Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation (Access Restricted)

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Higher and Adult Education


Higher Education

Committee Chair

Jeffery Wilson

Committee Member

Lamont Simmons

Committee Member

Wendy Griswold

Committee Member

Colton Cockrum


This study was an examination of administrators in higher education organizations in the State of Tennessee. The administrators identified their supervisors’ leadership style. The supervisor’s leadership style was used to evaluate the administrators’ level of engagement and intent to stay (retention). To describe the supervisors’ leadership style, the researcher employed Lee G. Bolman and Terrence E. Deal’s Leadership Orientations Instrument (LOI; Other; 1991b); engagement level was measured using the A. B. Bakker and W.B. Schaufeli’s Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES; 2003). Retention was gauged by how long the administrators planned to remain in their position.A survey instrument was designed to collect information from higher education administrators. Data were drawn from the four sections of the survey. Section 1 collected demographic data; Section 2 was made up of Bolman and Deal’s LOI (Other); Section 3 contained the UWES to assess the respondent’s level of vigor, level of dedication, and level of absorption. Section 4 dealt with the respondent’s intent to stay (retention). Respondents included 445 higher education administrators divided into five groups: 1) top executive and senior institutional officers; 2) academic deans; 3) institutional administrators; 4) heads of divisions, departments, and centers; and 5) academic associate and assistant deans.The results of the study, as measured by the data gathered from the survey instrument, indicate that there is a statistically significant relationship between leadership style and engagement. Thus, leadership style did predict engagement. The structural leadership style had the strongest relationship with all the elements of engagement followed by the human resource leadership style. The political style had a significant relationship with the absorption aspect of engagement. Leadership style did not predict retention in this study.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.