D.B.A. Baker College (Michigan), 2022.
Subject: Business administration
Exploring experiences that impact remote work preparedness for women in higher education leadership
113 pages. UMI #: 29326914
Citation, Abstract & Full text in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Database
With the onset of the global pandemic, COVID-19, traditional working environments made a transition to remote workspaces, typically located within employees’ homes, with all communication funneled through email, audio conferencing, chats, and webinars. This shift affected the trajectory of the world of work, and it is likely to be forever changed. This qualitative phenomenological study focused on the experiences that impacted the preparedness of women in higher education leadership roles who made a transition from traditional work environments to remote work environments. The purpose of this study was to explore the unique experiences that affected women leaders’ ability to manage job duties remotely. Social exchange theory and structural empowerment theory were identified as the theoretical foundations of this study. Purposive sampling was used to select 13 women leaders working for a not-for-profit, private institution for higher education in the Midwest who transitioned to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Individual interviews were conducted using research questions related to experiences that impacted leaders’ preparedness for transitioning to remote work. The raw qualitative data gathered from these interviews was uploaded to a data visualization tool that allowed for coding, resulting in the identification of several themes. Themes that were identified included that more employer support would have been helpful for women leaders during their transition, and increased training is needed for future women leaders taking on leadership roles in remote work environments. The researcher recommends that workplace culture shift to support remote workers. Employees must receive comprehensive training, clear guidelines, and access to technology prior to taking on remote work roles. An opportunity for further research exists to understand the impact of transitioning to remote work for men in leadership roles. Further research related to Greenleaf's process leadership theory is also a recommendation, with emphasis on learning organizations and how leaders can commit to aligning themselves with the overall vision of the employees within an organization. A summary of these results will be shared with upper-level leadership at the college for consideration in the intentional creation of professional development and training for leaders taking on remote work responsibilities.