The impact of transformational leadership on improving diversity in higher educational institutions

Ugur Barut, Tennessee State University


This study examined whether a significant relationship exists between the five aspects of transformational leadership practices, as identified by Kouzes and Posner (2001), and the organizational diversity strategies as measured by the Diversity Orientation scale (DO) as developed by Buttner, Lowe and Harris (2006). This study also investigated whether there was a significant difference between the Leadership Practices of academic leaders based on their demographics of age, gender, race, and education level measured by Leadership Practice Inventory (LPI) survey. Three questionnaires including LPI, DO and a demographic information survey were sent to all academic deans who were members of The Council of Academic Deans from Research Education Institutions (CADREI) through Survey Monkey, an online survey tool. Surveys were sent to 155 academic deans. Of the 155 surveys sent, 69 were returned, yielding a 44.5% return rate. Additionally, demographic data was collected as a part of this survey and evaluated for each participant including age, gender, race, and education level. Of the total participants, 47% were male and 53% were female. 64 (97%) participants indicated their age as "41 and above", and two (3%) indicated their age as "40 or less". Races represented were: 82.7% white, 22.7% black and 4.5% Hispanic. Of the 66 academic deans 64 (97%) were holding a doctoral degree and two (3%) were holding a master's degree with 30 plus hours. The results of the Pearson r correlation indicated that there was a statistically significant moderate positive correlation between the five leadership practices (Challenging the Process, Inspiring a Shared Vision, Enabling Others to Act, Modeling the Way, and Encouraging the Heart) and Diversity Orientation level. Therefore, the first five hypotheses were rejected. It was discovered that there was not a significant relationship between the variables of age, gender, race, and the five leadership practices. Therefore hypothesis # 6, 7, and 8 were not rejected. The study also found that there was a significant difference between academic deans' leadership practices of Modeling the Way based on their education level as measured by Leadership Practice inventory survey (LPI). Therefore Hypothesis #9 was not rejected.

Subject Area

Higher Education Administration|Educational leadership|Multicultural Education

Recommended Citation

Ugur Barut, "The impact of transformational leadership on improving diversity in higher educational institutions" (2012). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3508181.