Relationship between the Existing and Ideal Academic Leadership Styles in Maldivian Higher Education Institutes


  • Aishath Waheeda Islamic University of Maldives



academic leadership, existing leadership styles, ideal leadership styles, higher education in the Maldives


This current study identified whether there is significant relationship between academic leaders existing leadership styles and ideal leadership style as perceived by academic leaders and lecturers in Maldivian Higher Education Institutes (HEIs). A total population sampling was used to collect survey data from deans (N=20) and lecturers (N=170) from nine different HEIs. SPSS version 23 was used to analyze the data using descriptive statistics and inferential statistics. The relationship between practiced leadership styles and idealised leadership style was investigated using Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient. It was found that there is a strong, positive correlation between the existing and ideal leadership styles, with high scores of existing leadership styles associated with high scores of ideal leadership styles. Hence, this study calls for academic deans to maintain the humanistic and collaborative leadership with their subordinates. Likewise, this study recommends autocratic and laissez- faire leaders to adjust their leadership approach to a more transformative and distributed approach, so that the subordinates can strive for something better, enabling them to translate vision and moral values into action, through strategic capability development and setting direction for subordinates.

Author Biography

Aishath Waheeda, Islamic University of Maldives

Aishath Waheeda is working as the Controller of Examination and Evaluation at the Islamic University of Maldives. She holds a PhD in Education from University Brunei Darussalam and a Masters in Higher Education from the University of New South Wales. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Aishath Waheeda,



Adjei, A. A. A. (2014). Leadership styles of supervisors: Factors that promote satisfaction of student affairs professionals in higher education (Doctoral dissertation, Capella University).

Alonderiene, R., & Majauskaite, M. (2016). Leadership style and job satisfaction in higher education institutions. International Journal of Educational Management, 30(1), 140-164.

Al-Omari, A.A. (2012). Leadership styles and style adaptability of deans and department chairs at three public research universities. (Doctoral dissertation, Washington State University).

Antonakis, J., Avolio, B. J., & Sivasubramaniam, N. (2003). Context and leadership: An examination of the nine-factor full-range leadership theory using the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire. The leadership quarterly, 14(3), 261-295.

Avolio, B.J. (2011). Full range leadership development, 2nd Edition. Sage Publications, Inc

Bass, B. M. (1985). Leadership and performance beyond expectations. New York: Free

Bass, B. M. (1998). Transformational leadership: Individual, military, and educational impact. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Bass, B. M. (2000). The future of leadership in learning organizations. Journal of leadership studies, 7(3), 18-40.

Bass, B. M., & Avolio, B. J. (2004). Manual for the multifactor leadership questionnaire (MLQ – Form 5X). Redwood City, CA: Mindgarden.

Bass, B.M., & Riggio, R.E. (2006). Transformational leadership, 2nd Edition. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., Publishers.

Bateh, J., & Heyliger, W. (2014). Academic administrator leadership styles and the impact on faculty job satisfaction. Journal of leadership Education, 13(3).

Beattie, J. W., Thornton, B., Laden, R., & Brackett, D. (2013). 21st century challenges in higher education: strategic changes and unintended consequences. International Journal of Education Leadership Preparation, 8(1), 62-71

Bhagat, R. S., & Steers, R. M. (2009). Cambridge handbook of culture, organizations, and work. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press

Bolden, R. (2011). Distributed leadership in organizations: A review of theory and research. International Journal of Management Reviews, 13(3), 251-269.

Bryman, A. (2007). Effective leadership in higher education: A literature review. Studies in higher education, 32(6), 693-710.

Bucic, T., Robinson, L., & Ramburuth, P. (2010). Effects of leadership style on team learning. Journal of Workplace Learning, 22(4), 228-248.

Burns, J. M. (1978). Leadership. New York: Harper & Row.

Chilvers, B. L., Bortolotto, M. C., Alefaio-Tugia, S., Cooper, A. L., & Ellison, S. (2018). The reality of middle management roles: a case study of the Associate Head of School experience in a New Zealand University. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 40(5), 430-441.

Dani, A. A., & Mhunpiew, N. (2019). A development of an academic leadership model for higher education in India. Scholar: Human Sciences, 11(1), 45.

Day, D. V., Zaccaro, S. J., & Halpin, S. M. (2004). Leader development for transforming organizations: Growing leaders for tomorrow. Psychology Press.

Farahnak, L. R., Ehrhart, M. G., Torres, E. M., & Aarons, G. A. (2020). The influence of transformational leadership and leader attitudes on subordinate attitudes and implementation success. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 27(1), 98-111.

Fiore, D. (2009). Introduction to educational administration: Standards, theories, and practice (2nd ed.). Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education.

Gonaim, F. (2016). A department chair: A lifeguard without a life jacket. Higher Education Policy, 29(2), 272-286.

Gonaim, F. (2017). Effective leadership characteristics and behaviours for female department chairs in higher education in Saudi Arabia. European Journal of Education Studies, 3(1).

Gozukara, I. (2016). Leadership and managerial effectiveness in higher education. International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, 6(1), 73-82.

Gronn, P. (2000). Distributed leadership. In K. Leithwood & P. Hallinger (Eds.), Second international handbook of educational leadership and administration. Dordrecht, Boston: Kluwer Academic.

Hulpia, H., Devos, G., & Rosseel, Y. (2009). Development and validation of scores on the distributed leadership inventory. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 69(6), 1013-1034.

Idowu, S. A. (2020). Impact of Leadership Styles on Employees’ Work Performance in Some South-Western Nigerian Private Universities. Economics Insights, 8(4), 27-46.

Jones, D., & Rudd, R. (2008). Transactional, Transformational, or Laissez- Faire Leadership: An Assessment of College of Agriculture Academic Program Leaders’(Deans) Leadership Styles. Journal of Agricultural Education, 49(2), 88-97.

Khetarpal, I. K., & Srivastava R. C. (2000). Management styles grounded in interpersonal roles. International Journal of Educational Management, 14(2), 74 - 83.

Kiplangat, H. K. (2017). The Relationship between Leadership Styles and Lecturers’ Job Satisfaction in Institutions of Higher Learning in Kenya. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 5(3), 435-446.

Knight, P., & Trowler, P. (2001). Departmental leadership in higher education. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).

Kuslina, B. H., & Widjaja, J. H. (2018). Leadership Change and Cultural Planning: A Private University Case Study in Indonesia. Review of Integrative Business and Economics Research, 7(2), 62-74.

Lewin, K., Lippitt, R., & White, R. K. (1939). Patterns of aggressive behaviour in experimentally created “social climates.” The Journal of social psychology, 10(2), 269-299.

Lumby, J. (2019). Distributed leadership and bureaucracy. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 47(1), 5-19.

Malloy, J., P. (2012). Effects of distributed leadership on teachers’ academic optimism and student achievement. Doctorate in Education, Department of Theory and Policy Studies Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto.

Mapesela, M., & Hay D. H. R. (2006). The effect of change and transformation on academic staff and job satisfaction: A case of a South African University. Higher Education, 52, 711 - 747.

Marshall, S. J., Orrell, J., Cameron, A., Bosanquet, A., & Thomas, S. (2011). Leading and managing learning and teaching in higher education. Higher Education Research & Development, 30(2), 87-103.

Mohamed, R. & Saeed, S. (2022). Relationship between Leadership Style and Job Satisfaction Among Physicians Working in Greater Malé Hospitals. International Journal of Social Research and Innovation, 6(1), 1-30.

Mosadeghrad, A.M, & Yarmohammadian, M.H. (2006). A study of relationship between managers’ leadership style and employees’ job satisfaction. Leadership in Health Services, 19(2), 11-28.

Mrig, A., & Sanaghan, P. (2017). The skills future higher-ed leaders need to succeed. Denver: Academic Impressions.

Nawaz, M. M., & Bodla, M. A. (2010). Comparative study of full range leadership model among faculty members in public and private sector higher education institutes and universities. International Journal of Business and Management, 5(4), 208.

Ngwama, J. C., & Ogaga-Oghene, J. O. (2022). Leadership Change and Employee Commitment. An Empirical Study of Transformational and Transnational Leadership Style in a University. International Journal of Economic Behavior (IJEB), 12(1), 101-121

Northouse, P. G. (2018). Leadership: Theory and Practice (8th ed.). United States: Sage

Pihie, Z. A. L., Sadeghi, A., & Elias, H. (2011). Analysis of head of department’s leadership styles: Implication for improving research university management practices. Procedia-Social and Behavioural Sciences, 29, 1081-1090.

Ramsden, P. (1998). Managing the effective university. Higher education research & development, 17(3), 347-370.

Sudha, K. S., Shahnawaz, M. G., & Farhat, A. (2016). Leadership Styles, Leader’s Effectiveness and Well-being: Exploring Collective Efficacy as a Mediator. Vision, 20(2), 111-120.

Spillane, J. P. (2006). Distributed leadership (1st ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Spillane, J. P., Halverson, R. & Diamond, J. B. (2001). Investigating school leadership practice: A distributed perspective. Educational Researcher, 30(3), 23–28.

Sypawka, W. (2008). A study of division Deans in the North Carolina community college system self-perceived leadership style based on Bolman and Deal’s Four Frame Theory. East Carolina University.

Thrash, A. B. (2009). Leadership in higher education: An analysis of the leadership styles of academic deans in Ohio’s 13 state-supported universities. (Doctoral dissertation: Capella University).

Thornton, K., Walton, J., Wilson, M., & Jones, L. (2018). Middle leadership roles in universities: Holy Grail or poisoned chalice. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 40(3), 208-223.

Thu, P. D. X., Pillay, H., & Mergler, A. (2017). Leadership styles of Vietnamese higher education leaders: Transformational, transactional, or laissez-faire. Can Tho University Journal of Science, 7, 126-137.

Tucker, A., & Bryan, R. A. (1988). The academic dean: Dove, dragon, and diplomat. New York: American Council on Education: Macmillan.

Usunier, M. R., & Squires, V. (2019). Pursuing Change in a Learning University: The Role of the Dean. Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice, 19(1).

Wahab, S., Rahmat, A., Yusof, M. S., & Mohamed, B. (2016). Organization performance and leadership style: issues in education service. Procedia- Social and Behavioural Sciences, 224, 593-598.

Waheeda, A., & Shaheeda, F. (2018). Academic Leaders’ Leadership Styles in Higher Education Institutions in The Republic of Maldives. International Journal of Education, Psychology and Counseling, 3(10), 65-74.

Yukl, G. (1989). Managerial leadership: A review of theory and research. Journal of management, 15(2), 251-289.

Zeleke, F. T. (2013). Perceived Principals’ Leadership Styles and Faculty Job Satisfaction in Higher Theological Institutions of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Is There a Difference? Columbia International University.

Zulfqar, A., Valcke, M., Devos, G., Tuytens, M., & Shahzad, A. (2016). Leadership and decision-making practices in public versus private universities in Pakistan. Asia Pacific Education Review, 17(1), 147-159.



How to Cite

Aishath Waheeda. (2022). Relationship between the Existing and Ideal Academic Leadership Styles in Maldivian Higher Education Institutes. International Journal of Social Research & Innovation, 6(2).