Date of Award

12-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

J. Beth Mabry, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Valerie Bunter, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

John Anderson, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Julia Gill, Ph.D.

Abstract

The purpose of this cross-sectional descriptive research study was to explore leadership development of professionals in the field of radiography that starts at the level of the student radiographer. Specifically, this study was aimed at understanding radiography students' perceptions of the transformational leadership behaviors of individuals who hold leadership positions relative to the radiography educational process, and how these leader role models related to students' perceptions of leadership opportunities in the field of radiography and beliefs about their own self-efficacy with regard to leadership. Transformational leadership, identity and role formation theory, a feminist perspective with constructs of power, and the construct of self-efficacy served as the theoretical framework. Study participants included 163 radiologic technologists registered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) who, as part of the primary certification examination application process, indicated to the ARRT willingness for inclusion in research correspondence. An adapted version of Kouzes' and Posner's (1998) Student Leadership Practices Inventory was used to assess radiography students' perceptions of their own leadership ability and of the leadership behaviors of radiography program directors, clinical coordinators, clinical instructors, staff radiologic technologists, and imaging department directors. Data were analyzed using quantitative analyses at univariate, bivariate and multivariate levels. Findings indicated that radiography students observed transformational leadership behaviors in all radiography role models to various degrees and feel highly efficacious, themselves, as transformational leaders. The degree to which students identified with role models appeared to be key in influencing students' perceptions about leadership opportunities in the field and their self-efficacy for transformational leadership. Of the five role models, radiography students consistently identified with radiologic technologists. Perceptions that students had of the transformational leadership of radiologic technologists emerged as the primary predictor of student self-efficacy for leadership. Findings support incorporation of leadership instruction and practical application in the entry-level radiography curriculum that provide radiography students opportunity to develop leadership skills and acquire knowledge in theory and in practice. Findings also suggest incorporation of tenets of adult learning theory in radiography education and provision of professional development opportunities for radiologic technologists relative to their roles as leaders and mentors to radiography students.

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