Women are underrepresented in senior level leadership positions in higher education institutions and their experiences are underrepresented in leadership research. This qualitative study engaged women senior administrators at liberal arts colleges in the Upper Midwestern United States to better understand how their intersecting identities mediate their enacted leadership. The following research questions guided the inquiry: (a) How do women senior leaders at liberal arts colleges perceive that their intersecting identities mediate their enacted leadership? (b) How do women senior leaders at liberal arts colleges perceive that their identities shape their interactions with other members of the campus community? How do their interactions confirm and contradict their perceptions? and (c) How do women senior leaders at liberal arts colleges perceive their own power among other members of the campus community? How do they see their power as mediated by their identities? Data were collected from eight women senior administrators at liberal arts colleges in the Upper Midwestern United States via a preliminary questionnaire, document review, in-depth one-on-one interviews, and a day of observation with each participant. Data analysis using the constant comparative method revealed findings in five areas: (a) understandings of leadership, (b) identities and enacted leadership, (c) identities and interactions with others, (d) identities and power, and (e) leading in a liberal arts context.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. May 2011. Major: Educational Policy and Administration. Advisor: Rebecca Ropers-Huilman, Ph.D. 1 computer file (PDF); v, 209 pages, appendices A-C.
Enke, Kathryn Ann Enger.
Positionality and enacted leadership: women in senior level administrative positions at liberal arts colleges.
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