Leadership Style, Decision Making, and Virtuousness Impacts on Higher Education

Leadership, decision making process, virtuousness, and effectiveness have long been perceived as primary topics in the day-to-day operations of higher education institutions. This statement sparked interest in Dr. Ahmad Nawaz, a Pakistani business professional who became the 94th Ph.D graduated from BINUS BUSINESS SCHOOL Doctor of Research in Management program with outstanding achievement.

On Tuesday (20/10), he presented his dissertation titled “An Empirical Study of the Impact of Leadership, Virtuousness and Decision-Making Process on Effectiveness of Indonesian Private Universities” at BINUS @Alam Sutera Campus with strict adherence to the health protocol and was broadcasted live via YouTube and Zoom. In it, he discussed how to improve the effectiveness of Indonesian private universities.

Challenges of HEI

The growing number of high school graduates possesses a challenge to the higher education institutions. With the high number of students, all institutions must be ready to construct an effective learning strategy and capable, advanced teaching staff. Not only that, higher education institutions are obligated to present certain proof to the government, internal and external constituencies, as well as the public regarding their organizational effectiveness.

This is not without reason, as stated by Dr. Ahmad Nawaz in his dissertation, higher education institutions have been proven to boost the nation’s economy. Unfortunately, the World Bank has accumulated data showing that the HCI rank of Indonesia has been decreasing since 2015 to 2018, dropping from 69 to 87.

Conditions of Indonesian private universities

The challenges of HEI are not only present abroad, but also in Indonesia. If we’re looking at the quality of education offered by the higher education institutions in Indonesia, there is still room for improvements. BAN-PT as the institution that assesses the quality of the higher education institutions in Indonesia has reported in 2018 that only 14% of the higher education institutions received the A accreditation, while 55% of them were granted the B accreditation.

As for the international outlook, the higher education institutions in Indonesia are still running behind. Dr. Ahmad Nawaz stated that only 3 Indonesian universities are featured among the top 100 universities across Asia and among the top 500 universities worldwide, based on the QS World University Rankings in 2018.

It’s safe to say that the higher education institutions in Indonesia lack organizational effectiveness. This fact became the base for Dr. Ahmad Nawaz dissertation which observed 97 faculty members within 78 departments in 17 Indonesian private universities in LLDikti III. In this dissertation, Dr. Ahmad Nawaz analyzed the relationship between authentic/servant leadership, collegial/rational decision-making process, organizational virtuousness, and organizational effectiveness.

Authentic vs servant leadership approaches

Surprisingly, Indonesian private universities apply authentic and servant leadership in a rather equal frequency. The main difference of these two leadership approaches is the focus; servant leadership is more follower-centric whereas authentic leadership is heavily focused on the leader motivating the followers.

In terms of their influence, authentic leadership is proven to have no direct impact on the organizational virtuousness. Subsequently, neither authentic leadership nor servant leadership influences collegial/rational decision making due to the multiple cultures present in Indonesian private universities.

It can be concluded that servant leadership has a significant impact on the organizational virtuousness in Indonesian private universities. Even though leadership style does not influence decision making process, virtuousness is proven to directly influence the collegial/rational decision making.

The influences of organizational virtuousness

Based on Dr. Ahmad Nawaz’s study, it can be concluded that organizational virtuousness has a significant impact on both the decision-making process as well as the organizational effectiveness. Moreover, the collegial/rational decision-making process, which is heavily promoted by organizational virtuousness, also influences the organizational effectiveness in Indonesian private universities.

Therefore, Dr. Ahmad Nawaz created a new framework to further help Indonesian private universities in increasing their effectiveness. At the base of the framework is servant leadership, moving upwards to organizational virtuousness, boosted by collegial/rational decision-making process, and resulted in organizational effectiveness. ** (PID)

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