Contents from a research article done by two MSU-Bozeman College of Business faculty members was recently the topic of discussion in a story in the September 2002 Academic Leader Newsletter for Academic Deans and Department Chairs. The article, "Inspiration, More Than Rewards, Improves Faculty Effectiveness," cites information and research compiled by F. William Brown and Dan Moshavi, from the management faculty at the college.

The two compiled data received from studying, surveying and researching leadership styles of the department heads of 70 academic departments, and wrote "Herding academic cats: Faculty reactions to transformational and contingent reward leadership by department chairs," which was published in the Journal of Leadership Studies, Special Issue: Leadership in Higher Education, 8(3), 79-93.

The article in the Academic Leader points out that the original research story shows that a relationship between department heads and faculty which is characterized by admiration, trust, and respect tends to improve faculty effectiveness and elicit productive behaviors significantly more than the allocation of tangible rewards. In general, academic administrators who utilized what are called transformational leadership skills were perceived as more effective by their faculty and those faculty members were more likely to expend greater effort than what was required by their job.

Transformational leadership consists of several factors including leaders who pay individual attention to followers, stimulate their intellect, point out the meaning and purpose to be found in their work, and in particular, are those persons perceived as worthy of respect and admiration. These so called transformational leadership characteristics are more effective than more traditional transactional leadership behaviors which primarily involve the allocation of rewards in exchange for effort or performance.

The Academic Leader article further explores why transformational leadership is effective and how the reader can recognize and develop this leadership quality. Brown states in the article, "In academia, we often look to people who have accomplished great things as academics, but the skill set that made them successful as faculty is entirely different than those things that make an academic administrator successful."

You can find out more on this information by contacting Brown or Moshavi at the MSU Bozeman College of Business -