Applying Leadership Theories to Distance Education Leadership
by John Nworie, Kent State University
The purpose of this paper is to examine leadership theories that could be beneficial to distance education leaders.
Transformational leaders are charismatic, motivational, intellectual, and considerate and often display the qualities of self-confidence, honesty, and integrity (Bass & Steidelmeier, 1998; Dixon, 1998).
Transformational leadership have sought to
- understand how leaders develop and sustain vision,
- empower instead of manipulate followers,
- perceive the importance of organizational contexts, and
- create a cultural environment (Avolio and Bass, 1991; Bass, 1997; Schein, 1992).
According to Portugal (2006) DE leaders must be transformational leaders and innovative visionaries with the ability to motivate, energize, inspire, and encourage followers..
The situational leadership theory proposes that effective leaders play the roles of leadership and management
Situational leadership attributes are relevant to management of rapid environmental change that involves varied cadre of staff members.
Complexity leadership theory introduces a new dimension to how leadership is perceived as it shifts focus from the individual leader to the context, a shift which influences the performance of the leader and on outcomes.
This method encourages collaboration, flexibility, systems thinking, reflection, innovative solutions, and adaptability of organizational structures