groups.
Final Level of Analysis
The last level of analysis gave detailed information about specific skills that were significant to the success of higher education administrators. Both groups, faculty and administrators, agreed that communication was the most important leadership skill (8% of quotations).
Ethics (such as integrity and honesty) and the ability to learn and adapt in higher education (where administrators should know the operations and environment of their department and/or school) ranked second among faculty members and third among administrators. Administrators ranked the planning of vision second in importance, whereas faculty ranked this sixth. Furthermore, administrators allocated more significance in public relations with the industry (third ranking) and with the students (sixth ranking) than did faculty. Fairness and strategic planning ranked the same for both groups (fifth ranking). Finally, administrators valued the development and motivation of personnel more than faculty did (see Table 8).
Six faculty members (21% of faculty participants) and only two administrators (10% of administrators) noted fundraising as an important skill to leadership effectiveness. Faculty did not make any reference to the importance of technological skills and the management of teaching material, and only a small number of administrators did.
Only three administrators (14%) noted that it was important to create an environment of trust, but both groups equally agreed on the necessity of diversity, building consensus, and empowering faculty and staff. Only faculty members emphasized the importance of recruiting skills, dispute resolution, and empathy; administrators did not note these issues at all. On the other hand, only administrators noted the concept of respect, both being respected and demonstrating respect for others. Finally, faculty looked for humor, persistence, and risk taking in their leaders, characteristics that administrators did not note.
Focus Group Results
Demographics of Focus Group
According to Table 9, the sample of the focus group was diverse in gender, age, and position (57% faculty and 43 % administrators). A plurality of participants were white (85%) just like the sample of the e-mail survey. The administrators had more teaching experience, and leadership experience inside and outside academia than faculty, probably because they were older than faculty participants.
Communication skills ranked first among both administrators and faculty in the e-mail questionnaire. Participants in the focus group agreed with the findings and also discussed effective ways of leaders communicating with their constituents. The participants discussed the need to use multiple methods of communication, and to be sensitive to both the content and the intended audience. They cited the challenges of adapting to technology and social media in order to reach particular constituent groups, as well as the added impact of taking the time to deliver a message personally and in a face-to-face setting, as opposed to using technology. Additionally, they stressed the importance of listening, particularly active listening through which the individual perceives both the factual content of the message as well as expressed emotional subcontent.
Equity and Fairness
The e-mail questionnaire findings included fairness and equal treatment of faculty as important required skills for effective leadership. Many of the focus group participants noted that there was a high potential for "fair" and "equal" to be very different, and that this would often depend upon perception. For example they noted that an "equal" treatment of faculty might include requiring all faculty to teach the same number of courses, even though some faculty may engage in other critical work activities such as research, university/school/department level service, and outreach to key constituent groups such as students, alumni, or industry. While giving all faculty the same course load may be "equal" in this circumstance it would not be "fair." Hence the distribution of duties and expectations should be "fair" but not necessarily "equal."
It was also noted that fairness is not necessarily only about how the leader/administrator views the situation, but more important is the ability to know the faculty's interpretation of fairness. For example, different faculty members value different activities; one may value or prefer teaching, whereas another may be more invested in research, and so to give these two the same expectations would not necessarily be seen as "fair" by the individual faculty.
The members of the focus group noted that the results of the email questionnaire did not evidence a high value placed upon fundraising (sixth among faculty and eighth among administrators). They suggested that this is in part due to different terminology used to portray the same skills. For example, some participants used the term "fundraising" and others "engaging in public relations with the industry," which was coded under the category "interpersonal skills." Members of the focus group who were serving as administrators noted that this is a particular skill that is of critical importance in the recent educational and political environment, stating that it was explicitly raised in their own hiring process and that it is an essential skill to maintain a viable educational program.
The focus group participants deemed it important to elaborate on the concept of strategic planning. According to them, strategic planning includes the long-term planning of the goals and objectives of the educational unit, and the means, such as policies and tactics, that leadership would use to achieve them. Depending on the internal and external environment of the institution, the period of time of projected planning may vary from five to ten years.
In an educational setting, the most appropriate people to do the planning are not just the administrators; everyone in the unit should participate, because they would all be involved in the plan's execution. Faculty needs to be involved in the formation of a feasible and achievable strategic plan because they are the key team members that would support its implementation.
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Overall, both faculty and administrators ranked business skills as the most important set of leadership skills, followed by cognitive, interpersonal, and strategic. These findings were different from the study conducted by Mumford, Campion, and Morgeson (2007) that concluded that at the leadership level cognitive skills would be needed the most, followed by interpersonal, business, and finally, strategic skills.
Business skills included general management skills, and management of personnel, financial, and material resources. Management of personnel resources ranked as the most important for faculty and administrators among business skills. Bryman (2007) found similar results that included allowing personnel the opportunity to participate in key decisions, creating a positive and collégial work atmosphere in the department, e.g., by creating a climate of trust and mutual respect, and providing feedback on performance.
Administrators underlined more than faculty the need for leadership to have the necessary skills to develop and motivate personnel. This is interesting, as it suggests faculty either feel that this is not a required role for administrators, or that motivation of faculty is not needed. If the latter, this begs the question of how one provides motivation and developmental opportunities for someone who feels that they already have sufficient of motivation and professional development. In this sense, academic leaders experience some of the same difficulties as their peers, as many leaders and managers struggle with the motivation and development of knowledge workers (Amar, 2004; Tampoe, 1993).
Management of financial and material resources, including fundraising, budgeting, accounting, technology, marketing, and sales and curriculum, ranked towards the bottom of importance for both groups. Surprisingly, mostly faculty noted fundraising as an important leadership skill. The explanation might be that some participants that noted good public relations with the industry and the community as important skills did not explicitly refer to fundraising but implied it as part of public relations. Technology as part of management of material resources ranked low among participants, the assumption presumably being that since administrators do not have to interact with students, they do not need to keep up with current technology.
Cognitive skills ranked second in aggregate frequency count and emphasized effective communication and the ability to adapt to the changing environment of higher education. Faculty and administrators unanimously ranked communication skills as the most important leadership skills. This reinforces the research of multiple previous authors (e.g., Bowman, 2002; Bryman, 2007; Cichy, Cha, & Kim, 2004; Murry & Stauffacher, 2001) citing communication skills as being among the important skills necessary in effective leadership.
Faculty participants emphasized more than administrators the necessity of having the ability to learn and adapt in higher education. Administrators should have teaching experience, research skills, and be able to understand research and grant writing (especially in researchoriented institutions) in order to better comprehend faculty's and students' needs. Furthermore, they need to have an understanding of the university's system, such as policies and practices, and be able to keep up with the changing pedagogies and trends in the hospitality discipline.
Interpersonal skills such as good public relations with internal and external constituents, and interpersonal characteristics such as empathy, respect, hospitality, forgiveness, trustworthiness, and caring, had the third aggregate frequency count after cognitive skills. Bryman (2007) in his meta-analysis of peer-reviewed publications identified similar leadership behaviors, such as being considerate, building relationships of trust, and being trustworthy, that were associated with departmental effectiveness in the United States. Interpersonal skills were more important for administrators than faculty respondents.
Future researchers could compare the administrators' perceptions and their actual behavior and see if their faculty is satisfied with their interpersonal skills. Specifically, the findings of the study can be used in future quantitative research as an evaluation tool for leadership skills of the administrators in hospitality management education. A questionnaire can be produced, based on the skills that participants valued as important, that would assess the level of faculty's satisfaction with their administrators in hospitality management education. Researchers may also test for significant differences based on gender and ethnic diversity of their administrators.
It is important to note that often administrators are faculty members that have assumed administrative positions, and are used to working independently without having to develop interpersonal skills. Therefore, academic development programs should heavily emphasize training in interpersonal skills for future or current leaders. Future researchers might also study the reasons that faculty undertake administrative positions in the hospitality management education.
Administrators emphasized more than faculty the need to engage in good public relations with the industry and students. Having an extended industry network would facilitate internships, improve graduates' employment placement, bring guest speakers and corporate training into the college/school/department, assist with the formation of a valuable advising board, develop the curriculum according to the needs of the industry, and provide financial support of the industry, e.g., gifts and scholarships, resulting in the advancement of the program's standing, profile, and reputation.
Administrators ranked personal values fifth and faculty ranked them third; ethics and fairness were the prevalent personal values. That might suggest that faculty values the importance of ethics and fairness higher than administrators do in leadership effectiveness. Some might argue that personal values cannot be taught, yet practices showed that people can even develop attributes that in the past were considered uniquely inborn characteristics; these practices included business colleges offering MBA classes in ethics, and corporate training for the development of ethical values and conduct. Therefore, academic development programs might consider including in their curricula training in ethics and other personal values such as fairness, creativity, and responsibility.
Bryman (2007) and Lucas (1994) also found in their studies that treating academic staff fairly and equitably and displaying integrity and ethical behavior were skills and behaviors that contributed to leadership effectiveness. Moreover, regarding personal values, faculty wanted humor, persistence, and risk taking from their leaders, characteristics not mentioned by administrators. Hence, administrators should find creative ways to be more fun, not give up easily, and demonstrate more risk-taking when believing in the best interest of the people they lead.
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Valentini Kalargyrou, University of New Hampshire
Anthony T. Pescosolido, University of New Hampshire
Emmanuel A. Kalargiros, New Mexico State University…
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Leadership Skills in Management Education. Contributors: Kalargyrou, Valentini - Author, Pescosolido, Anthony T. - Author, Kalargiros, Emmanuel A. - Author. Journal title: Academy of Educational Leadership Journal. Volume: 16. Issue: 4 Publication date: October 1, 2012. Page number: 39+. © The DreamCatchers Group, LLC 2008. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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