Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. C. Elliott Ostler


The purpose of this dissertation is to investigate leadership styles of educational leaders in the state of Nebraska. The research described herein has built upon past research and examined traditional gender roles in educational leadership. Male and female educators, in their respective roles, have shaped and facilitated a school model designed to uphold traditional social roles within the existing contemporary society (Engel, 2015; Goldstein, 2014; Koenig & Eagly, 2014). Educational leadership style norms were established in the mid-1800’s and were founded on traditional gender roles guided by a general set of beliefs about masculine and feminine attributes (Goldstein, 2015). The terms agency (agentic - masculine) and communion (communal - feminine) were introduced within the context of psychology by David Bakan (1966), who described them as the basic modalities of human existence. The validity of tests for masculinity-femininity were challenged in the research findings of Anne Constantinople (1973) and in concert with social justice movements of the 1970’s. Today, the Information Age (Goldman & Scardamalia, 2013) presents new challenges to the traditional school system. An agentic and communal balance of interpersonal confidences may provide leaders with more effective and efficient tools to adapt. An imbalance of agentic and communal traits and confidences may limit the ability of a leader, team, group, or an organization to perform as well as possible (Carli & Eagly, 2001). The Information Age grew from an industrial base (Transactional Leadership) to a postindustrial base (Transformational and Transformative Leadership) (Goldman & Scardamalia 2013; Leonard, 2003). This research investigation analyzes agentic and communal confidences of Nebraska administrators while focusing on how they influence leadership decisions in the context of conflict management. Now, and in the future, a “think manager, think male” (Sczesny, 2003) mindset adversely impacts progress and creates barriers for progress in the educational environment in the state of Nebraska.


A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate College of the University of Nebraska in Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education. Copyright 2018 Amy Catherine Hansen Rauch Himes.

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