Dean Cleavenger: scholar

To honor the memory of my late colleague, mentor, and friend Dr Dean Cleavenger (pictured below), I want to share some of Dean’s scholarly work with my loyal followers. In addition to being a full-time lecturer (UCF), Fulbright scholar (Romania), and business owner (MidKnight Solar), Dean had developed a cutting-edge and interdisciplinary research agenda. Among other things, he made original and significant contributions to the study of neural networks (see here) and employee behavior (here and here). His most cited work, however, explored the “meaning of work” of the logic of “transformational leadership” (see here and here). But my personal favorite Dean Cleavenger paper by far is still his work on “The Buy-In: A Qualitative Investigation of the Textbook Purchase Decision“, which was co-authored with Brendan Richard and Valerie Storey and was published in the Journal of Higher Education Theory & Practice in 2014. This fascinating paper explores the timing and inner logic of college students’ decision-making process regarding textbooks. Specifically, why do some students delay or decide not to buy an assigned textbook? Among other things, Dean and his colleagues found that students make textbook purchase decisions “in a surprisingly well-thought-out and complex manner,” and they conclude their textbook-decision paper with the following frank and surprising observation: “Unbeknownst to the researchers prior to this study students are engaging in a long drawn out purchase decision-making process that encompasses all five stages of Dewey’s [critical thinking] model ….” Touche’!

Beyond his scholarly work, Dean was also my friend and mentor. I will share some personal reflections about Dean’s life in my next post.

About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a business law professor at the University of Central Florida.
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3 Responses to Dean Cleavenger: scholar

  1. I will have to read a few of his papers. His work on the purchasing behavior of students being textbooks sounds interesting.

  2. Luanne says:

    I’m sorry about your (and the world’s) loss.

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