Date of Award

Spring 5-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Educational Administration


Educational Administration

Major Professor

Dr. Christopher J. Broadhurst

Second Advisor

Dr. Brian R. Beabout

Third Advisor

Dr. Brett Welsh


Research suggests there are many factors that contribute to the success or failure of university leaders. This study explores one of these factors—the relationships between the university president and their executive team and the group’s collective sociability—and uses social capital theory to suggest executive teams utilize relationships to influence leadership and the institution. The researcher employs a qualitative phenomenological approach using purposeful sampling to reveal how presidents and their executive teams perceive how their relational experiences impact the team and university. The research found that three themes emerged that broadly cover how organizational structure promotes or hinders relationship building, how relations are maintained and how the environment provides obstacles and opportunities for these academic executives to navigate. This study contributes to the body of literature related to educational leadership by offering current university executives and individuals aspiring to be a university or college executive insight into how the relationships among the executive team can be helpful or a hindrance.


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