Date of Award

Spring 3-4-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Marilou Ryder

Second Advisor

Jeffrey Lee

Third Advisor

Linda Scharpenberg


Purpose: The purpose of this qualitative, replication study was to discover what behaviors female administrators exhibit that may prompt male administrators with whom they work in a California community college to demonstrate behaviors associated with gender dissonance and also to determine what impact these dissonant behaviors may have on women’s potential eligibility for advancement to the position of community college Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in California.

Methodology: This qualitative, phenomenological study identified and collected the lived experiences of seven female and seven male Community College CEOs in California. Respondents were purposively chosen based on delimiting criteria. A panel of experts evaluated interview questions and protocols which were then field tested to fine-tune precision and accuracy of the instrument. The researcher conducted face-toface, semi-structured interviews to gather data and used specialized software to help interpret the data.

Findings: Based upon information gathered during interviews, these data show that females exhibit specific behaviors associated with gender dissonance that cause men to exhibit dissonant behaviors. Most of the study’s participants agree that because females exhibit these behaviors, it is a possibility females will not receive promotions to the CEO position.

Conclusions: Based on findings, the researcher can conclude males and females will continue to mis-understand one another until efforts are made to change the status quo, females are caught in a leadership double-bind, communication has improved in the last 20 years, and perception is reality causes strife. Recommendations: After in-depth review of conclusions, further research is needed to better inform community college administrators of their challenges. Several replicative studies could be undertaken to prove more data. A researcher may focus on different aspects of the community college leadership structure. Studies could look at geographical locations of schools, generational differences among the CEOs, or use a different sample from the same population. Studies could also focus on different industries like K-12 administration or the corporate sector to provide comparative data.

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