Academic Presentation: The Effect of Tenure on Perceived Leader Integrity and Implicit Leadership Perception

Heidi Frederick, Assistant Vice President and Dean of the College of Adult and G

On March 6, Heidi Frederick, Assistant Vice President and Dean of the College of Adult and Graduate Studies, provided an academic presentation on “The Effect of Tenure on Perceived Leader Integrity and Implicit Leadership Perception.” The presentation was attended by OCU faculty, students and members of the community.

Frederick’s presentation focused on a study she conducted in which participants scored their current supervisor according to items of perceived integrity and implicit leader characteristics such as: sensitivity, dedication, tyranny, charisma, and intelligence. The survey also asked about participants' tenure with the leader and with the organization.

"Recent political, economic, and religious scandals have led scholars and practitioners to focus on how followers perceive leader integrity,” Frederick said. “This study reviewed integrity in connection to characteristics based on followers' ideal prototypes and anti-prototypes of what a leader should be.”

The findings of the study showed some significant elements in how perceived integrity related to the implicit characteristics of dedication and tyranny. However, the results were inconclusive as related to the effect of tenure.

Dannyel Butte, a traditional Disaster Management senior, thought tenure was significant in creating credibility as a leader, but when she thinks of larger companies the results are not surprising.

“When I think about big corporations where the employees are not closely associated with the leaders, [employees] do not really care how long [the leader] has been there or how well they know you,” Butte said. “They can only judge the leadership based on how well the company is thriving or falling.”

Jim Fograscher, an AGS adjunct professor and business coach, said he came to the presentation because if tenure did have a strong association to perceived leadership, then that might have implications for corporate succession strategies, retention efforts or even government term limits.  However, the inconclusive results of Frederick’s study reinforced to him the importance of a company’s brand.

“An organization’s culture may have a greater influence on perception than the individual leader’s brand. That’s important because many small-medium sized business owners aren’t aware that culture matters,” Fograscher said.

Ms. Frederick is currently writing a dissertation on the effect of accountability practices on authentic leadership perception for a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from Regent University. She also holds an MBA and B.Mus. from Palm Beach Atlantic University.

OCU’s next academic presentation will take place on Wednesday, March 20th at 4:30 p.m. in the Science and Logistics Center, Rooms 102/104.