The continual need for improvement to avoid derailment: A study of college and university administrators

William A. Gentry, Belinda B. McFeeters, R Britton Katz – Millsaps College

Summary

Understanding what relates to the behaviours associated with derailment (i.e. failure or burnout in managerial positions) may prevent costly outcomes of derailment for the manager, co‐workers and the organization. The outcomes of derailment are especially pertinent with those working in college and university administration as many, including faculty, other staff and students, depend on these administrators. Data collected about 173 middle‐ and top‐level college and university administrators from 88 different colleges and universities across the USA revealed that self‐ and observer‐ratings (peers and direct reports) of willingness to improve negatively related to boss ratings of derailment. Specifically, the more administrators were willing to improve (and the more others believed those administrators were willing to improve), the less likely it was that bosses believed those administrators displayed the characteristics and behaviours associated with derailment. We conclude with a discussion of our findings including guidance for college and university administrators.

Citation

Gentry, William A., Katz, R. B., & McFeeters, B. B. (2009). The continual need for improvement to avoid derailment: A study of college and university administrators. Higher Education Research & Development, 28(3), 335–348. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360902839925

Leave a Comment