Location of Repository

Leadership in Higher Education: The Hong Kong Experience

By Pak Wan Li

Abstract

This study investigates the perceptions of a cohort of leaders of the higher education institutions in Hong Kong on the leadership styles and competencies that have enabled them to lead effectively, and also their perceptions of the influence of culture, authority/power and gender on their effectiveness as leaders of higher education in Hong Kong. The main source of research data is from a series of in-depth individual face-to-face interviews with the 14 respondents, eight males and six females, who consented to participate in the research.\ud The research indicates that the respondents assessed the competencies of effective leadership from two perspectives: endorsing the traditional view of gender-stereotyping of leadership skills, attributes and characteristics on the one hand when considering the impact of gender, and on the other hand, displaying a mix of gender-stereotyped but perceivably effective competencies in themselves in their recollections of their experiences as higher education leaders in Hong Kong. The great majority felt that gender had no direct impact on their leadership. The findings identify a profile of perceived effective competencies of higher education leadership in Hong Kong, embracing a repertoire of male and female stereotyped skills, attributes, and characteristics, and confirm the concept of androgynous leader.\ud The research finds that the preferred leadership of this cohort of higher education leaders was collegial, consultative and collaborative, featuring the transformational and distributed approaches to educational leadership. The associated competencies that had enabled most of them to lead effectively included the ability to inspire a shared vision, to lead and manage change, to motivate, stimulate and empower people; interpersonal skills; the focus on team-building and teamwork; and the capacity for staff and personal development. Given that these are mostly female stereotyped skills, abilities and characteristics, the potential of women becoming more efficient and effective leaders and the prospect of increased access by women to higher education leadership positions in Hong Kong are suggested. However, as leaders of higher education worldwide are increasingly compelled to cope with the rapid and unprecedented changes in the sector, the conventional collegial, consultative and collaborative styles of leadership and management are no longer felt to be appropriate to cope with these changes and challenges. It follows that there is an imperative need for higher education leaders to exhibit a wider range of competencies, such as business and entrepreneurial skills featuring a transactional approach to educational leadership. The concept of a contemporary effective higher education leader emerging from the analysis of the data collected for this study therefore demonstrates a mix of the transformational, distributed and transactional leadership approaches, the conventional collegial versus the new managerial styles, as well as male and female stereotyped competencies.\ud The findings of the study also reveal the perceived influence/impact of culture, authority/power and gender on the effectiveness of the respondents as leaders of higher education in Hong Kong

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/8323

Suggested articles

Preview

Citations

  1. (2001). Academic middle managers in further education: Reflections in leadership. doi
  2. (2002). Authenticity-reliability, validity and triangulation. doi
  3. (2005). Being a middle leader: Exploring professional identities. doi
  4. (2001). Challenging the orthodoxy of effective school leadership. doi
  5. (2000). Designing the learning-centred school: A cross-cultural perspective. doi
  6. (2001). Entrepreneurship: A contemporary approach.
  7. (2003). Fieldwork in educational settings: Methods, pitfalls and perspectives. doi
  8. (2004). Gender and secondary school leadership. Paper presented in the Leadership Forum
  9. (1991). Inspiring others: The language of leadership. doi
  10. (1994). Integrating the quantitative & qualitative. In C.S. Reichardt & S.F. Rallis (Eds.), The qualitative-quantitative debate: New perspectives (pp.13-22).
  11. (2004). Internationalisation isues, actors and questions: A comparative regional analysis.
  12. (1996). Interviews: An introduction to qualitative research interviewing. Thousand Oaks, doi
  13. (2002). Leadership and culture in Chinese education. doi
  14. (2002). Leadership in education and the strategy of the dolphin. doi
  15. (1990). Leadership in Higher Education: The Hong Kong Experience
  16. (1999). Leadership in Higher Education: The Hong Kong Experience Bollington,
  17. (2000). Leadership in Higher Education: The Hong Kong Experience Mok, doi
  18. (2003). Leadership in learning-centred schools: cultural context, functions doi
  19. (1996). Leading change. doi
  20. (1995). Local management of schools: Analysis and practice. doi
  21. (2000). Managing and leading organizational change. doi
  22. (2001). Managing further education colleges: Learning enterprise. doi
  23. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. doi
  24. (1989). On becoming a leader. doi
  25. (1977). Psychological androgyny. doi
  26. (1992). Reforming education and changing schools. doi
  27. (2003). Research design: Qualitative and quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks,
  28. (1994). Research ethics. In
  29. (1994). Research methods in educational management. doi
  30. (2003). Rethinking strategy and strategic leadership in schools. doi
  31. (2003). The crux of leadership. doi
  32. (1995). The leadership challenge: How to keep getting extraordinary things done in organizations. doi
  33. (1974). The measurement of psychological androgyny. doi
  34. (1992). The more toward transformational leadership. doi
  35. (1999). The president and the college bottom line: doi
  36. (1970). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. doi
  37. (1997). Trends in Hong Kong university management: Towards a lifelong learning paradigm. Hong Kong: Hong Kong doi
  38. (2002). Vision and strategic planning. doi
  39. (1992). Visionary leadership: Creating a compelling sense of direction for your organization. doi
  40. (2002). What do we mean by educational research?
  41. (2004). Women in headteachers: Striking the Balance. Stroke on Trent, Trentham Books Collarbone,
  42. (1998). Women into educational management.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.