Transformational Islamic Leadership: A Case Study From Singapore

Transformational Islamic Leadership: A Case Study From Singapore

Diwi Abbas (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore) and Charlene Tan (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8528-2.ch005
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This chapter focuses on transformational Islamic leadership based on a case study of a madrasah in Singapore. The research findings underscore the significance of an Islamic leader in articulating and promoting a shared vision, demonstrating exemplary behavior, working towards group goals, rendering individual support, providing intellectual stimulation, and setting high expectations. A major implication is that Islamic leadership contributes to the existing literature on transformational leadership by highlighting the religious motivation, principles, and values for madrasah leaders.
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The changing and challenging settings within schools, in society and across the globe require educational leadership to be adaptable, dynamic and innovative. Educational leaders must re-fashion themselves as the bridge between the school community and the society, serving as creators of visions for their schools. It is incumbent that they understand where their school “fits into the bigger picture” for the present and into the future (Myint & Salleh, 2009, p. 125). Among the leadership theories, transformation leadership has been the focus since the 1990s (Bass, 1997; Bass & Avolio, 1994; Burn, 1978; Leithwood & Jantzi, 2000; Tichy, & Devanna, 1986). Essentially, transformational leadership disfavours direct control, supervision, and instruction, preferring instead the enhancement of an organisation’s capacity to determine its purposes and support changes in teaching and learning (Hallinger, 2003). Despite an impressive body of literature on transformational leadership, there is limited research on the application and relevance of transformational leadership in Islamic educational contexts. This chapter aims to fill the gap by examining the leadership philosophy and practices in a madrasah in Singapore. The first part of the chapter introduces the theory of transformational leadership and leadership in Islam. The next section reports the research study in terms of the methodology, key findings and implications.

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