Lamidi, Kafayat. K and Williams, Dina (2014) Leading transformational change in Higher Education: Discussion of literature and conceptual framework. In: Academic Proceedings of the 2014 University-Industry Interaction Conference: Challenges and Solutions for Fostering Entrepreneurial Universities and Collaborative Innovation. University Industry Innovation Network, Barcelona, Spain, pp. 46-99. ISBN 978-94-91901-11-9

Most recently University’s functions undergone significant transformation; they are expected to excel in education and research but also promote innovation and entrepreneurship. Universities are experiencing exceptional challenges in reflecting who they are, what they do, how they do it and why they do it. Increasingly, the emergence of the knowledge economy, the development of the information and communication technology, the economic instability, and decrease in state funding have brought new demands on higher education systems worldwide. Recent National reports, series of Higher Education Quarterly and Public Administration articles identify the need to reinforce more on the leadership aspect of the universities. Much has been written about a need for universities to transform from a traditional university model to an entrepreneurial institution facing challenging environment. However little attention has been given to HOW this transformation happens and the role of university leaders in implementing to this change. This paper seeks to fill the growing gap in understanding of the role of leadership in entrepreneurial performance of the UK universities. It aims to assess the UK Higher Education context. This paper will propose a conceptual framework to evaluate role of leadership at university level. Furthermore, it employs a supporting framework on entrepreneurial university; the transformational role theory (TRT) a novel framework to explore how entrepreneurial university leaders influence the universities’ performance with emphasis on leadership contribution to the transformational process.
The paper is grounded in a meta-analysis of existing literature sources. Leadership in the public sector particularly the higher education institution (HEI) was examined with reference to reports, articles and books published on this research topic between the periods from 19th century to date. These sources were selected based on the issues of the content, context, outcomes of change, process, leadership, organizational and sectorial change (governance arrangements and funding systems). Based on this review, the paper develops a conceptual framework which can be later applied to empirical data.
The literature review provides an insight into the varying roles of leadership between organizations. Leadership in private sector differs from the one in public sector. Public sector leadership is characterised by transactional rather than transformational. This paper reveals that the best leadership style suitable for tackling the changes in HEIs is the transformational entrepreneurial leadership (TEL). Also, this paper identifies the roles of TEL and highlights the key qualities required by academic leaders to lead the university entrepreneurially. TRT is an important framework; it is applicable to any industry and it enables senior managers and policy makers to address issues at institutional levels.
Universities are changing and require new leadership approach. This paper is original in its conceptualizations of transformational role theory underpinning transformational entrepreneurial leadership (TEL). TEL has distinctive features which help create appropriate leadership style in the public sector particularly in considering the unique nature of universities (it governance systems). This topic is important because universities are playing a fundamental role in reducing the social-economic pressures in the society.

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