Practice what you preach: Instructors as transformational leaders in higher education classrooms

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Instructor-leadership can be defined as the process by which teachers direct classroom activities so as to influence students’ engagement and achievement. Instructor-leadership in higher education research has focused on the dominant theory of transformational leadership. This paper proposes a context- sensitive measure of transformational leadership specifically adapted to the unique situation of instructors in higher- education institutions. Using a secondary dataset of over 2,700 students across the UK, the results of a principal component analysis and confirmatory factor analysis indicated three transformational instructor-leadership dimensions including consideration, intellectual stimulation, and path-to-goals. Each of the three dimensions was strongly related to a different learning outcome. An additional independent validation study confirmed the validity of the new measure vis-à-vis established context-independent measures and outcomes of transformational leadership. This paper extends research on both transformational leadership and transformational instructor-leadership by highlighting the importance of using a context-specific approach, examining the impact of each leadership dimension separately, and investigating relationships to novel learning outcomes. Suggestions for future research and practical implications are discussed.


Publication dateJan 2014
Publication title74th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2014
PublisherAcademy of Management
Number of pages6
Original languageEnglish
Event74th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2014 - Philadelphia, United States
Duration: 1 Aug 20144 Aug 2014

Publication series

NameAcademy of Management Proceedings
PublisherAcademy of Management
VolumeAbstract Suppl
ISSN (Print)0065-0668
ISSN (Electronic)2151-6561


Conference74th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2014
CountryUnited States


Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research

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