Burhanuddin, School of Education, University of Adelaide
Universities in Indonesia are challenged by various constraints in management including limited internal capacity to manage staff in competitive situation. Managing a university as a part of public organisations requires an appropriate strategy to survive in responding to the demands of local community and global market. Defining university as an entity consisting of three key components namely academic, student and management, the management component is argued to have impacts on the overall university performance.
How can leadership styles help improve university performance?
Scholars in management studies identified a number of leadership styles that could be employed in improving organisational effectiveness as well as higher education institutions.
From the various models of leadership and management, Participative Management (PM) has been adopted by most leaders in a competing environment to increase organisational performance through motivating, fostering commitment, and involving all members to engage in activities.
The PM style is argued to be an important approach for establishing sustainable university governance through the human empowerment. The main objective of participative management is to maximise the use of human resource power as well their talent, skills, ideas and motivation in order to generate the highest contribution from the whole staff for the success of the university.
The Indonesian context
The extent to which this style can effectively improve employee performance, however, calls for intensive studies within the organisational context in Indonesia.
Burhanuddin conducted an extensive research study based on interviews with 1412 university employees, 90 heads of division in six universities in Indonesia. Using both quantitative and qualitative approaches, he found the significance of organisational culture for employee performance behaviour. The culture includes bureaucratic, innovative and supportive culture where local culture also plays an important role.
His findings call for a change in university management strategies. Executives of the university need to explore and implement management strategies that will enable them to motivate people at work as well as enhance their work performance in order to ensure institutional sustainability in a competitive environment.
*Burhanuddin is a PhD Scholar at School of Education, University of Adelaide. He presented his research findings on GoLive Indonesia-PPIA Academic Discussion Series on 28 March 2013.