1.1 Background to the Study
In this era of globalization, technology has been of great relevance, reducing the whole world to a global village. Following this, successful leaders world over tend to draw ideas from one another giving rise to the modern leadership concept known as `transformational leadership behaviours which in turn has a lot of impact world over on education generally (Onwurah, Chiaha and Ogbuanya,2007). World class status has always been the aspiration of any university that intends to continue to be in the education industry (Rozainun, Noormala, Puzziawati, Rohana, 2009). The world declaration on High Education for the 21st Century (1998) affirmed that the ultimate goal of education management is to enhance the institutional mission by ensuring high quality teaching , training, research and services to the community’. The achievement of these objectives requires governance that combines social vision with the understanding of global issues coupled with efficient managerial skill. .Bryman, (1992) and Lowe K.B, and Sivasubramaniam, (1996) opined that in more than 100 empirical studies, transformational leadership has been found to be consistently related to organizational effectiveness. Fullan (2001) claimed that the search for effective leadership led to the discovery of transformational leadership behaviours (TLBs).
According to Leithwood (2000), Transformational leadership is that which facilitates a redefinition of a people’s mission and vision, a renewal of their commitment and the restructuring of their systems for goal accomplishment. Transformational leadership fosters capacity development and brings higher levels of personal commitment amongst ‘followers’ to organizational objectives. According to Bass (1990, 21) transformational leadership “occurs when leaders broaden and elevate the interests of their employees, when they generate awareness and acceptance of the purposes and mission of the group, and when they stir employees to look beyond their own self-interest for the good of the group.” Together, heightened capacity and commitment are held to lead to additional effort and greater productivity (Barbuto, 2005; Leithwood & Jantzi, 2000; Spreitzer, Perttula & Xin, 2005). According to Bass (1997) the four components of Transformational leadership behaviours are as follows:
- Idealized influence is having transformational leaders who behave in ways that result in their role models for their followers (Breaux 2010:1). Genuine trust must be built between leaders and followers. If the leadership is truly transformational, its charisma or idealized influence is characterized by high moral and ethical standards.
- Inspirational motivation is the ability of the leader to provide meaning and context to the work of those under him/her (http://www.toolingu.com/definition). It provides followers with challenges and meaning for engaging in shared goals and undertakings. The leader’s appeal to what is right and needs to be done provides the impetus for all to move forward.
- Intellectual stimulation is the ability of a leader to those following him or her thinking about the task at hand, asking questions and solving problems (http://www.toolingu.com/definition). It helps followers to question assumptions and to generate more creative solutions to problems.” The leader’s vision provides the framework for followers to see how they connect to the leader, the organization, each other, and the goal.
- Individual consideration is the ability of the leader to pay special attention to the needs and problems of each individual person (http://www.toolingu.com/definition). It treats each follower as an individual and provides coaching, mentoring and growth opportunities. This approach not only educates the next generation of leaders, but also fulfills the individuals need for self-actualization, self-fulfillment, and self-worth.
Transformational leaders elevate people from low levels of need, focused on survival (following Maslow’s hierarchy), to higher levels (Kelly, 2003; Yukl, 1989). They may also motivate followers to transcend their own interests for some other collective purpose (Feinberg, Ostroff & Burke, 2005, p. 471)
In the past decade, the term “world-class university” has become a catch phrase for not simply improving the quality of learning and research in tertiary education but more
importantly for developing the capacity to compete in the global tertiary education marketplace through the acquisition and creation of advanced knowledge (Williams and Van Dyke, 2007). In an attempt to propose a more manageable definition of world-class universities, this policy note makes the case that the superior results of these institutions (highly sought graduates, leading edge research, technology transfer) can essentially be attributed to three complementary sets of factors that can be found at play among most top universities, namely (i) a high concentration of talent (faculty and students), (ii) abundant resources to offer a rich learning environment and conduct advanced research, and (iii) favorable governance features that encourage strategic vision, innovation and flexibility, and enable institutions to make decisions and manage resources without being encumbered by bureaucracy.(Salmi and Saroyan ,2007)
To meet the challenges in 21st century, leaders must be stewards of transformation. Transformational leadership and stewardship are reciprocal and mutually reinforcing aspects of public service and are two vital responsibilities for tomorrow’s leaders. As “Transformational Leaders”, public leaders must pursue organizational transformation, while serving as stewards of their organization by maintaining public administration values. Public leaders of the future require high creativity and initiative, concern for the community and careful management to bring about leadership of change. Transformational Leadership is a dynamic equilibrium reflecting dedication to service and strategy, agility and accountability (Edwine, Newcomer and Davis, 2006).
Over the last thirty years, transformational leadership has become one of the most prominent theories of organizational behaviour. In contrast to leadership based on individual gain and the exchange of rewards for effort, transformational leaders direct and encourage employees’ efforts by raising their awareness of the importance of organizational values and outcomes. In doing so, such leaders activate the higher order needs of their employees and encourage them to transcend their own self-interest for the sake of the organization and its clientele (Donald, Moynihan, Sanjay, Pandey, and Bradly E. Wright, 2009 )
In 1978, the term transformational leadership was coined by James MacGregor Burns to describe the ideal relationship between leaders and followers. James Kaagam used Burn’s ideas to build a developmental model of leadership that examines further the continuum between transformation and transformational leadership.(Colonel, 2001). Other recent scholars in transformational leadership include Tichy (1997), Kotter (1999), Dong, Walter and Humphrey (2001), Chiaha (2009).
Historically, the management and administrative pattern of Nigerian Universities have their antecedents in the structures laid down by the founding fathers of the University College, Ibadan in 1948. In keeping with the accepted mode of university administration worldwide, the committee system of decision- making, both at the central and the faculty or departmental level was installed and had been adopted by subsequent universities to date with local variations. The main feature of this system is its collegiality, which implies participatory management. The instruments of governance of the universities, and from which all authorities derive their power of governance and administration are the University (miscellaneous provisions) act 1993, otherwise known as Decree 11 and the various Federal Government circulars and directives that get adopted by the Governing Council from time to time. The instruments of Governance denote the various organs of Governance. These are the Governing Council, the Senate, the Congregation and Convocation. In addition, they define the offices, for example, the Principal Officers, their tenure of appointment, the powers, functions and limitations as the broad areas of authority and responsibility of other officials of the university (Mojisola, 2007)
Many scholars of transformational leadership believe that leadership principles are timeless, while the models that examine those principles may change. Transformational leadership ultimately becomes moral in that it raises the level of human conduct and ethical aspiration of both the leader and the led and thus it has a transforming effect on both. For leaders to have the greatest impact on the led they must motivate followers into action by appealing to shared values and by satisfying the higher order needs of the led such as their aspirations and expectations (Burns 1978). When these things are done, the led are relieved of their pressing burdens and encouraged to give their best for the interest of the organization considering the brightness of the future that lies ahead of them.
Nigeria university system is a subset of the Nigeria Public Service. It is regarded as a parastatal which is established to discharge functions of learning, research and rendering community service (Adeshoba, 2007). The management of Federal Universities in Nigeria is a great responsibility and as such calls for the recruitment of skilled professionals as university administrators. Ayebade (2007) emphasized that today; the management of universities has become a complex enterprise with the increasing need to be proactive in the management of academic matters. The specialization of many universities also has required that professional administrators, who keep them moving, should possess the requisite skills and qualifications to make them succeed in their tasks. The need to enhance capacity building to manage an increasingly complex university system has tended to reduce the subtle animosity and complexes between the professional university administrators and their colleagues in the system. Ndu and Anagbogu (2007) observed that government under various regimes had taken strong measures to increase efficiency and also encouraged the motivation of academic and non-academic staff through the establishment of National universities Commission (NUC) to ensure standardization in the management of universities and ensure equity in the distribution of fund and facilities.
The digitization of Federal Universities in the South Eastern Nigeria is a complex problem because people are aghast of embracing transformation. Consequently, most of these universities prefer to process the admission of their students and compute their results manually because they are not yet certain of the reliability of the internet. The digitization of records is only embarked upon by administrators that are computer literate and who understand the inevitability of the internet in the growth and development of education in a global village. Ayebade (2007) pointed out that today’s professional administrator should be information and communication technology literate. The challenges of inadequate funding, changing cultures and concepts of university education have led to the introduction of new kinds of skills, attributes and experiences. The implication of this is the recruitment of personnel with hitherto new profiles to fill vacancies in an advertisement, linkages, endowment, information technology, web-based or internet-based education, Alumni Relations etc. The concept of target-based job descriptions is the direction of the future. Federal universities in Nigeria are sources of new ideas and technologies; but they are often perceived as conservative.
The need for effective management of our universities and society cannot be over emphasized. The deplorable state of our Federal universities in the South Eastern Nigeria is an indication that these universities are mired in gross managerial ineffectiveness. According to Certo (2000), our society could neither exist as we know it today nor improve without a steady stream of leaders to guide its organizations. Druker (1969) emphasized this point when he stated that effective management is probably the main resource of developing managers. He went further to stress that all societies desperately need good managers.
It seems that many university administrators do not consider values, cultures, system and motivation as factors that affect effective management of universities since the 1970 (Ayebade,2007) In assessing and explaining the effective management of universities, most people including professional educators tend to focus on the internal university environment. For example, a good number of people have observed that the focus on the internal university environment is that many still see themselves as staying in the ivory tower and do not have any commitment outside the university environment. Still others pointed out that Vice Chancellors are dictatorial and do not even pay workers’ salaries, and other privileges as it is and when it is, thus forcing the workers to be individuals who do not care about what they are doing so that the university becomes a place where people come to plunder and not a place where people make a living. These problems result in indifference, incompetence, infighting and poor interpersonal relationships. The implication of this state of affairs is that, the basic social belief, values, systems and code of behaviours that cement the hold of universities and gave them their special identity has been broken and destroyed or eroded. (Ndu and Anagbogu, 2007).
The educational reforms sought after at the beginning of the 21st century are based on the prescriptions of the post millennium development goals [MDG]. Having been adopted by the United Nations Organisations, all countries of the world are currently working hard to meet its challenges in order to advance human development (Biao, 2008). Each goal has a target and indicators are spelt out on how to evaluate the achievement of each of the goals of the millennium development agenda. Given that the target date for the actualization of the MDGs is 2015 and because only little has been accomplished by now, a sense of urgency imposes itself; indeed a feeling of national emergency ought to begin to rule the implementation of the MDGs in Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In the wake of the competitive era of education today, universities attempt to advance themselves in academic programmes, research and innovation towards academic excellence and World Class University (WCU) status. The trend today is towards emphasizing reputation, recognition as key performance indicators, including ranking of universities as more people struggle for education in this technology-driven orientation. New trends of education are directing themselves towards this change and the Vice Chancellors of the universities strive hard to realize these aspirations (Rozainun, Noormala, Puzziawati, Rohana, 2009). Public sector leadership in the 21st century is challenging and change- oriented. Rapidly evolving global conditions and shifting political and economic influences are changing our ideas of what government should do. Advancements in operational technologies and methodologies, and rising expectations of leadership require a similar evolution in how “government accomplishes its mission (Edwin, New Comer and Davis, 2006).
According to the ranking Web of Universities (2012), University of Nigeria appeared on 3,228 position, Nnamdi Azikiwe University 13,902 and Federal University of Technology Owerri 15,694 position. In reacting to the positions of Nigeria Universities in 2012 World University Ranking, President Goodluck Jonathan affirmed that the poor African and international ranking of Nigerian universities, especially older universities, particularly the University of Nigeria, must endeavour to change the situation. He further stated that the recent ratings which indicated that “no Nigerian university is among the top 10 providers of tertiary institutions in Africa, not to mention globally” was unacceptable. He declared that Nigeria “cannot be a great nation on the back of poorly trained youths. It is for this reason that the transformation of our nation must start in the classrooms”. The President charged the universities to lead in fresh thinking that would align their curricula with modern reality to produce graduates with an entrepreneurial mind-set. (Dike, 2012)According to the committee of Vice chancellors in Nigeria (2011) Nnamdi Azikiwe University shall be a world-class university that is engaged in the highest standards of excellence in all aspects of teaching, research and service. The University will be positioned to compete favorably among the highest in the nation and by 2020, be among the first 200 universities in the world webometric ranking. This is a pointer that these Universities are not yet world Class Universities and are faced with deplorable conditions that need urgent transformation in terms of influencing their employees positively to achieve performance beyond expectation and World Class University Status.
The global interest for advancement of education in both advanced and developing countries of the world has been challenged by information and communication technology (ICT). The unique nature of ICT has made it relevant to the development of student’s acquisition of knowledge, and skills in science subjects and other related subjects. Thus, there is an urgent need for institutions of learning to embrace technology to avoid being eliminated from the global village of internet and intranet (Nwite 2007). Transformation involves every aspect of human life and education is no exception. Far reaching organizational and structural changes are required to address severe imbalances in the provision of strong bureaucratic controls over education at all levels. (National Department of Education (NDE), 1998:11).
The 21st century is a digital era and a period where all the universities in the world are interconnected and interdependent. Because we are in the era of globalization, the Federal Universities in the South East are expected to internationalise to be able to rank among the world class universities. Unfortunately, these universities are in a deplorable state occasioned by lack of modern facilities, strike actions, students’ unrest, lack of autonomy, poor funding, etc. This explains why these universities are never ranked among the best Universities in the world and even Africa. According to Olabisi (2007) despite the recent changes, brought about by the country’s embrace of democratic ideals in its body polity, the problems of inadequate infrastructures and facilities are still to be solved in third generation Nigerian Universities. Water supply is still found to be grossly inadequate, while electricity supply remains irregular.
Federal universities in the South East are battling with poor management and this has given rise to all kinds of cult activities, violence, strike, riot, etc. Most of these universities are not yet on-line and by implications are yet to embark on on-line admission and registration of their students. They also lack modern digital facilities like the smart board, internet access, power point, projectors, etc. The availability of these facilities enhances teaching and learning and closes any communication gap between the administration and the staff, by facilitating effective communication through sending notices of meetings and other general information through e-mail. The digitization of the administrative process stimulates the smooth operation of leadership in the universities.
The study focuses on assessing the deplorable state of the Federal universities in the South-Eastern Nigeria and recommending ways of achieving effective management in these universities through transformational leadership behaviours. In particular, the study addresses the following questions:
(1) What is the relationship between transformational leadership behaviours and effective management of Federal Universities in south Eastern Nigeria?
(2) Did the components of Transformational leadership Behaviours exist in the management of South Eastern Federal Universities in Nigerian?
(3) What are the challenges of Transformational leadership behaviours in the management of Federal Universities in South Eastern Nigeria?
(4) Are there possible ways of eliminating the barriers that are militating against the utilization of transformational leadership behaviours in the management of Federal Universities in South Eastern Nigerian?
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The general objective of this study is to examine the role of Transformational leadership in the management of Federal Universities in South Eastern Nigeria.
The specific objectives of this study are to
(1) examine the relationship between transformational leadership behaviours and effective management of Federal Universities in South Eastern Nigeria;
(2) find out whether the components of transformational leadership behaviours existed in the management of Federal Universities in South East;
(3) identify the challenges of transformational leadership behaviours in the management of South Eastern Federal Universities, and
(4) Proffer recommendations that can enhance the utilization of transformational leadership behaviours for effective management of Nigerian universities.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The usefulness of any study is measured by how much it has contributed to the existing knowledge and literature in the subject of study. The study promises to be relevant in this regard. This study has both theoretical and empirical significance.
Theoretically the study added to the existing literature on the concepts of Transformational Leadership Behaviours (TLBs), Effective Management, World Class Status (WCS) and related concepts. The study provides an additional framework in the explanation of the challenges of Transformational Leadership in South Eastern Nigeria Universities. The study is also expected to provoke further research on the application of Transformational Leadership Behaviours (TLBs) towards effective management of the University system.
It also uncovered the causes of poor management of our Federal Universities and help students of Social Sciences and other disciplines, in understanding relevant issues in Transformational Leadership and Effective Management. It will also be theoretically appreciated by government at various levels and educational managers.
Empirically the study serves as reference point to students and Nigerian policy makers. Findings of the study will enhance the understanding of Nigerian University Commission and how to improve on the management of our Universities. The study provided useful recommendations which can serve as a guide for the effective management of our universities in the 21st century. It will also raise the consciousness of our university managements towards the pursuit and attainment of the much desired world class university status using transformational leadership behaviours. The study is therefore, intended at stimulating debates on the management activities of the Federal Universities in South Eastern Universities in Nigeria. The researcher believes that the study provided adequate and long term planning, which will inform effective management skills that will engender effective management of the university system.
Equally, Transformational Leadership behaviours shall be exposed to the general public. This will arm them with the information for constructive criticism and suggestions for possible improvement. Moreover, the study will serve as good starting point for further research in related subject matter.
1.5 Scope and Limitations of the Study
1.5.1 Scope of the study
The study centres on transformational leadership and effective management with particular reference to Federal universities in the South East. The study also investigated the challenges and problems of University management in South Eastern Nigeria. The period of study covers from 2000 – 2012. The researcher chose this period because, it was a period when universities experienced a lot of student unrest, strike actions, increment of school fees. The universities under study are universities that have existed for 10 years and more.
1.5.2 Limitations of the Study
In the course of carrying out this work, some difficulties were encountered. For instance, some of the documents were collected from the office of the Vice Chancellors, personnel services unit and student affairs units and some of the workers were very unwilling to release some of the documents to us because they were official documents. Nonetheless, this impediment did not affect the outcome of the study, because other sources like the internet, books, journals, conference papers shall be consulted to supplement those we were unable to obtain from the offices.