An investigation into cultural and demographic factors relating to leadership in vocational education and training institutions in Saudi Arabia

Alsaeed, Huda Rashed M.

Education
July 2014

Thesis or dissertation


Rights
© 2014 Huda Rashed M Alsaeed. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.
Abstract

The importance of good leadership and management for educational institutions is well established among educational scholars and practitioners alike. It is reflected in a trend to incorporate generic theories from broader fields of leadership and management scholarship into educational settings. Among them, few have gained more acceptance and popularity than the transformational leadership (TL) model and, as a result, an extensive body of literature has emerged. Yet, despite considerable advancements in these studies, the understanding of how key antecedents such as important social and cultural determinants shape and influence these leadership styles has remained elusive. This thesis predominantly investigates the impact of sociocultural factors on educational leadership in vocational education and training (VET) institutions in Saudi Arabia. It also seeks to discover the dominant leadership styles in this specific context. Given that the focus of this study is on a specific educational setting (VETs), a further aim of this thesis is to understand better the development and current status of Saudi VET.

To accomplish these aims, a two-phase mixed-method design was adopted. Quantitative data collection and analysis was applied in the first stage of data collection. A questionnaire incorporating Dorfman and Howell’s (1988) Cultural Values scale to measure the cultural values and Bass and Avolio’s (1995) Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ 5-x short form) instrument to explore the dominant leadership styles was distributed to Deans/Heads and Vice-Deans/Heads (n=173) and subordinates (n= 593) in 112 VET institutes. In the second stage of data collection and analysis, qualitative data were gathered by means of semi-structured interviews with a stratified purposive sample of 11 of the questionnaire respondents. A further analysis was undertaken to examine the extent to which the results of qualitative data corroborate culturally-sensitive leadership (CSL) models.

The findings revealed that the perceived dominant leadership styles were transformational leadership, especially Inspirational Motivation, and the Contingent Reward dimension of transactional leadership. The interviews provided locally meaningful understanding of these leadership styles. Small to moderate effects were found for gender, education and work experience. Culture showed small impacts; Power Distance was the strongest predictor of transformational leadership and Uncertainty Avoidance contributed to certain dimensions of transactional and transformational leadership. Overlapping was found between transformational leadership dimensions and CSL models.

Publisher
Centre for Educational Studies, The University of Hull
Supervisor
Wright, Nigel
Qualification level
Doctoral
Qualification name
PhD
Language
English
Extent
3 MB
Identifier
hull:16084
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