Purpose – This paper aims to detail the human resource management practices that have helped Majan College, Oman, to win a string of prizes for total quality management. Design/methodology/approach – The paper outlines the characteristics of four main leadership styles – transformational, authoritarian, participative and delegative – and describes the benefits the college has gained by, in the main, practicing transformational leadership. Findings – The paper shows that, when transformational leadership is practiced, team members believe that their leaders care about them as people, rather than as a means to an end; leaders pay close attention to team members' need for achievement and personal growth, creating an environment in which team members feel that they are pursuing meaningful goals; and leaders gain credibility and respect by “walking the talk”. Practical implications – The paper provides useful information on the advantages and disadvantages of various leadership styles, when practiced in an academic environment. Originality/value – The paper reveals that other leadership styles also have their part to play. In particular, authoritarian leadership can help when there is an urgent need to: ensure tasks are completed on time and within the financial budget; meet accreditation and quality requirements; and meet student needs.
Human Resource Management International Digest – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 21, 2008
Keywords: Leadership; Higher education; Organizational culture; Total quality management
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