Research in higher education on leadership development and attributes has primarily concentrated on students currently engaged in campus experiences and programs (e.g., student government, volunteerism) that emulate leadership positions and opportunities that carry over to societal equivalencies. Thus, students who are not active in leadership activities are rarely assessed regarding their leadership-related development, perspectives, or preferences. The central purpose of this study is to explore students’ disposition regarding leadership etiquette, behavior, and method in the context of leadership process theory. Using the Leadership Attitudes and Beliefs Scale III , how students think about leadership, irrespective of their perceived experience in leadership-based activities or positions, will be examined within the context of contributing university resources.Political Education
Student engagement with various institutional-related activities and interactions has been noted for decades as a significant influence on the differential patterns of student learning and growth One important outcome from these engagements is the impact on students’ attitudes and beliefs concerning leadership, which continues to be a prominent theme and objective in higher education.Political Education
The majority of research on student leadership development has focused on corporate-related models, which emphasize the impact of institutional experiences that parallel roles found in business or politics. Political Education Other commonly examined attributes include entering students’ predisposition to leadership development, available institutional-related leadership resources, activities and opportunities, and the effects of formal leadership development programs.Political Education
Attempting to capture and examine students’ cognitive development towards leadership, without dependence on predispositions towards leadership-based activities or positions, Wielkiewiczdeveloped the Leadership Attitudes and Beliefs Scale-III (LABS-III). The LABS-III instrument consists of two scales representing divergent patterns of leadership attitudes and beliefs. One scale is based on a hierarchical pattern of thinking, which is characteristic of the traditional top-down leadership structure.
The Hierarchical Thinking scale emphasizes a tightly controlled decision-making process, with an authoritarian mode of operation and communication. A leader’s effectiveness and efficiency are paramount to the success of the organization, which in turn, is strongly associated with one’s maintenance and preservation of rank within that organization. The second scale derives from Allen, Stelzner, & Wielkiewicz’s leadership process theory, which is based on a systemic pattern of thinking.Political Education
The Systemic Thinking scale strongly emphasizes an organization’s ability to adapt quickly to ever-changing environments. Employing the knowledge and wisdom of organizational members through high levels of communication and cooperation is paramount to a successful organization. In this manner, the effectiveness of a leader is dependent on one’s ability to successfully facilitate and utilize a participative decision-making process. Allen et al.’s theory asserts that the adoption of Systemic Thinking by individuals and organizations will yield greater levels of overall adaptability, cooperation, sustainability and success.Political Education