Date of Award

Summer 1991

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services - Urban Education

Committee Director

John J. DeRolf

Committee Member

Alfred Rollins

Committee Member

Jack Robinson

Committee Member

Robert Lucking

Committee Member

Donald Myers


The research question for this study asked if CEO's (Chief Executive Officers) of urban higher education institutions hold the same values and beliefs as those attributed to business and industry CEO's through the business literature. Through survey methodology, the analysis of urban higher education CEO's perceptions of critical leadership behaviors revealed very similar belief patterns. The primary discrepancies between the research group and their industry counterparts lie in the degree to which critical behaviors are espoused and in the acceptance of transformational leadership as a proactive model for effective organizational change. The responses to the open-ended portion of the questionnaire gave a clear picture of the kinds of training CEO's consider to be important. The Likert scale items revealed that urban education CEO's espouse the transformational leadership concept yet are tentative about empowering staff and aligning the organizational structure to facilitate a participative management model. Entrepreneurship and risk taking activities are embraced somewhat tentatively also which would serve to inhibit creativity and innovation within the organization.

The traditional emphasis on academic culture, symbols and the president as leader may be instrumental in encouraging the belief that CEO's should be charismatic and visionary, yet without changing organizational structure and empowering employees, the concept of leadership remains in the traditional domain.

It has been established that urban education CEO's do hold similar beliefs as their business counterparts. The literature search also revealed that many environmental and business conditions are also similar. It is therefore recommended that further research be conducted to identify ways in which transformational leadership methods could best benefit the urban higher education milieu.