ABSTRACTSUSAN DIANNE LITTLE. Perception or reality? A frame analysis of leadership behavior, style, and effectiveness among selected community college administrators. (Under the direction of Dr. JOHN GRETES) The American community college has reached a pivotal point in its history, a juncture of conflicting forces pulling and pushing the institution in opposite directions, attacking and supporting its mission, and demanding more from yet providing less to the two-year sector of higher education. At this historical juncture, the community college is also confronted by the challenges inherent in an increasingly diverse student population, heightened external mandates for enhanced accountability, severe funding shortages, continually metamorphosing technological developments, and growing public skepticism. Compounded by an internal leadership crisis, the above forces have converged to createthe proverbial "perfect storm," an unprecedented turning point signaling the need for unprecedented leadership. Such leadership must be both situational and transformational, altering both the leader and the led and giving new credibility to the institution itself. To effectively transform their institutions and ensure the navigation of such turbulent times, current and future community college leaders must first transform themselves through multi-faceted evaluation involving both self-examination of their effectiveness and assessment by those with and for whom they work. This study utilized a multi-rater approach to investigate the leadership behavior, orientation, and effectiveness of sixteen selected administrators at a North Carolina community college.Those administrators included vice-presidents, associate deans, executive directors, executive officers, and one academic dean. The purpose of the researcher was to compare leaders‟ self-perceptions of their behavior, orientation/style, and managerial and leadership effectiveness with the perceptions expressed by their supervisors, peers, and subordinates. Bolman and Deal‟sLeadership Orientation Instrument-Self (LOI-Self) was used to assess individual leaders‟ self-perceptions; the Leadership Orientation Instrument-Other (LOI-Other), the perceptions expressed by leaders‟ supervisors, peers, and subordinates. Leadership behavior and orientation were analyzed within Bolman and Deal‟s four organizational frames: structural, human resource, political, and symbolic. Independent variables were the groups of raters (self, supervisors, peers, and subordinates). Dependent variables were the perceptions of leadership behavior, orientation, and effectiveness. Descriptive comparisons indicated that leaders and their supervisors considered leaders‟ preferred frame as the human resource frame, followed by the structural, symbolic, and political frames. Both peers and subordinates deemed the structural frame as leaders‟ preferred frame, followed by the human resource, symbolic, and political frames. Individual frame analyses revealed discrepancies in the level of rankings, with leaders often rated themselves higher than others. Discrepancies were also noted in leadership and managerial effectiveness, where leaders were more inclined to ratethemselves in the top 20% of effective leaders they had known and peers were more inclined to rate leaders in the next to top 20% or middle 20%.A series of nine two-factor Analyses of Variance with Repeated Measures(ANOVR) was used to analyze the differences between leaders‟ perceptions and the perceptions of others. Results suggested statistically significant differences between leaders‟ self-perceptions of both their leadership behavior and their leadership orientation when compared with the perceptions of their supervisors, peers, and subordinates.