Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Ali Ibrahim

Second Advisor

Dr. Shaikah Al Taniji

Third Advisor

Sheree Jederberg


This thesis is concerned with graduate students’ thesis/dissertation supervisors’ interpersonal approaches. As its framework, the study adopted Glickman, Gordon and Ross-Gordon (2013) four approaches to supervision: directive control, directive informational, collaborative, and non-directive. The purpose of this explanatory mixed method study is to describe students’ perceptions of the approaches used, their satisfaction with these approaches, and whether satisfaction differed based on students’ gender, degree sought, or concentration. The study was conducted by distributing a questionnaire to all graduate students at one of the United Arab Emirates universities who have written a thesis/dissertation during 2015-2017 (N=213), and then, interviewing a group of them (N=16). The study revealed that the most used supervisory approach by the supervisors was the collaborative interpersonal approach and the least used one was the directive informational approach. The level of graduate students’ satisfaction with their supervisors’ approaches was satisfied to highly satisfied. There was no significant difference according to the degree sought and concentration, but for gender, female students believed that the supervisors used the collaborative approach more than the male students. There was a relationship between the supervisor interpersonal approach and student satisfaction. The more collaborative the supervisor was, the more satisfied the student became. In contrast, the more the supervisor uses the non-directive interpersonal approach, the less satisfied students became.