A study of leadership in Hong Kong self-financing Higher Education

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Education (EdD)

Abstract

This study investigates perceptions of effective leadership in higher education institutions (HEIs) in Hong Kong. The study focused on the self-financing higher education institutions (HEIs) in Hong Kong, which are a largely neglected part of the HE sector, and seeks to measure what types of leadership style are associated with job satisfaction of teaching staff. Specifically, the study investigated the correlation between the perceptions of two leadership styles (i.e., distributed leadership and transformational leadership) and job satisfaction of teaching staff in a sample of self-financing higher education institutions (HEIs) in Hong Kong. Demographic information relating to the teaching staff will be examined in order to answer the research questions.

The four research questions guiding the study were as follows. 1. What is the relationship between teaching staff perceptions of leadership styles (i.e., transformational leadership and distributed leadership) and their job satisfaction in the self-financing HEIs? 2. Do the perceptions of leadership styles of teaching staff vary with their gender, age group, education level and length of service? 3. Does the level of job satisfaction of teaching staff vary with their gender, age group, education level and length of service? 4. Does the relationship between teaching staff perceptions of leadership styles (i.e., transformational leadership and distributed leadership) and their job satisfaction vary with their gender, age group, education level and length of service? In order to answer these questions, a quantitative approach was used. Questionnaires were sent to 1289 teaching staff in 21 self-financing institutions and 352 questionnaires were returned.

In relation to research question one, the results show that the teaching staff who perceive their leader to exhibit a strong sense of transformational leadership are more satisfied with their job. There is a strong correlation between transformational leadership and its components (i.e., idealised influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation and individualised consideration) and job satisfaction of teaching staff. The results also show that the teaching staff who perceive their leader to exhibit a strong sense of distributed leadership are more satisfied with their job. There is a strong correlation between distributed leadership and its components (i.e., mission, vision and goals, organisation culture, leadership practice and shared responsibility) and job satisfaction of teaching staff. For the research question two, the results show that there was no relationship in the three subscales of transformational leadership (i.e., idealised influence, inspirational motivation and intellectual stimulation) based on the gender of staff while there was a correlation between the other subscale of transformational leadership (i.e., individualised consideration) and the gender of staff. There was no relationship in two of the subscales of distributed leadership (i.e., mission, vision and goals; organisation culture) based on the gender of staff while there were correlations between the other two subscales of distributed leadership (i.e., leadership practices; shared responsibility) and the gender of staff. There was no relationship based on the age of staff in terms of their perceptions of transformational and distributed leadership except for the two subscales of intellectual stimulation of transformational leadership and shared responsibility of distributed leadership. There was no relationship in the staff’s perceptions of transformational leadership based on length of service except for the subscale of transformational leadership (i.e., inspirational motivation). But there was a correlation between length of service of staff and their perceptions of distributed leadership except for the subscale organisation culture. For the research question three, the results show that there is no relationship between job satisfaction and gender; no relationship between job satisfaction and age group; no relationship between job satisfaction and length of service. For the research question four, the results show that the relationship between teaching staff’s perceptions of leadership styles (i.e., transformational leadership and distributed leadership) and their job satisfaction does not vary greatly with their gender, age group or length of service. The significance of the study can make a key contribution to the research on the relationship between teaching staff’s perceptions of leadership styles (i.e., transformational and distributed leadership) and their job satisfaction. Because few literature reviews have been studied on self-financing HEIs in Hong Kong, the current findings contribute to address the gap between prior studies and self-financing HEIs.
Date of Award21 Mar 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bristol
SupervisorWilliam J Browne (Supervisor) & Leon P Tikly (Supervisor)

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