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Leadership styles of academic deans and department heads: university dons' perspectives on how they affect their job satisfaction

journal contribution
posted on 2024-07-05, 04:48 authored by Samson John MgaiwaSamson John Mgaiwa
PurposeLeadership has been recognised as a critical factor for employees' job satisfaction. However, much remains to be learned about how university academics who work in developing country contexts perceive their head of departments (HoDs) and deans' leadership styles and how such leadership styles influence their job satisfaction. Therefore, extending earlier research on higher education leadership, this study was pioneered to examine deans' and heads of departments' leadership styles and how such leadership styles influenced their job satisfaction.Design/methodology/approachThis study employed an exploratory research design to draw on data from in-depth interviews with university academics sourced from two private and two public universities. Participants constituted fifteen academics (N = 15) from the studied universities. The collected data from interviews were transcribed verbatim and subjected to thematic analysis.FindingsThe findings revealed that overall, academics perceived their HoDs and deans as employing both transformational and transactional leadership styles. As such, both styles of leadership influenced academics' job satisfaction in diverse ways although the transformational leadership style appeared to be the most dominant in influencing academics' job satisfaction.Practical implicationsThe article highlights the need for university managers (i.e. heads of departments and deans) to flexibly employ preferred leadership styles to achieve job satisfaction among academics.Originality/valueFrom the theoretical point of view, this article contributes to expanding the earlier research by showing how academics' perceptions of leadership styles employed by their academic leaders shape their job satisfaction.

History

Journal

International Journal of Educational Management

Volume

37

Pagination

1088-1103

Location

Bingley, Eng.

Open access

  • No

ISSN

0951-354X

eISSN

1758-6518

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Issue

5

Publisher

Emerald Group Publishing