Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore student perceptions of instructor leader behaviors from a levels of analysis perspective. Analyses were conducted to determine if an average leadership style, a vertical dyad linkages style, or a leader‐member exchange leadership style operated within the college context. Design/methodology/approach – Students in a mid‐sized, public university completed surveys to assess perceptions of instructors' intellectual stimulation and individualized consideration leader behaviors. Within and between analysis was used to determine how leadership operates within this educational environment. Findings – Results suggest that a leader‐member exchange relationship exists between students and instructors. For leadership to have any effect on students at the instructor level, a dedication to giving instructors the freedom to express their individual beliefs and values must be in place before students can take advantage of an instructor's unique approach to leadership. Research/limitations/implications – Generalizability to other universities is limited due to the sample used in this study. However, the methods and information provided in this study represent a framework for assessing student perceptions of instructor leadership in any educational environment. Originality/value – The paper explores instructor leader behaviors from a levels of analysis point of view and dicusses explanations for the LMX results.
International Journal of Educational Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 28, 2008
Keywords: Leadership; Students; Perception