ELPS 419: Leadership in Higher Education

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<ul><li><p>8/12/2019 ELPS 419: Leadership in Higher Education</p><p> 1/12</p><p>1</p><p>Running head: THEORETICAL ANALYSIS PAPER</p><p>Theoretical Analysis Paper</p><p>Katie Stephens</p><p>Loyola University Chicago</p><p>October 15, 2013</p></li><li><p>8/12/2019 ELPS 419: Leadership in Higher Education</p><p> 2/12</p><p>2</p><p>THEORETICAL ANALYSIS PAPER</p><p>Through her 20 years of experience in international education, Saskia Hofman, the</p><p>Director of International Affairs at School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), is well</p><p>respected in her field and has created connections with many universities across the United</p><p>States. Hofman has a masters degree in Multicultural Communication from DePaul University</p><p>and after years of work in other Midwestern universities, she eventually started in her current</p><p>position at SAIC in 2004. In May 2013 the International Affairs Department welcomed me as an</p><p>intern for the summer, and I had first-hand experience with Hofmans leadership style as she was</p><p>my direct supervisor. I was curious to learn about Hofmans personal views on leadership after</p><p>reflecting on conversations that we had during the course of my internship and I also wanted to</p><p>learn about leadership in my future field of international education. Without having the</p><p>vocabulary to explicitly name the theories while I was an intern in Hofmans office, I reported to</p><p>a supervisor who exuded various aspects of team and servant leadership. As the leader of the</p><p>International Affairs Department, Saskia Hofman intends to empower and inspire her followers</p><p>to explore their fullest potentials as professionals while offering them support when necessary.</p><p>Team Leadership</p><p>Northouse (2012) describes the term teamas a specific type of group composed of</p><p>members who are interdependent, who share common goals, and who must coordinate their</p><p>activities to accomplish these goals (p. 287). Researchers began developing theories related to</p><p>team leadership as early as the 1960s as leaders began to focus on organizational growth and</p><p>viewed the development of a cohesive team as a way to create a more effective and successful</p><p>business environment. Contemporary theories on team leadership focus on an organization that</p><p>encourages leadership functions to be shared by both the employees and those in the traditional</p><p>roles as leaders (Northouse, 2012). For example, Hills model for team leadership relies on</p></li><li><p>8/12/2019 ELPS 419: Leadership in Higher Education</p><p> 3/12</p></li><li><p>8/12/2019 ELPS 419: Leadership in Higher Education</p><p> 4/12</p><p>4</p><p>THEORETICAL ANALYSIS PAPER</p><p>team members need to dedicate a significant portion of their workday to entering information</p><p>into this online database along with the typical duties of advising current students.</p><p>Hofmans role as a leader in this department is to not only guide her employees in</p><p>strategies on how to stay ahead of the workload through planning and encouraging students to</p><p>submit their paperwork in a timely fashion, but to also be available to help with the tedious</p><p>database entry that cannot be delegated to a student worker. By making herself available during</p><p>this time to provide extra support to employees that report to her, Hofman demonstrates desirable</p><p>traits of a leader in student affairs. Although she has the ability to tell her employees that they</p><p>will be working extra hours during their busy seasons, Hofman will instead put in extra time</p><p>herself so that the work is divided more evenly between the whole team to complete their task of</p><p>issuing visa documents in a timely manner. This task of issuing visa documents emphasizes a</p><p>team leadership style modeled by the internal leadership actions proposed by Hills model as</p><p>well as ideas proposed by Greenleaf (2007). Greenleaf (2007) suggests that a servant leader</p><p>serves first, before leading; this type of leader will make sure that other peoples highest priority</p><p>needs are being servedfirst (p. 412). Hofman is mindful as a coach and collaborator with her</p><p>team members in order to help them stay focused on the ultimate goal as they complete their</p><p>tasks at hand for their student population.</p><p>Hofmansstyle demonstrates the external leadership action portion of Hills model for</p><p>team leadership through her advocacy for the International Affairs Department at SAIC as well</p><p>as her skill set in networking and information sharing. During our interview, Hofman spoke</p><p>about a time in her department at SAIC when morale was unusually low. She was in her current</p><p>position during a time of budget cuts, multiple changes in the institutions presidents andthreats</p><p>to her teams positionin the department. This was a challenging time for international education</p></li><li><p>8/12/2019 ELPS 419: Leadership in Higher Education</p><p> 5/12</p><p>5</p><p>THEORETICAL ANALYSIS PAPER</p><p>at SAIC, but while advocating for her team and staying mindful of her attitude and personal</p><p>feelings, Hofman led her department through their adversities by initiating intentional</p><p>conversations with high power, authority figures at the institution. Apart from contemporary</p><p>situations at SAIC, Hofman also maintains close contact with personnel in International Affairs</p><p>at other universities across the country. She is a member of NAFSA, the professional</p><p>organization in international education, and maintains contact with other professionals in order to</p><p>share ideas and create a pool of resources for her department. Hofmans strengths in</p><p>emphasizing external leadership actions such as networking, sharing information and assessing</p><p>played a significant role in helping Hofman guide her department through difficult situations</p><p>(Northouse, 2012). Hofmans professional network has served as a valuable resource to her</p><p>department through recognizing that their team benefits from hearing outside practices and</p><p>learning about strategies from other institutions.</p><p>Team Leadership: Critique</p><p>The possible issue with a reliance on networking with outside sources is the chance of</p><p>missed opportunities from within the team if the leader becomes too focused on their own</p><p>resources. Saskia mentioned to me that there are times when she reaches out to her colleagues at</p><p>other institutions for support rather than from her own team. If she was not as focused on</p><p>networking and gathering ideas from other sources, would she be more prone to seeking out</p><p>support from those on her own team and creating the potential for a richer conversation within</p><p>her department? Or is team leadership limited to leaders in positions where they have a larger</p><p>amount of people to create a larger team? Hofman demonstrates a large portion of the</p><p>characteristics of team leadership and exemplifies various aspects of Hills model, but after</p><p>analyzing Saskias leadership style and size of her team, I am ledto believe that Hills model</p></li><li><p>8/12/2019 ELPS 419: Leadership in Higher Education</p><p> 6/12</p></li><li><p>8/12/2019 ELPS 419: Leadership in Higher Education</p><p> 7/12</p><p>7</p><p>THEORETICAL ANALYSIS PAPER</p><p>servant leaders including empathy, stewardship and building community. These characteristics</p><p>emphasize the altruistic personalities of servant leaders and their commitment to the</p><p>advancement of the organization as a whole, rather than their self-interests. Northouse (2012)</p><p>also presents a basic model of servant leadership that illustrates three main components of</p><p>antecedent conditions (context and follower receptivity), servant leader behaviors (behaving</p><p>ethically while empowering) and outcomes (organizational performance and societal impact).</p><p>This model is visually illustrated as a chart of inputs and outputs with the antecedent conditions</p><p>affecting the servant leaders behaviors and ultimately resulting in the achieved, or unachieved,</p><p>outcomes.</p><p>The description of servant leadership provided by Northouse (2012) captures the essence</p><p>of the stories that Hofman shared with me about the International Affairs Department during our</p><p>interview. With a smaller team of employees that report to her, Saskia has the ability to provide</p><p>individualized attention and guidance to all of them, including her student workers. One of the</p><p>most compelling comments that Hofman made was when she was talking about the student</p><p>workers employed by her department. They specifically hire international students to ensure that</p><p>their workers have had personal experience with SEVIS and the process of obtaining a study</p><p>visa. Even though Hofman said that past conversations with her department have questioned</p><p>whether they should replace the two student worker positions with an hourly employee, Hofman</p><p>and her team have always returned to the idea of two student workers because of the valuable</p><p>skills that those students gain. The tasks of interviewing at the beginning of every term and</p><p>offering training sessions result in more work for Hofman and her employees, but the rewards of</p><p>involving more students in the office and helping them gain work experience is what compels the</p><p>team to keep this current structure. This particular anecdote about her department is reflective of</p></li><li><p>8/12/2019 ELPS 419: Leadership in Higher Education</p><p> 8/12</p></li><li><p>8/12/2019 ELPS 419: Leadership in Higher Education</p><p> 9/12</p></li><li><p>8/12/2019 ELPS 419: Leadership in Higher Education</p><p> 10/12</p><p>10</p><p>THEORETICAL ANALYSIS PAPER</p><p>their leadership style may change completely when entering a new environment at a different</p><p>institution.</p><p>Connecting Theory to Practice</p><p>Connecting theory to practice is an important skill in the field of higher education and</p><p>one that is an area with room to grow in relation to leadership. A specific quotation from</p><p>Hofman that I always remember from my time as an intern at SAIC is that she would say we</p><p>dont live in a vacuumwhen she referred to her connections with other departments on campus</p><p>as well as those with other institutions. By implying that her department is always going to be</p><p>affected by external factors such as world events or various administrative pressures from the</p><p>institution, Hofmans leadership style has taught me that staying abreast of what is happening in</p><p>the field is crucial. Hofmans practice of working with others, both internally and externally,</p><p>demonstrates the premises of team and servant leadership.</p><p>The exercise of relating Saskias leadership style with the connection between theory and</p><p>practice has taught me the necessity to layer theories in order to analyze an individuals style. I</p><p>see many gaps and unanswered questions in relation to the leadership theories in Northouse</p><p>(2012), but studying these theories has prompted me to analyze at my own practices and what I</p><p>would like to change or try to do differently. Saskia expressed the desire to have more structured</p><p>conversations around the topic of leadership with her colleagues at SAIC, but also spoke about</p><p>wishing to have had the opportunity to study leadership in a more formal setting. After</p><p>interviewing a professional in my field about her leadership practices, I view practice and the</p><p>connection of theory as the two components of an individuals philosophy thatbenefit from</p><p>growing simultaneously. Without experience, I believe that theory will not resonate with an</p></li><li><p>8/12/2019 ELPS 419: Leadership in Higher Education</p><p> 11/12</p><p>11</p><p>THEORETICAL ANALYSIS PAPER</p><p>individual, but without the theoretical background, the impact of different experiences may be</p><p>interpreted by the individual in a different, not as meaningful, manner.</p><p>Conclusion</p><p>This exercise of interviewing a current professional in the field of international education</p><p>allowed me to begin thinking about my personal leadership style while critically reflecting on</p><p>anothers experiencesand philosophy. Although I have reinforced my need to improve my skills</p><p>in critiquing theory, I feel more confident in my ability to combine aspects of theories with each</p><p>other to better understand a professionals view of on leadership. The characteristics of team and</p><p>servant leadership that Saskia Hofman demonstrates in her leadership style and practices are</p><p>what I admired in a supervisor. Her cultural sensitivity and willingness to lead her office in a</p><p>non-hierarchical structure allowed me to grow professionally during my internship and gave me</p><p>the ability to describe the characteristics I hope to see in my future supervisors in international</p><p>education.</p></li><li><p>8/12/2019 ELPS 419: Leadership in Higher Education</p><p> 12/12</p><p>12</p><p>THEORETICAL ANALYSIS PAPER</p><p>References</p><p>Greenleaf, R. K. (2007). The servant as leader. In R. P. Vecchio (Ed.),Leadership:</p><p>Understanding the dynamics of power and influence in organizations(pp. 407-433).</p><p>Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame.</p><p>Lipman-Blumen, J. (2005). The allure of toxic leaders: Why we follow destructive bosses and</p><p>corrupt politicians and how we can survive them. New York, NY: Oxford University</p><p>Press.</p><p>Northouse, P.G. (2012).Leadership: Theory and practice(6th</p><p>ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.</p></li></ul>