The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2011 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Nancy Weissman; Respiratory Care, Palm Beach State College, Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Background: Over the next ten years, there is a considerable number of respiratory care program directors that are likely to retire. An understanding of leadership characteristics of current program directors will be critical for the future of the profession. There is limited research published about leadership characteristics of respiratory care educators. This study will help fill that void and serves as a foundation for further research. For that reason, the aim of this research is to examine the leadership characteristics of all accredited respiratory care program directors to determine the relationship between the director’s leadership style, faculty satisfaction with their leader, and faculty’s willingness to exert extra effort. Method: Program director, faculty and program demographics were obtained with a researcher-designed questionnaire. Program directors leadership characteristics were measured by the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ). Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) accredited program directors (n=321) and their full and part-time faculty (n=172) received an e-mail requesting participation in the study with a web link to obtain demographic information. Faculty members received an e-mail from Mind Garden, Inc. with a web link to complete the MLQ. Results: A significant relationship between faculty satisfaction (p < .001), and each of the following types of leadership: transformational, transactional, and passive/avoidant behaviors. Additionally, the results found a significant relationship between extra effort and transformational and passive/avoidant leadership behaviors (p < .001) and transactional leadership behaviors (p = .008). Conclusion: With many program directors close to retirement, mentors are needed to help develop future program director’s potential. Program directors in respiratory care education possess the leadership qualities necessary to provide for the needs and expectations of the community in which they serve. Although the results of this study are preliminary, they are supported by current research in other allied health professions and a parallel can be drawn. This study is the foundation of understanding of the leadership characteristics of program directors in respiratory care. Furthermore, this study adds to the literature base of faculty satisfaction in allied health programs. Sponsored Research - None