In higher education teaching, a leadership lens is used to conceptualize teaching quality as ‘instructor-leadership’. Instructor-leadership research has largely focused on transactional and transformational leadership. But, increasing student distress along with the existence of mediocrity and abusiveness in higher education teaching warrants the study of authentic instructor-leadership. The aims of this study are to show that (a) authentic instructor-leadership is related to students’ academic performance via the mechanism of student engagement and (b) leader distance moderates the relationship between authentic instructor-leadership and student engagement.
The conceptualization of destructive leadership has received increasing attention in recent times. Accordingly, researchers have developed a theoretical model of destructive leadership that highlights two manifestations as follows: (1) leading followers towards goals that contradict the organization’s interests and (2) the use of harmful methods in leading followers. The two manifestations of destructive leadership point to the concept being multidimensional. However, researchers rarely investigate the dimensionality of destructive leadership when measuring the concept in general and in instructor-student relationships. Moreover, the most prominent measure of destructive leadership fails to capture its two manifestations adequately. To address the apparent mismatch between the theory and measurement of destructive instructor-leadership, we enhance an existing measure of destructive leadership. Using a sample of 174 students from the UK, the findings indicated that the two manifestations of destructive instructor-leadership can be measured by 13 items, and was composed of three dimensions including, irresponsibility, victimization, and callous communication. These findings, along with limitations and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Balwant, P. T., Birdi, K., & Stephan, U. (2019). The dimensionality and measurement of destructive instructor-leadership. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 1–23. https://doi.org/10.1080/13603124.2018.1543803
Researchers are becoming increasingly interested in the use of transformational leadership theory in higher education teaching (often referred to as transformational instructor-leadership). Much of this body of research investigates a direct association between transformational instructor-leadership and student outcomes. In the present study, we take a step further by investigating (a) student engagement as a mechanism in the relationship between transformational instructor-leadership and students’ academic performance and (b) structural distance as a moderator of the relationship between transformational instructor-leadership and student engagement. For more on this study click HERE.
Balwant, Paul T., Birdi, K., Stephan, U., & Topakas, A. (2018). Transformational instructor-leadership and academic performance: a moderated mediation model of student engagement and structural distance. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 1–17. https://doi.org/10.1080/0309877X.2017.1420149
Research on leadership and transformational leadership has largely focused on supervisor-employee dynamics, which are characterized by traditional hierarchical structures. However, project teams also appear conducive to transformational leadership. The aims of this study are to show that (a) transformational leadership is related to project teams’ performance via the mechanism of work engagement and (b) leader distance moderates the relationship between transformational leadership and work engagement. The proposed moderated mediation model was tested using 180 students in an undergraduate management course and working in project teams. For more on this study, including findings and implications, click HERE.
Balwant, Paul T. (2017). Stay Close! Leader Distance, Transformational Leadership, Engagement, and Performance in Teams. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2017(1), 10785. https://doi.org/10.5465/AMBPP.2017.10785abstract
Despite the popularity of student engagement and, by association, student
disengagement, the academic literature is unclear about the meaning of
these terms. This review extends existing conceptual studies of student
engagement by oﬀering clear defnitions and conceptualisations of both
student engagement and disengagement in the classroom context.
To develop these conceptualisations, the present review draws upon
organisational behaviour theory on work engagement and disengagement
because the literature in this discipline is notably more refined than in
educational research. Click here to read the published article and here for the pre-print full-text.
Balwant, Paul T. (2017). The meaning of student engagement and disengagement in the classroom context: lessons from organisational behaviour. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 0(0), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1080/0309877X.2017.1281887
Despite the popularity of absenteeism in general, school teacher absenteeism has received only moderate interest. Over the past decade, school teacher absenteeism has been becoming increasingly problematic in Trinidad. To address this issue, this study aims to provide policy implications based on socio-demographic predictors of secondary school teacher absenteeism. In so doing, this study partially replicates Rosenblatt and Shirom’s work with notable changes. Specifically, this study (a) focuses on absence duration rather than spells, (b) uses a more comprehensive measure of education, and (c) measures number of young children rather than all children. Using a sample of 146 teachers across eight secondary schools in Trinidad, the results of a hierarchical multiple regression analysis indicate that teacher absenteeism can be predicted by prior absenteeism, age, and form teacher position. The findings also partially support gender and number of young children as marginal absenteeism predictors. Limitations, suggestions for future research, and policy implications are discussed. Click the following URL to read the publication: Sociodemographic predictors of secondary school teacher absenteeism (Pre-Print).
Balwant, Paul Tristen. (2016). Socio-demographic predictors of secondary school teacher absenteeism in Trinidad. International Journal of Employment Studies, 24(1), 6–24.
Researchers have shown that transformational leadership is applicable to higher education teaching, i.e., transformational instructor-leadership. However, such research is fractionated across diverse fields. To address this issue, the purpose of this research is to conduct a meta-analytic review of transformational instructor-leadership, and to analyze research in which such leadership has been empirically associated with student outcomes. Click the following URL to view the publication: Meta-analysis (Preprint).
Balwant, Paul T. (2016). Transformational instructor-leadership in higher education teaching: A meta-analytic review and research agenda. Journal of Leadership Studies, 9(4), 20–42. https://doi.org/10.1002/jls.21423
Leadership theory can provide a route for investigating teaching via the concept of instructor leadership. Instructor leadership is defined as a process whereby instructors exert intentional influence over students to guide, structure and facilitate classroom activities and relationships in a class. Instructor leadership in higher education research has focused primarily on constructive leadership. However, the classroom context is also conducive to destructive leadership. The objectives of this study are to (a) conceptualize destructive instructor leadership and (b) investigate the association between destructive instructor leadership and student reactions. Click the following URL to view the publication: The Dark Side of Teaching (Preprint)
Balwant, Paul T. (2017). The dark side of teaching: destructive instructor leadership and its association with students’ affect, behaviour, and cognition. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 20(5), 577–604. https://doi.org/10.1080/13603124.2015.1112432
In 2014, I presented a paper describing how and why instructors need to be transformational leaders in their classroom teaching. In so doing, my co-authors and I propose a context-sensitive measure of transformational leadership specifically adapted to the unique situation of instructors in higher education institutions. Using a secondary dataset of over 2,700 students across the UK, the results of a principal component analysis and confirmatory factor analysis indicated three transformational instructor-leadership dimensions including consideration, intellectual stimulation, and path-to-goals. Each of the three dimensions was strongly related to a different learning outcome. An additional independent validation study confirmed the validity of the new measure vis-à-vis established context-independent measures and outcomes of transformational leadership. This paper extends research on both transformational leadership and transformational instructor-leadership by (a) highlighting the importance of using a context-sensitive approach, (b) examining the impact of each leadership dimension separately, and (c) investigating relationships to novel learning outcomes. Suggestions for future research and practical implications are discussed. Click the following URL to read the publication: Practice What You Preach: Instructors as Transformational Leaders in Higher Education Classrooms.
Balwant, Paul T., Stephan, U., & Birdi, K. (2014). Practice what you preach: Instructors as transformational leaders in higher education classrooms. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2014(1). https://doi.org/10.5465/AMBPP.2014.57
In 2013, I published my first paper in Sheffield University’s Management School Working Paper Series. The paper is titled “The development of a parsimonious measure of transformational instructor leadership”. This study highlights some of the limitations of the MLQ in defining TIL, and proposes a more context-specific measure. Click the following URL to read the publication: Developing a Parsimonious Measure of Transformational Instructor Leadership.
Balwant, Paul T. (2013). The Development of a Parsimonious Measure of Transformational Instructor Leadership. Third Degree: The Working Papers of Doctoral Seminar Series, 1(1), 23–34.