Dissertation Abstract

Leadership Styles of Three Hispanic-American Women in Health Science.

Publication Number:  AG9700416
Author:  Pankau, Kristel
School:  University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Date:  1996
Pages:  151
Subject:  Management, Gender

Case study methodology was utilized to explore and describe leadership styles of selected Hispanic American women in management positions in the field of health science. A non-probability, stratified sample of convenience was used to process and determine final selection of three participants. At the time of the study all participants held full-time management positions for no less than four consecutive years. Participants ranged in age from thirty-five to fifty years.

The study also investigated the influence of personal biography, including, factors which fostered and constrained leadership in the women selected. Data were collected from questionnaire responses, interviews, and observations at professional sites in urban and rural areas of the western United States.

The results from the cases investigated indicated the following: (1) The leadership styles of the women were a blend of proven leadership and management techniques. (2) A foundation of mutual respect, consistency, and the ability to lead by example were evident in each case. (3) Personal biography strongly influenced the development of leadership styles and centered around family support. (4) Factors which fostered the development of leadership were also cultivated by family patronage along with a high level of persistence demonstrated by each participant. (5) The combination of being Hispanic and female proved to be a major obstacle toward the development of leadership. (6) To further constrain the development of leadership each participant was confronted with having to adapt to a less than friendly environment in pursuit of career goals. (7) In two out of three cases, there were apparently inherent role expectations by the husbands of the participants to be strictly wife and mother, and not pursue a career.

Findings provided provocative food-for-thought in revealing proven definitive guidelines and suggestions for effective leadership of three Hispanic American women in management positions in the field of health science. These guidelines and suggestions may be of value not only to other Hispanic American women aspiring to positions of leadership in the field of health science, but may very well cross-over into other disciplines and be beneficial to both men and women in or seeking leadership positions.

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