Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

August 1992


The concept of locus of control, as an aspect of the human personality, has remained of interest to researchers since its identification by Julian Rotter in the 1960s. Beginning with the work of French and Raven in the 1950s, the concept of power and its interrelationship with leadership ability has also continued to be of interest to social scientists and educators. This study was completed in response to the lack of previous research on the relationship of locus of control to power style usage and preference. Four hundred and eighty academic deans from one hundred and nine Comprehensive II institutions within the Southern Region completed the Rotter Internal/External Locus of Control Scale and Hersey, Blanchard and Natemeyer's Power Perception Profile-Perception of Self to identify: (1) their locus of control orientation and (2) their preferred power style(s). Other variables examined were age, gender, and academic discipline. These variables were measured through responses to a demographic survey developed by the researcher. Patterns of power style preference endorsed by deans were independent of locus of control orientation, age, and gender for the coercive, connection, expert, information, legitimate, referent and reward power styles. A statistically significant relationship was found between deans with undergraduate majors classified as "hard, nonlife" and the expert power style. Deans in "hard, nonlife", disciplines scored higher, and more frequently selected, items on the expert power style than did deans in "soft, life" disciplines. Years of experience in the deanship was found to be significantly related to the preference for and usage of connection power. Connection power was selected more frequently by the responding deans with the fewest years of experience than by deans with the greatest number of years of experience. A greater percentage (87.2%) of the respondents were found to be internally oriented with a Rotter Scale mean score of 6.84. The most frequently endorsed power styles were expert, legitimate and reward. The mean number of years in the deanship was 7.7 with 67.7% aged fifty-five and younger. The ratio of males to females was 4.4 to one. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access