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Adoption of transformational leadership qualities for South African academic libraries in Gauteng Province

Nokuphiwa Kunene (Faculty of Humanities, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, South Africa) (Directorate of Library and Information Studies, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa)
Patrick Mapulanga (Faculty of Humanities, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, South Africa) (Kamuzu University of Health Sciences Library, Lilongwe, Malawi)

Library Management

ISSN: 0143-5124

Article publication date: 21 October 2021

Issue publication date: 4 November 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to ascertain the adoption of transformational leadership qualities in South African libraries in Gauteng Province.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used a qualitative approach with open-ended questions that yielded some qualitative data. For the study, a multi-case study design was used. The study specifically targeted participants by identifying three directors of academic libraries in Gauteng. The criteria for selecting the three directors were that two of the universities are residential research-intensive universities, and the third is an academic library of a distance learning university. Atlas.ti8 was used to analyse the data, which was then presented using thematic content analysis.

Findings

Thematic areas for leaders of the 21st century, as mentioned by the directors, were a mixed bag. That empowerment was suggested by the first academic director. The appropriate leadership qualities were fiduciary, analytical, pragmatic, transformative and visionary. The second academic director proposed consultative, innovative and adaptable approaches, while the third proposed collaborative, ethical and adaptive approaches.

Practical implications

Transformative leadership is required, particularly in the aftermath of technological advances and pandemics such as COVID-19, which have altered the way academic libraries should operate.

Originality/value

Many studies on transformative leadership have been conducted. However, in the aftermath of technological advancements and pandemics such as COVID-19, the role of transformative leadership remained untested. This study fills the void.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The researcher wishes to express gratitude towards Tshwane University of Technology for funding a Master's degree in Library and Information Studies at the University of Cape Town.

Citation

Kunene, N. and Mapulanga, P. (2021), "Adoption of transformational leadership qualities for South African academic libraries in Gauteng Province", Library Management, Vol. 42 No. 8/9, pp. 561-583. https://doi.org/10.1108/LM-06-2021-0052

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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