A Transformational Leadership Platform in Community Colleges in Jamaica

A Transformational Leadership Platform in Community Colleges in Jamaica

Keishia W. Haughton (College of Agriculture, Science and Education, Jamaica)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5667-1.ch019

Abstract

It is important to determine the relevance of the theory of transformational leadership and the way college leaders motivate their subordinates in community colleges in Jamaica. This chapter examines the impact of gender differences, empowerment, power, and trust on subordinates' motivation. Subordinates and their leaders employed by community colleges in Jamaica were the population for the study. The researcher compared data collected from these individuals using the multifactor leaders questionnaire (MLQ). The researcher analyzed data to test hypotheses and describe trends. The purpose of this chapter is to provide readers, organizational leaders, and future researchers with empirical evidence of the relationship between transformational leadership and subordinates' motivation. The results of this chapter highlight the importance of transformational leadership to the motivation of subordinates. Findings and conclusions also explain the impact of contemporary leadership issues prevalent in the twenty-first century, particularly employee empowerment and gender differences in leadership. There was no difference between male and female leaders in terms of their influence in motivating subordinates in Jamaican colleges. There was a significant difference between empowered and non-empowered subordinates in terms of their levels of motivation in Jamaican colleges. There was no difference between power sources of male and female leaders when motivating subordinates in Jamaican colleges. Finally, there was a significant difference between leaders who inspire trust and those who do not in motivating subordinates in Jamaican colleges.
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Introduction

Robbins and Coulter (2018) defined leadership as a process of influencing group members to achieve goals. Similarly, leadership is the process of influencing and directing group members’ task-related activities (Stoner & Freeman, 1992). This definition has three implications. First, leadership involves followers or subordinates, and the leader’s status is determined by the willingness of subordinates to follow the directions of the leader (Stoner & Freeman, 1992). Leadership has no relevance if there are no followers.

Second, there is an unequal distribution of power between leaders and subordinates in leadership. A leader has five bases of power: (a) legitimate power, (b) expert power, (c) referent power, (d) reward power, and (e) coercive power (Stoner & Freeman,1992). The number of these power sources determines leadership effectiveness. Third, being able to use the various power sources to influence follower’s behavior in several ways will determine the effectiveness of a leader (Stoner & Freeman, 1992). Similarly, Robbins and Coulter (2018) stated that effective leaders rely on several different power forms to affect the performance and behavior of their followers.

Several leadership issues are prevalent in the 21st century: handling gender differences in leadership, empowering employees, developing trust, managing power, providing moral leadership, managing multicultural environments, and providing online leadership (Robbins & Coulter, 2018). Studies that focused on gender and leadership style concluded that men and women use different leadership styles (Robbins & Coulter, 2018). Men rely on formal position authority for their influence; and are more likely to use a directive, command-and-control style. In contrast, women rely on interpersonal skills, expertise, charisma, and contacts to influence others, and lead through inclusion; they tend to adopt a participative or more democratic style (Robbins & Coulter, 2018).

The trend toward empowerment and self-managed teams has reduced traditional control mechanisms used to monitor employees, which reinforces the need for leadership to embody the qualities of trust and credibility. Leaders must build credibility and trust in an ever-changing organizational environment. According to Robbins and Coulter (2018), “trust in leadership is significantly related to positive job outcomes including job performance, organizational citizenship behavior, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment” (p. 439). Additionally, a recent survey found that 51% of Canadian employees and only 39% of U.S. employees trusted their executive leaders (Robbins & Coulter, 2018).

Managing power involves examining the leaders’ capacity to influence work actions or the power source of leaders. Effective leaders rely on several types of power to affect the behavior and performance of followers. Fiedler’s (Robbins & Coulter, 2018) contingency approach identified position power as one of three leadership components that help to determine leader effectiveness. Position power is the leader’s degree of influence over power-based activities such as hiring, discipline, firing, salary increases, and promotions.

In this chapter, we seek to evaluate the weaknesses, strengths, and issues in the current leadership style on subordinates’ motivation in community colleges in Jamaica to determine the relevance of transformational leadership.

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Background

The effectiveness of leadership can be addressed using the transformational theory of leadership. Allen, Grigsby, and Peters (2015) argued that transformational leadership emphasizes the leader’s ability to recognize the potential skills of an employee and engage the complete person. Certain personality traits predict transformational leadership. Transformational leadership has several implications for organizations, leaders, and subordinates. Transformational leadership increases the effectiveness of leaders. Brown and Sargeant (2007) stated that it is a challenge for educational institutions in the Caribbean to recruit teachers and motivate them to stay on their job.

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