Leadership Studies Ed.D. Dissertations


A Quantitative Study of Academic Library Administrators Using Bolman and Deal's Leadership Orientation Framework

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Patrick Pauken (Advisor)

Second Advisor

Ellen Broido (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Catherine Cardwell (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Toni Sondergeld (Committee Member)

Fifth Advisor

Chris Willis (Committee Member)


The Bolman and Deal (1984, 2003) leadership orientation framework was used in this quantitative study to determine library administrator frame preference and what effects the following independent variables have on frame preference: administrator role, total years of administrator experience, and self-perception of effectiveness in current position. Portions of the Bolman and Deal (1990) Leadership Orientation Instrument-Self (LOI-Self) were used. The survey was sent to 627 library administrators at 120 higher education institutions in Michigan and Ohio. There were 328 usable responses for a 54% response rate. More women (68%) than men (32%) participated in the survey. Most participants were White (90%). The academic library administrators in this sample had a single primary frame preference for the human resources frame using the cut score of 32. The upper-level administrators preferred the human resources frame followed by the structural, political, and symbolic frames. The middle-level academic library administrators preferred the human resources frame followed by the structural, symbolic, and political.

Four three-way (2x2x3) ANOVAs were conducted. Administrator role was broken down by upper level-administrators (deans, directors, associate/assistant deans, associate/assistant directors) and middle-level administrators (chairs, coordinators, heads, managers, supervisors and team leaders). Total years of administrator experience was categorized by those with fewer than 15 years of experience and those with 15 or more years of experience while self-perception of effectiveness in current position was categorized by moderate, high, and highest. Inferential statistics revealed no statistical significance for any of the interaction effects. However, self-perception of effectiveness in current position as a main effect was statistically significant across all frames. Post hoc comparisons revealed that all levels of self-perception of effectiveness in current position had statistically significant mean differences for every frame except the human resources frame, which resulted in statistically significant mean differences between moderate and highest and high and highest, but not between moderate and high. The effect sizes for the structural and human resources frames were low while the effect sizes for the political and symbolic frames were high. This means that self-perception of effectiveness in current position can impact the frame score of an administrator for their least preferred political and symbolic frames by three to six points. The findings of the study point to the need for academic library administrators to more strongly identify with behaviors associated with the political and symbolic frames. The results of this study also indicate that self-perception of effectiveness should be further examined and considered by the profession.