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Title: Leadership styles of business school deans and their perceived effectiveness
Author: Hassan, Ahlam Ali
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2013
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Leadership as a concept has been an area of significance for several decades. While the contribution of research to leadership concept in the industry has been substantial the same cannot be claimed with regard to the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). There is a paucity of research studies in the context of HEIs, particularly in regard to business schools. Deans of business schools were hardly the subject of research in the leadership literature till recently. But with collapsing business empires in the last decade (for instance Lehman Brothers), business school deanship came under scrutiny as the leaders in those business empires that collapsed were graduates of renowned business schools. The review of the literature with respect to challenges affecting HEI and business school leadership threw up many challenges. The challenges investigated were leadership styles, leadership practice, leadership effectiveness, decision quality, follower commitment, follower satisfaction, management style, organisational setting and orgaisational culture. Each challenge was assumed as a factor affecting deans of business schools as leaders. The review of the literature provided the theoretical basis for determining the nature of each factor. Leadership style was defined as the independent variable influencing leadership practice. Five leadership styles namely transactional, transformational, laissez-faire, democratic and autocratic leadership styles were made as independent variables to determine leadership practice. Leadership practice was identified as the independent variable influencing leadership effectiveness although the relationship between leadership practice and leadership effectiveness was supposed to be influenced by mediating factors namely decision quality of deans of business school, follower satisfaction and follower commitment. Academic and administrative staff were considered as the followers. Management style and organisational setting were considered as moderating variables of leadership practice of deans of business schools. Oraganisational structure was used to represent organisational setting as the variable. Organisational culture was used as the control variable. The theoretical framework was drawn to represent the linkage between the factors. The model developed was supported by already established theories that were tested for reliability and validity. The leadership style and leadership effectiveness models were developed which was the focus of this research. Leadership style-leadership practice linkage provided the theoretical framework to determine the style practised by the deans. Leadership practiceleadership effectiveness linkage mediated by decision quality, follower commitment and follower satisfaction provided the theoretical framework to determine the leadership effectiveness. Survey questionnaire was the method used to collect data. The questionnaire was sent to 600 academic and administrative staff members of business schools from eight different countries. The results showed that the transactional leadership style was the leadership style practised by the deans of the business schools. Other findings were as follows. That transactional leadership indirectly but positively influenced the leadership effectiveness of deans through decision quality and follower satisfaction. The mediation of the transactional leadership practice-leadership effectiveness linkage by decision quality and follower satisfaction was significant and in the positive direction. Management style and organisational structure were found to act as moderating variables of transactional leadership practice of deans positively. Transformational, laissez-faire, democratic and autocratic leadership styles were found to have significant and positive correlation with transactional leadership style implying that these four styles could moderate the transactional leadership style-leadership practice linkage. The study offers insights into how deans of business schools might develop their leadership attributes either by enhancing their transactional leadership style or changing their style or combining different styles to suit the situation.
Supervisor: Gallear, D. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Leadership styles and leadership practise ; Effectiveness of leadership styles ; Deans of business School as leaders and managers ; Leadership committment, satisfaction and organisational structures ; Decision quality in leadership practise