Shared Governance: a Case Study of Faculty, Administration, and Staff Collaboration

Debra Smith Hayes, Tennessee State University


This study examined how faculty, administrators, and staff experience the climate for shared governance and explored stakeholders' (faculty, administration, and staff) perceptions of shared governance as a means of cultivating inclusive and transformational leadership. The nonexperimental quantitative design used the collegial organizational theory framework. Seventy-nine faculty, 83 staff, and 24 administration participants in this case study shared their perspectives on shared governance at their university. Five research questions led the study. Participants responded to a survey sent at a public high activity research institution in the United States southern region. The primary stakeholders in governance are traditionally the administration and faculty. However, the staff on university campuses are interested in the deliberation and benefit from sharing in the decision-making. Statistical tests used to address the research questions were one-way ANOVA and a paired samples t-test. The results indicated no significant differences among constituents regarding their experiences of shared governance. Participants want everyone empowered to make changes to the governance structure and for all constituent groups to have a voice in the process. Faculty representing a sizeable group of respondents disagreed that they have timely access to information. There was a significant difference in the perception of the climate for shared governance. Although most respondents agree that there is a climate of collegiality and respect, the findings indicated a political and bureaucratic climate.

Subject Area

Higher education|Educational leadership|Educational administration

Recommended Citation

Debra Smith Hayes, "Shared Governance: a Case Study of Faculty, Administration, and Staff Collaboration" (2021). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI28414244.