Perception, leadership styles, organizational effectiveness, public university, higher education, the university community, leadership levels


This study aimed at comparing (i) the perceived ratings of leaders', non-leaders' and students' on leadership effectiveness and (ii) perceived ratings of various levels of leadership against transformational, transactional; and passive avoidant dimensions of leadership using a pragmatist philosophy and a quantitative-qualitative, concurrent, mixed cross-sectional descriptive design. Addis Ababa University (AAU), Debre Berhan University (DBU), and Welkite University (WKU) were randomly selected from each of the three-generation Ethiopian public universities. This study was conducted based on original primary data collected from a total of 506 respondents who filled the survey. These included 333 students and 35 teachers; and 5 top, 16 middle, and 34 lower-level- leaders; and 49 non-leaders among the academic; and 4 top, 5 middle, and 7 lower-level- leaders among administrative staff; and 18 others. About 19 interviewees and 3 FGDS were made. A comprehensive LS and LE questionnaire were adapted, besides in-depth interviews, observation, and document analyses. Each respondent rated his/her immediate supervisor. Descriptive and inferential statistics and ANOVA were employed with corresponding tests of hypotheses. The data proved LS midway between transactional and laissez-faire (MD= 2.5) in the five-point scale. The findings included a moderate score of (M=2.73) for administrative staff middle level leaders and (M=3.37) for top-level academic leaders. Further, LS and LE scores varied favoring ratings made by the academic leadership of the top-level across the hierarchy implying ineptitude. Students' and faculties' and administrative staffs' satisfaction, and LS effectiveness were only found slightly above average. Transactional (TRNAL) rather than transformational LS prevailed in the universities. Findings had several practical implications and because of this MoSHE, the boards and the leadership of the universities and future researchers were advised to take their share

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