The Ideal Academic Leader

“From the Follower’s Viewpoint: A Configurational Approach to the Ideal Academic Leader,”  by Jack Smothers and Mark N. Bing, the University of Mississippi, Darin White, Samford University, Philip J. Trocchia, University of South Florida St. Petersburg, and Keith Absher, Union University, was recently published in Online First in Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies.

Professor Smothers kindly discussed his process in writing the article.

Who is the target audience for this article?

Business Academicians.

What inspired you to be interested in this topic?

Experience in higher education administration as well as academic experience such as teaching and research in higher education.

Were there findings that were surprising to you?

Private university faculty members desire equitable treatment rather than preferential treatment based on relationship strength.

How do you this study influencing future research and/or practice?

This study utilizes a unique approach to analyzing generalizability to underscore the contextual differences that exist even within the same industry. This will not only influence methodological research practices, but also provide insight into the way various groups conceptualize the attributes of an ideal leader.

How does this study fit into your body of work/line of research?

Leadership research is one of my primary areas of interest.

How did your paper change during the review process?

Our paper was significantly improved during the review process in terms of clarification of results interpretation and implications of our findings.

What, if anything, would you do differently if you could go back and do this study again?

If I could do this study again, I would have collected data regarding how faculty members define departmental success and which of those successes are attributable to the leadership of the department head.

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