“One of the most popular Dilbert comic strips in the cartoon’s history begins with Dilbert’s boss relaying senior leadership’s explanation for the company’s low profits. In response to his boss, Dilbert asks incredulously, “So they’re saying that profits went up because of great leadership and down because of weak economy?” (Bradberry & Greaves, p. 1, 2012). According to this cartoon, leadership is the essential ingredient to the success of any organisation.
In order to develop a normative leadership model to guide organisational transformation at public institutions of higher learning of Namibia, which is the aim of this study, it is of utmost importance to have a thorough understanding of leadership and organisational transformation at institutions of higher learning. To achieve this, an in-depth analysis of literature on this topic is given in this chapter and the subsequent chapter.
This chapter introduces the difference and similarities between leadership and management. It offers a description of the various approaches to leadership; the nature of leadership; the traits and characteristics of a leader; the types and value of various styles of leadership; and the important components of an effective leader. The penultimate section of this chapter looks at leadership and its perception at public institutions of higher learning and the chapter concludes with a summary.
2.2 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
This study aimed to opt for a leadership style that will enhance effective and efficient organisational transformation to the benefit of all stakeholders. Any institution is headed by the executive management that are responsible for planning, organising, leading and controlling. Today effective management alone is not good enough for the effective running of an institution to the benefit of its various stakeholders and to the success of the institution. To enhance effective management a good leadership style is needed to ensure that all stakeholders benefit.
Institutions of higher learning, globally, should continually transform to keep up with the ever-changing demands from societies. Theses constantly changing demands stem from the changing needs and wants of society and they become a huge challenge because of limited resources. In the light of all this it was argued that the transformational leadership style was the most applicable style for organisational transformation of public institutions of higher learning in Namibia. This style of leadership helps change to take place within each member of the stakeholder group and looks at new ways of dealing with challenges. Lussier and Achua, (2004) and Yukl, (2006), argue that there are four stages of organisational transformation under organisational transformational leadership:
• Transformational leaders help to bring about changes and organisational transformation because they make a substantial case amongst the stakeholders for organisational transformation.
• Transformational leaders and inspirational leaders inspire a shared vision for organisational transformation by getting broad inputs from all stakeholders. This will include the shaping of values, and determining strategies that are in line with the new vision guiding the transition.
• Transformational leaders lead the process by installing a feeling of urgency for the organisational transformation amongst the stakeholders. During this stage the self-confidence of the various role-players is boosted and an environment for knowledge creative and sharing is established (Bryant, 2003).
• Transformational leaders help to embed a new culture of organisational transformation amongst all stakeholders by monitoring progress, changing appraisal and award systems and empowering the role players to keep up to the objectives of the organisational transformation.
The subsequent section offers a discussion on management.