ADELAIDE MBAIKA MBITHI1*, PETER O. K’OBONYO2,

JUSTUS MULWA MUNYOKI3

1*Deputy Registrar, University of Nairobi; Corresponding Author

2Professor, School of Business, University of Nairobi

3Associate Professor, School of Business, University of Nairobi

CITATION: Mbithi A.M, K’Obonyo P., & Munyoki J.M (April, 2016) Transformational leadership and performance of universities in Kenya: International Journal of Social Science & Education . 2 (3), 153-172. ISSN 2105 6008

Abstract

University education in Kenya has undergone major reforms in the last ten years that have come with challenges to employees and universities. To address these challenges, the universities need a proactive leadership and a motivated workforce which transformational leadership can provide as it has the ability to motivate and empower employees to better organizational performance. This study sought to determine the factors that influence the relationship between transformational leadership and performance of these universities. The study employed a positivist approach to research and used a descriptive survey research design. Data was collected from the top leadership of the 52 fully-fledged universities in Kenya using a questionnaire. A response rate of 73% was realized. Descriptive statistics were used to obtain a general understanding of the universities while different statistical techniques such as regression analysis and correlation analysis were used to analyse the data and test the hypothesis. The findings of the study showed a positive and statistically significant relationship between transformational leadership and the performance of universities in Kenya. In summary, it emerged, that transformational leadership behaviour of the top leadership of universities in Kenya led to high organizational performance and effectiveness. The results of the study have important implications for theory, policy and practice for the Kenyan universities. Specifically the findings suggest that universities need visionary leadership and sound policies that will strengthen their position as a fundamental sector in generating human capital for the county’s developmental and economic needs.

Key Words: Transformational leadership, organizational performance, fully-fledged universities

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