Transformational instructor-leadership and academic performance: a moderated mediation model of student engagement and structural distance

Paul T. Balwant, Kamal Birdi, Ute Stephan, Anna Topakas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Researchers are becoming increasingly interested in the use of transformational leadership theory in higher education teaching (often referred to as transformational instructor-leadership). Much of this body of research investigates a direct association between transformational instructor-leadership and student outcomes. In the present study, we take a step further by investigating (a) student engagement as a mechanism in the relationship between transformational instructor-leadership and students’ academic performance and (b) structural distance as a moderator of the relationship between transformational instructor-leadership and student engagement. Using a sample of 183 students across the UK, the findings supported student engagement as a full mediator, but did not support structural distance as a moderator. This study contributes to theory by (a) showing a key underlying process through which transformational instructor-leadership is related to students’ academic performance and (b) empirically examining all three dimensions of student engagement. Limitations, suggestions for future research and practical implications are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)884-900
JournalJournal of Further and Higher Education
Volume43
Issue number7
Early online date16 Jan 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

© 2018 Informa UK Limited, publishing as Taylor & Francis. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Further and Higher Education on 16th January 2018, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/0309877X.2017.1420149.

Keywords

  • leadership
  • transformational leadership
  • student learning
  • higher education
  • leader distance

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