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Creating the research questions is key to designing a study: Research questions “must have both substance–for example, What is my study about?—and form—for example, Am I asking a ‘who, ‘what,’ ‘where,’ ‘why,’ or ‘how’ question? . . . The form of the question can provide an important clue regarding the appropriate research method to be used” (Yin, 2014, p. 11). In this Discussion, you will create research questions and evaluate the extent to which they align with other components of your Prospectus, and, ultimately, Proposal.To prepare for your Discussion, review the Dissertation resources in this week’s Learning Resources.Pay particular attention to specific examples of problem statements. Also, go to the Walden Library webpage “Dissertations,” find at least two Walden Dissertations from SPPA completed in the past year, and read the problem statements, purpose, and research questions for each.Post by Day 3 your Dissertation topic, problem statement, purpose, and at least two research questions. Explain what you learned from your required readings and Walden Dissertations, on problem and purpose statements and formulating research questions that flow logically from these. Summarize the ways all of these sections are aligned and why that is required for quality and rigorous dissertation research.Running head: GENDER GAPS IN LEADERSHIP
Problem statement
There is a need to fill the gender gap in the leadership of the institutions of higher learning.
While the composition of leadership in these institutions plays a critical role in the type of decisions
that are made, it also influences the level of inspiration that is created at the societal level (Madden,
2011). Unfortunately, the number of women in leadership positions in the institutions of higher
learning remains low. Recent statistics show that the number of women who serve as college
presidents and CEOs of large corporations has declined considerably, which has raised questions on
the progress that is being made in eliminating social problems such as gender inequality,
discrimination, and the glass ceiling (Cook, 2012). While significant progress has been made to raise
the number of women in the institutions of higher learning, their proportion in relation to men in the
workforce and leadership remains low.
The gender gap in leadership remains a chronic problem facing women in society. Throughout
history, women’s role in leadership and other important positions has remained considerably low. In
what Powell (2019) terms as “sex, gender, and leadership wars,” the author argues that being a female
considerably suppresses an individual’s chances of promotion to leadership positions in different
While the number of women who acquire a bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate program
exceeds that of men, their presence in the list of college and corporate presidents is inconsistent
(Diehl, 2015; Gallant, 2014; Madden, 2011). The specific problem is to fill the gap and identify
barriers that block women from tenure & administrative roles in higher learning institutions. This
information should help institutions board of trustees and stakeholder examine the gender gap
observed in the leadership of higher learning and to support the strengths that enable women faculty
and staff members to hurdle the obstacles.
This study follows a qualitative approach. In this case, the study will combine data from
interviews and current statistics from literature to explore the role of gender in women working in
higher learning institutions’ who are full professors and higher education administration.
Cook, S. G. ( 2012). Women presidents: now 26.4% but still underrepresented. Women in
Higher Education, 21(5), 1-3.
Diehl, A. (2014). Making meaning of barriers and adversity: Experiences of women leaders in
higher education. Advancing Women in Leadership, 34, 54-63.
Gallant, A. ( 2014). Symbolic Interactions and the Development of Women Leaders in Higher
Education. Gender, Work & Organization, 21(3), 203-216.
Madden, M. (2011). Gender stereotypes of leaders: Do they influence leadership in higher
education? Journal of Transnational Women & Gender Studies, 9, 56-88.
Powell, G. N. (2019). Women and men in management. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE
Publications, Inc.
Theoretical framework can be described as a blueprint for dissertation inquiry that serves as an
understanding of theories and concepts relevant to specific research being conducted (Desjardins,
2010). To enhance the understanding of research two frameworks are better suited for this:
Baumgartner and Jones punctuated equilibrium framework and advocacy coalition framework. Both of
the frameworks explore the policymaking process which is essential for my research. Baumgartner and
Jones punctuated equilibrium framework aims at measuring and explaining the long periods of
policymaking and policy continuity (Weible &Sabatier,2018). The framework aims at the explanation of
simple observation on the policymaking process (Heikkila&Cairney,2018). To better enhance
understanding of the research topic regarding the reason behind the gender gap in leadership in
institutions I will use the advocacy coalition framework. The advocacy coalition framework was
introduced in the 1980s by Paul Sabatier and Hank Jenkins Smith. With an aim to refine the theoretical
and methodological tools available for policy process study. The advocacy coalition framework has
evolved over the past decades to become a true research program that has been adopted globally
(Weible &Sabatier, 2018).
According to the text, the advocacy coalition framework embodies three principal theoretical
domains: policy change, advocacy coalitions, and policy subsystems (Weible &Sabatier, 2018). These
principles make the framework suitable for the study of my research topic. Since the framework
assesses state, civil society and private sector as influencers of public policy, it offers insight on the
underlying issues that result in gender gap differences in leadership among the various institutions. The
framework also aligns with actors of policy formation and hence by examining the various actors and
how they affect policy and, there will be a better understanding of policies are formulated (Sabatier
&Weible, 2018).
This framework approach explores extensively the policy formulation process. In doing so the
framework exposes the effectiveness of coalition with regard to the provision of policy ideas(Cisneros,
2019). That has a positive on the formulation and implementation of the policy. This aspect of the
framework sheds light on the underlying factors that have resulted in the slow growth rate on the
number of women in high positions in various institutions. By understanding the process better
approaches can be adopted during the formulation and implementation of policies to help address
these problems and ensure equality in high positions for women.
Cisneros, P. (2019). The Advocacy Coalition Framework. Routledge. Retrieved from
Desjardins, F. J. (2010, July 19). Theoretical framework [Video file]. Retrieved from
Heikkila, T., & Cairney, P. (2018). Comparison of theories of the policy process. In Theories of the policy
process (pp. 301-327). Routledge.
Weible, C. M., Sabatier, P. A. (Eds.). (2018). Theories of the policy process (4th ed.). Boulder, CO:
Westview Press.

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