Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Education (Ph.D)


Administrative and Instructional Leadership

First Advisor

Anthony Annunziato

Second Advisor

Ceceilia Parnther

Third Advisor

Katherine Aquino


Higher education institutions in the United States currently face ongoing challenges and difficulties beginning in 2008 with the fiscal crisis which created a need for education and retraining for man, demand for greater accountability by institutions and a fundamental shift in the perceived value of higher education. Academic leaders of post-secondary institutions, in particular community colleges, have encountered this shift in society's view of the value of a college degree, and now see a demand for greater skills and employability within the workforce. For academic leaders to meet these new expectations, an understanding of leadership styles, focused on the characterization of their self-efficacies and a knowledge of the institutional role expectations is needed to lead during times of uncertainty and change. The study employs an explanatory single case design to establish to what extent an academic leader’s perception of their leadership practices, self-efficacy, and institutional role expectations influence change. Defining the role of the academic leader in higher educational institutions will enable community colleges to remain sustainable and competitive in unparalleled economic and societal times. The participants of the study are individuals with the titles of dean within the academic affairs division from a selected two-year public community college in the Northeastern region of the United States. The study will employ Bolman and Deal’s Leadership Orientation Survey (Bolman, n.d.) to first identify the leadership orientation practices of the selected academic leaders, followed by semi-structured interviews to provide a deeper, more detailed data. Bogdan and Biklen (2007) explained that interviews generate “rich data filled with words that revel the respondents’ perspective” (p.96), affording the interviewer the ability to gain a “general understanding of the range of perspectives on the subject” (p.96). The significance of the study will provide academic leaders and senior community college administration an understanding of the relationship of the role of leadership, its practice and self-efficacy and the perspective necessary for academic leaders to offer a direction for change.