Transformational Leadership Style As A Catalyst For Change In The Nigerian Academia

Anderson Ugwu 12 PAGES (3706 WORDS) Essay/Paper
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Abstract
Education is the bedrock of every society and a tool for nation building (Adegbesan, 2011). The development of any nation is therefore engendered by the effectiveness of the various institutions that make up its educational sector. The university (also referred to as the academia) is the highest institution in the educational sector in any nation of the world. Oxford advanced learner dictionary (2011) defined the university as the highest level of education where students study for a degree or conduct researches. The successful functioning of the university system is a function of effective administration and leadership style. Various leadership styles have existed in time past, however the five most common leadership styles include charismatic, transformational, visionary, transactional, and servant leadership styles. The Nigerian academia may be considered as structurally bureaucratic and transactional in administration. The objective of this paper is to examine the current state of the Nigerian academia, and to present transformational leadership style as the requisite for change in the Nigerian university system. Specifically, this paper examined current issues in the Nigerian universities, identifying effective leadership as a solution. It also explored modern leadership styles in today’s changing world, and concluded that the adoption of Transformational leadership style will provoke the necessary changes needed in Nigerian universities and ultimately provide a pathway to being enlisted in the global rating of world universities.

Key Words: Academia, change, leadership style, Nigeria, transformational

Introduction
The development of any nation is engendered by the effectiveness of its various institutions. An institution or society for the advancement of literature, art, or science is called an academy (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 2000). The term academia is used to describe institutions of higher learning. Universities are institutions at the highest level of education where students study for a degree or conduct research (Oxford advanced learner dictionary, 2011). Adegbesan (2011) described education as the bedrock of every society and a tool for nation building. Although the importance of quality education in nation building cannot be over emphasized, it is dependent on effective administration and leadership style in the educational institutions. 
Saal & Knight (1988) viewed leadership as social influence in organizational setting, the effects of which are relevant to, or have an impact upon the achievement of organizational goals. Leadership is all about unleashing human potentials, optimizing performance and the achievement of set goals. Udegbe (1999) defined leadership as a process of creating subordinates’ identification with the group mission and creating their desire to achieve the group’s goals.  Leadership involves the enhancement of a person’s vision, performance, and potentials beyond its normal limitations. The weakest and dullest set of people can be transformed into the most efficient workforce through effective leadership. 
Leadership is a function ingrained in management. These two concepts are closely related especially within organizational setting. Leadership is a characteristic of management that is not exhibited by all managers. Drucker (1987) defined management as the specific practice that converts a mob into an effective, purposeful and productive group.  The extent to which a manager can influence group members to behave in desired manner and express commitment to group goals is a reflection of his leadership characteristics. According to Mintzberg (1980), leadership is one of the roles of a manager which is not necessarily carried out by all managers on a daily basis. Managers perform leadership roles as part of their daily routine depending on the functions of their units and whether they are lower, middle or upper level managers. Middlehurst (1995) opined that leadership is the domain of those in certain positions of power in the academia such as Vice-chancellors, Deans, Professors, Heads of Department and Heads of Functional as such as Registry. 
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Management of university education can be looked at from two dimensions: the external and the internal levels. At the external level, the federal government control the university system through the National Universities Commission (NUC), a body charged with the coordination of university management in the country.  At the internal level, the Governing Council which is chaired by the Pro-Chancellor is the apex of the management structure within each university. The management of the Nigerian academia will only be as effective as the leadership style adopted. It is expedient at this juncture to explore the different leadership styles. Traditionally, leaders can be autocratic, democratic, Laissez-faire, bureaucratic etc. Researchers have identified various leadership styles in the past. However, the five contemporary leadership styles in organizations include charismatic, transformational, visionary, transactional, and servant leadership styles. 
The administrative system in Nigerian universities may be considered as both bureaucratic and transactional. It is characterised by strict adherence to rules, hierarchy of authority, division of labour and a contract-based leadership style. Nwafor (2012) found that the essential leadership style of the principal officers to be bureaucratic style, characterised by strict adherence to rules. Similar to transactional leadership, the major goal is to stay clear of trouble by avoiding risk and to meet only minimum requirements for both results and relationships (Nwafor, 2012). The main objective of this paper is to examine the current challenges in the Nigerian academia, and to present transformational leadership style as the requisite for change in the Nigerian university system. Specifically, this paper will examine the current issues in the Nigerian universities, identify effective leadership as a solution, explore contemporary leadership styles and present transformational leadership style as the most suitable for Nigerian universities.

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APA

Anderson, U (2018). Transformational Leadership Style As A Catalyst For Change In The Nigerian Academia. Afribary.com: Retrieved December 06, 2019, from https://afribary.com/works/transformational-leadership-style-as-a-catalyst-for-change-in-the-nigerian-academia-4102

MLA 8th

Ugwu, Anderson. "Transformational Leadership Style As A Catalyst For Change In The Nigerian Academia" Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 29 Jan. 2018, https://afribary.com/works/transformational-leadership-style-as-a-catalyst-for-change-in-the-nigerian-academia-4102 . Accessed 06 Dec. 2019.

MLA7

Ugwu, Anderson. "Transformational Leadership Style As A Catalyst For Change In The Nigerian Academia". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 29 Jan. 2018. Web. 06 Dec. 2019. < https://afribary.com/works/transformational-leadership-style-as-a-catalyst-for-change-in-the-nigerian-academia-4102 >.

Chicago

Ugwu, Anderson. "Transformational Leadership Style As A Catalyst For Change In The Nigerian Academia" Afribary.com (2018). Accessed December 06, 2019. https://afribary.com/works/transformational-leadership-style-as-a-catalyst-for-change-in-the-nigerian-academia-4102