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Dissertation Abstract

The Development of Stewardship Relationships between Managers and Their Principals: A Study of the Effect of Three Organizational/Cultural Variables

C. Dean Williamson
Regent University

Agents and stewards are different, not only psychologically, as advanced by Stevenson (2002), but also in the way they perceive their organization. This research project extended research by Davis, Schoorman, and Donaldson (1997) examined the situational influences on the development of principal-steward relationships. That is, the involvement/control orientation in organizational management; individualism/ collectivism in organizational culture; and power distance in organizational culture, which, for was focused in this study on institutions of higher education. The 1,077 respondents -- who are presidents, vice presidents, and directors at institutions affiliated with the: (a) Association for Southern Baptist Colleges and Schools, (b) Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, and, (c) American Association of State Colleges and Universities. They answered self-typing paragraphs (STPAs) about their management relationship, used to identify their status as an agent or steward, and management philosophy, which identified the perception they held of their organization as being either control-oriented or involvement-oriented. The administrators also provided answers to individualism/collectivism (IDV) and power distance (PDI) questions from Geert Hofstede's Values Survey Module (VSM 94) that provided an understanding about relationships that exist between agents and stewards and their organizations. A number of statistically significant relationships were discovered, providing insight into the different organizational understandings and expectations of those identified as agents and stewards.