The purpose of this paper is to investigate important determinants of the culture of collective leadership in academic organizations. The present school improvement…
The purpose of this paper is to investigate important determinants of the culture of collective leadership in academic organizations. The present school improvement framework of Dubai School Inspection Board (DSIB) does not include cultural factors such as collective leadership, which is, according to many researchers, a leading factor of the operational efficiency and sustainable growth. The research objective was to identify the set of conditions that extend support to the development of collective leadership culture in the school work environment. In order to achieve research objectives, a sample of 271 employees from 12 underperforming private schools in Dubai was selected to examine the degree of the presence of visible practices promoting the culture of collective leadership. The past literature was explored to identify three manifest variables as determinants of the culture of collective leadership in the organization. The descriptive research design was adopted, and factor loadings on three manifest variables were examined through exploratory factor analysis (EFA) to validate the scale, and later the model hypotheses were tested using the linear regression model. The study has revealed that shared vision, employee’s commitment to achieving the organizational goal, and collaboration are key determinants, whereas staff commitment is the most important determinant of collective leadership. Generalization of the findings is one of the main concerns due to small sample size, which can be improved in future similar studies by running the model on the larger sample size. Indeed, this study is one of the few that provides a quantitative approach to the measurement of collective leadership in schools, and its findings can be a source of guideline for institutions in higher education and non-academic organizations as well.
The descriptive research design was adopted to explain the the characteristics of the population with respect to variables used in the model. The underlying variables were explored through the past literature; therefore, EFA was also undertaken to validate the relationship between scale items and manifest independent variables of the hypothesized construct. The testing of hypothesis makes this research “confirmatory” that allows making inference about the parameters of the multiple regression models in this empirical model.
The concept of collective leadership is explaining the wider role of leadership function in an organization. It is one of the cultural aspects that can be seen through everyday practices in any educational institution. These practices include shared vision among employees, commitment to achieving the common goal, and collaboration and teamwork. The results show that staff commitment is the most important determinant of collective leadership. The understanding of a cultural aspect of collective leadership is necessary to deal with the problems of nonperforming educational organizations. It is important that school leaders must think beyond the current DSIB model and include elements of collective leadership in their strategic plans. This will enable them to achieve sustainable students and organizational achievements. Employees’ clarity on the objectives, trust and collaboration are prerequisite of such culture.
Generalization is one of the main concerns in this study. The larger sample size can help overcome this problem. The sample size in the current study was also gathered without stratification of the population. Schools can be classified with respect to gender, ethnicity, curriculum and social status. These factors were controlled in this study but can produce different results if included for the analysis. Data collection can be expanded to the entire country, Middle East and Asian region for further generalized interpretation. This will also open the scope to the cross-cultural analysis on the subject. Moreover, the mediating or moderating role of many other variables needs to be involved in the model for more accurate findings, such as curriculum, economic status of students, employees nationality and qualification, leadership experience and school budgetary volume are considered important factors which may affect school performance. A similar study can be conducted for the entire country covering all states.
The culture of collective leadership is not a sole cultural factor that creates success for the institution. When an organization achieves maturity in the collective leadership, employees set up goals in their own work in alignment to the overall organizational objectives. These goals will act as challenges, and with the motivated employees will take up these challenges and find new and improved ways to address the problems. This will provoke the creative thinking among employees. They will start realizing the importance of the critical knowledge in the work. Ultimately, when the organization develops a system to identify, store and make use of such knowledge, it will become learning organization, which is ready to meet future challenges.
This study will help organizations in other sector and industry as well, especially in service industry including financial institutions, higher education, etc. This will also provide guidelines to the education ministries across the region and beyond.
This is a new contribution in the field of HRM or workplace practices. It describes the factors determining the culture of collective leadership that in return creates success for the organization. This paper was never published before.