Self-efficacy, Risk Propensity, and Innovation: Personal Characteristics of Chief Enrollment Officers in Public and Private Higher Education

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

Committee Chair

Brenda Jones

Committee Member

Denise Rucker

Committee Member

Lewis Chongwony


Higher education, like other industries, must innovate to keep pace with new challenges and opportunities. This critical need requires leaders who are predisposed to innovation, particularly in the area of enrollment management that serves as a key revenue source. The personal characteristics of a leader can help to foster innovation, so an examination of the characteristics of chief enrollment officers in higher education may help to explain or predict innovation in higher education. This quantitative study examines the relationships between the constructs of self-efficacy, risk propensity, and innovation. The population of the study is chief enrollment officers of colleges and universities in the United States, divided into their “control types” of public or private not-for-profit. The quantitative study collected responses from chief enrollment officer at 91 public institutions and 105 private not-for-profit institutions. The four hypotheses tested whether the control type influenced the behavior and characteristics of the chief enrollment officers. While the data suggest a positive correlation between both selfefficacy and risk propensity to innovation within this population, the data does not find a statistically significant difference between the two groups.