Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management

Major Professor

Wanda M. Costen

Committee Members

Ann Fairhurst, J. Patrick Biddix, Ramon Leon, Youn-Kyung Kim


The purpose of this research is to extend the existing knowledge of academic administrator leadership behaviors that are necessary for effective academic leadership in hospitality and tourism higher education, as viewed through the transformational leadership framework. This study also investigated hospitality and tourism administrators’ previous industry experience, management experience, and management experience in the industry. This dissertation research was guided by three primary objectives. First, this study aimed to develop a model that measures hospitality and tourism academic leadership effectiveness. Second, this dissertation intended to explore the relationship among different leadership styles & leadership effectiveness. Third, this dissertation aspired to measure the importance or impact of previous industry management or leadership experience on hospitality and tourism academic leadership effectiveness.

The sample population for this empirical study is hospitality and tourism academic administrators located in the United States selected from the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education’s (ICHRIE) online publication the Guide to College Programs. The hospitality and tourism academic administrators were asked to complete a self-administered online questionnaire that included questions from (1) the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire© to ascertain an aggregate measurement of transformational leadership behaviors, (2) the Higher Education Leadership Competencies (HELC), a five component scale that has been established as a comprehensive set of leadership competencies of effective senior leaders in higher education that are necessary or important for effective academic leadership, and (3) general academic administrator demographical information. The survey was sent via email message to 373 hospitality &/or tourism academic administrators in the United States. Of the 373 surveys invitations distributed, 80 academic administrators completed the entire survey for a 23% response rate. The respondents represented 66 different institutions.

ANOVA results indicated that hospitality and tourism academic administrators’ transformational leadership behaviors increase their leadership effectiveness. Moreover, participants who scored higher on the MLQ©, also scored higher on the HELC factors of Analytical, Communication, Behavioral, and External Relations. Finally, the findings indicated that previous industry experience moderated the relationship between the participants’ transformational leadership behaviors and leadership effectiveness.

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