The Use of Leadership Research Materials by Technology Leaders in the United States of America

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Meredith, Sheldon
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A research study was conducted addressing the specific problem of senior technology leaders in physical sciences technology companies in the USA underutilizing scholarly leadership research (SLR). The purpose of the study was to learn via surveys how often senior technology leaders access, use, and share SLR and non-scholarly leadership materials (NSLM) to inform their leadership decisions for the benefit of their organizations. The study was supported by a literature review addressing the alignment of the problem with leadership theories, the need for leaders to use SLR, the economic relevance of addressing the problem, the efforts of company leaders to address the problem, and the historical and current methods of leader learning. The quantitative methodology included online surveys of three groups of senior technology leaders, senior managers, directors, and vice presidents from 33 physical sciences technology companies in the USA. The causal-comparative research design enabled the calculation of means of counts of instances of the access, use, and sharing of leadership materials as reported by survey respondents. Differences in the calculated means between senior technology leader groups were analyzed using ANOVA as well as Bonferroni and Tukey HSD-Kramer post hoc methods to elucidate any statistically significant differences. The results showed infrequent access, use, or sharing of SLR within any of the senior technology leader groups. The results also showed occasional access, use, and sharing of NSLM by the same groups and statistically significant increases in all three behaviors with leadership span of control. The results inform leadership researchers, information scientists, leadership development service providers, and others interested in the transfer of leadership research to technology practitioners about the current effectiveness of such transfer. The results also inform future research opportunities including the motivators and detractors for senior technology leaders accessing, using, and sharing both SLR and NSLM. Other research opportunities include quantifying the connection between the use of SLR and NSLM by technology leaders to organizational outcomes as well as how college and university technology degree programs might better prepare technologists to access and use leadership materials.
technology , scholarly leadership research , stem , technologist , management
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States , openAccess