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Williams, Martha W.
Davidson, Neil A.
The study designed and validated a leadership training program prototype for African American women by examining role modeling and self-efficacy constructs using the direct instruction model. This study was the first to engage federal senior executive service (SES) African American women members in examining leadership skills and competencies. These women also assessed the intrinsic and extrinsic value of fourteen managerial behavior skills. A modified educational research and development methodology consisting of three phases outlined by Borg and Gall (1989) was used. Phase One included two major activities: (a) needs assessment and (b) design of the prototype workshop. As part of the needs assessment process, a survey-questionnaire was developed which integrated competencies from two studies in the literature. Those results were used to: (a) determine the prototype workshop topic, and (b) examine the fourteen managerial behavior skills. Fifty-four African American women in the SES completed the needs assessment survey-questionnaire and three of them served as project role models. The project role models were interviewed during a videotaped focus-group session. The prototype workshop, a day-long session on "planning and organizing 11 based on the direct instruction model, was also designed under this phase. A preliminary field-test of the prototype workshop was conducted under Phase Two. The revised prototype workshop was subjected to a ma in field-test under Phase Three, Twenty-four African American women at the GS-7 through GS-13 grade levels employed in a federal executive branch agency participated in the main field-test. An independent observer served throughout the study, but was not a participant. A variety of measurements were used to gather data: needs assessment survey-questionnaire; project role model focus-group interview session; pretest-posttest; prototype workshop evaluation form; interview-questionnaire; an independent observer's evaluation-questionnaire and clinical notes; and post-workshop assignment. The one-group, pretest-posttest experimental design was employed because no studies existed which examined African American women's leadership training using the direct instruction model. It was therefore hypothesized that distribution of scores on the pretest and posttest measuring "planning and organizing" would differ in their mean at the p<.05 level. A Wilcoxon Matched-Pairs test was conducted. Findings show that the model of African American women's leadership as defined by the cluster sampling group embraced transformational leadership attributes. Consistent with the literature was the perception by the project role models that having fewer African American women role models in the workplace affects their leadership development. The needs assessment participants rated the fourteen managerial behavior skills in terms of their level of intrinsic and extrinsic value. "Dealing with racism" held the highest level of intrinsic value. But, unlike other studies, the skill "dealing with sexism" held the lowest level of intrinsic value and was rated the least important managerial behavior skill for leadership development. The skill "problem-solving" held high extrinsic value and "supporting" held low extrinsic value. "Planning and organizing" was rated the most important skill for leadership development while "dealing with sexism" was rated the least important. Finally, scores on the post test were higher than scores on the pretest. The Wilcoxon Matched-Pairs test results show that pretest-posttest mean scores differed at the p<.05 level. The hypothesis was retained, suggesting usefulness of the direct instruction model for developing the prototype workshop.