Original Research

Reflections of academic and professional leaders on leadership in a higher education institution

Jose Frantz, Vivienne Lawack, Anthea Rhoda
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 18 | a1373 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v18i0.1373 | © 2020 Jose Frantz, Vivienne Lawack, Anthea Rhoda | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 April 2020 | Published: 20 November 2020

About the author(s)

Jose Frantz, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Community and Health Sciences, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa
Vivienne Lawack, Department of Mercantile and Labour Law, Faculty of Law, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa
Anthea Rhoda, Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Community and Health Sciences, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa

Abstract

Orientation: Higher education institutions are under pressure to address the challenge of the leadership pipeline. Therefore, the need exists to explore the potential of current leaders and their views of leadership in higher education.

Research purpose: The study aimed to explore the views of how academic and professional support leaders have shifted their thinking of and approach to leadership following their participation in a leadership development programme.

Motivation for the study: Understanding the views of potential leaders about leadership and how leadership development programmes can influence their thinking is essential.

Research approach/design and method: Qualitative data was gathered by means of a document analysis using reflections submitted by 19 participants of a leadership development programme.

Main Findings: The results showed that the programme had an impact on how participants started reflecting on leadership styles beyond the usual description of leadership styles. Additionally, participants used the opportunity for introspection of their own role as a leader and how they need to adapt.

Practical/managerial implications: Higher education institutions are encouraged to implement leadership development programmes that will encourage stakeholders to engage in introspective activities that could influence behavioural change.

Contribution/value-add: It is evident from the results that the information is useful in indicating how participants had made personal adjustments in the way they viewed leadership with a greater sense of ownership and understanding of distributed leadership through the participation in a leadership development programme.


Keywords

academic; higher education; leadership development; reflections; professional support leaders

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