Leadership in higher education has been the focus of increasing debate and concern for nearly two decades. Although academic deans play a critical role to the success of higher education institutions and study a great extent of subjects, they have not been widely studied themselves, particularly research addressing their leadership styles. The purpose of this study is to develop a model for deans’ leadership styles in the UAE to improve the quality in higher education and fill the gap in the related literature. The study is a small qualitative empirical interpretive which has used full range leadership theory (Avolio & Bass, 1991) as its theoretical framework. This theory contains three main categories including transformational, transactional, and laissez- faire. The data has been gathered by a face-to-face, semi-structured and in-depth interview guide designed by the researcher. The interviewee has been the dean of colleges of sciences in one of the universities in the UAE. Analysis of the data has revealed that the dean of this study was practicing both transformational and transactional leadership styles with an emphasis on the former one. The results from this study may help policy makers, academic deans, and faculty to make better decisions in the future and improve the quality of universities. The developed model, suggestions, and guidelines for future research have also been provided.
Fatemeh Mirshahi, British University in Dubai, UAE
Stream: Educational policy
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