Males and Females in Academic Leadership

As females started to rise through the middle level positions in academic leaderships, experimental literatures have been emerging about the perceived differences between the performance of women and men in academic leadership. In this increasing body of research work, many studies have indicated that there are several differences in male and female leadership. These differences occur in leadership style, quality of service delivery, and priorities. Numerous studies have also indicated that men do not work as academic leaders in similar ways to women. These studies contend that the two behave differently in the same leadership environment and situations. These studies have different approaches depending on the researchers' discipline of study. These include disciplines such as psychology, sociology, education, and business among other disciplines. Many of these studies discuss the similarities and differences between male and females as leaders into details. They discuss different styles and reaction while working. This proposal tends to explore differences between males and females in academic leadership.

Research Design

The research design was aimed at collecting information about the effectiveness of faculty deans in their leadership responsibilities. We achieved this by seeking responses from the faculty and staff members. In order to develop the instrument, we conducted an extensive consultation among all faculty deans and the entire committee of the university. The committee consisted of deans, administrators, faculty members, and senior administrators. The formulation of the committee based on the past literatures about deans and evaluation of the existing instruments. Primarily, several studies have supported this formulation in their research about the administration of higher learning institutions.

Setting Background

Samples were collected from the faculty and staff members of a major higher learning institution. Researchers asked the samples questions in order to evaluate deans' performance based on several leadership responsibilities. In order to realize the overall effectiveness of the study, a survey on all faculty and staff members was conducted. The faculty representatives and staff members who responded to the survey fairly represented all departments and the entire population of the university. The research was conducted in various colleges, programs, and schools in all departments of the university. In order to reach every respondent in an effective way, the researchers mailed all of them.

Population and Sampling

The researchers managed to send 2000 electronic mail to the faculty members and staff members. The faculty members consisted of instructors, librarians, researchers, and professionals. Staff members consisted of the executive, administrators, professionals, technicians, and clerical workers who were reporting to 30 deans. These faculty deans represented various colleges, schools, and programs. The survey mail sent yielded 1200 useful responses from the faculty deans and administrative personnel. The university academic dean and directors we evaluated consisted of 20 males and 8 females. Overall, 14 percent of the deans in this research work were females. Every faculty dean managed a unit of different depending on the school, college or program. In cases where deans managed large units, there were support units, which were managed by directors. Those director reported to the to the faculty dean, who would then report directly to the vice-presidents.

Research Questions

  1. Between male and female deans, who are the most effective in conducting their roles?
  2. Between male and female deans, who show the best interpersonal skills?
  3. How do you compare the communication skills of female and male deans?
  4. How do you compare professional endeavors of male and female deans?
  5. How do you compare the quality of education of male and female deans?
  6. How do you compare the institutional support given to male and female deans?


The main variables in this research are male and female deans. The aim of the research is to evaluate the differences between male and female variables in terms of leadership performance. This also include the factors that influence the criteria used by employees under the variables' management rank them.

Data Collection

According to the faculty and staff members' responses, female deans showed higher effectiveness on leadership positions. The respondents rated the female deans as the most effective in terms of communication skills and professionalism. Female deans also rated higher than men in interpersonal relationship and the management of their department. What contributed to the classification of males and females deans was sex and being a full professor. Once the perceptions of faculty and staff members about female and male deans were classified, illustrative data of every dean was examined. This is shown on the table below. Means and standard deviations of both female and mean deans in order to help in comprehending the coefficients were provided.

 Group 1 (Male Deans)Group 2 (Female Deans)
Vision and goal setting 3.8 1.0 4.0 0.9
Management of the unit 3.7 0.9 4.0 0.8
Interpersonal Skills 3.9 0.9 4.0 0.9
Quality of education 3.2 0.4 3.5 0.4
Professional endeavors 3.7 0.8 4.1 0.6
Communication skills 4.0 0.3 4.2 0.7
Support of the institutional diversity 2.7 0.5 2.8 0.2

Data Analysis

Discriminant analysis was used in order to analyze the findings. The findings consisted of a linear combination of variables, which gave maximum differences between the gender variables. In this case, the need was to determine the differences in leadership styles and responsibilities of male and females. These results depended on the domain of leadership and respondents. Direct method of discriminant analysis where all dimensions of leadership were simultaneously included into the analysis was used. The results of the research show that the combination of leadership aspects and demographic behaviors of the respondents contributed to the classification of male and female academic leaders. Demographic variables such as sex of the respondent and a full professor rank influenced the perception of the respondents about the effective leadership between males and females. These variables influenced the respondents' predictions about the leadership ability of these deans. However, the main limitation of this analysis is that it is difficult to establish whether the predictions are positive or negative.


Leadership is still a powerful phenomenon in the world. Furthermore, the understanding of leadership within the complex social organization continues to develop. Many theoretical studies suggest that effective leadership is understood as a concept with numerous dimensions. Therefore, it is important to study the way both males and females behave and interact with others as leaders. This will help us in understanding the way they influence perceptions of individuals without their departments. The study of the leadership effectiveness of both males and females helps in understanding how faculty and staff members perceive the social characteristics of their leaders. In order to evaluate its effectiveness, an academic leader should take into consideration the perception of individuals within their departments. This is because their perception will form the assessment determinant regarding their standards of performance. The perceptual assessments by members of a leader's department are essential in determining the leadership viability within the higher learning institution.



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