Transformational leadership, employee outcomes and performance of universities in Kenya
Mbithi, Adelaide M.
K’Obonyo, Peter O.
Awino, Zachary B.
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ABSTRACT University education in Kenya has undergone major reforms in the last ten years thatpose challenges to both employees and universities. To address these challenges, universities needproactive leadership and a motivated workforce which transformational leadership can provide asit has the ability to motivate and empower employees to better organizational performance. Thisstudy sought to determine the factors that influence the relationship between transformationalleadership and performance and if this relationship is direct or it is mediated by other factors. Thestudy employed a positivist approach to research and used a descriptive survey research design.Data was collected from the top leadership of the 52 fully-fledged universities in Kenya using aquestionnaire. A response rate of 73% was realized. Descriptive statistics were used to obtain ageneral understanding of the universities while different statistical techniques such as regressionanalysis and correlation analysis were used to analyse data and test the hypotheses. The resultssupported all the hypotheses and showed positive and statistically significant relationships betweentransformational leadership and performance and between transformational leadership andemployee outcomes. Employee outcomes fully mediate the relationship between transformationalleadership and performance. It emerged that transformational leadership behaviour of the topleadership of universities in Kenya led to high employee performance and organizationaleffectiveness. Specifically the findings suggest that in terms of policy, universities need visionaryleadership and sound policies that will strengthen their position as a fundamental sector ingenerating human capital for the county’s developmental and economic needs. In terms of practice,the findings of this study are useful to the leadership of Kenyan universities in the formulation ofstrategies for improving performance and in developing leadership training policies for universitiesin Kenya. The results of this study have significant implications for theory in that they add to thebody of knowledge on the mediating effect of employee outcomes on the relationship betweentransformational leadership and performance as well as the universality of the transformationaltransactionaltheory across nations and societies
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