Appropriate leadership styles inspire employees to adapt to change, at the National University of Laos (NUOL)
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Citation:Tiengmany, S. (2015). Appropriate leadership styles inspire employees to adapt to change, at the National University of Laos (NUOL). An unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Business, Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/3070
Leadership plays a significant role in the development of organisations and it is imperative for motivating and influencing people in the workplace during times of change. Furthermore, leadership is a crucial element in communicating the strategic direction and motivating employees to be dedicated to organisational goals. Thus, without an appropriate leadership style, an organisation cannot sustain itself and survive in a changing environment. This research project deployed a qualitative approach to investigate the perspectives of leaders in the Faculty of Economics and Business Management (FEBM) in Laos about the importance of leadership in the organisation. Semi-structured interviews were employed to identify the appropriate leadership styles being used in the FEBM to inspire employees to adapt to change. This research project contents of five main objectives: to explore the understanding by leaders in FEBM of the term “leadership style”, to investigate the leadership style currently used in FEBM, to determine what is the most appropriate leadership style to improve performance of the FEBM workforce in times of change, to determine the key capacities leaders should have in order to influence employees to adapt to change, and to identify challenges that might become barriers for leaders to implement change. Hence, to achieve these objectives of this research project, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 respondents who had senior management roles in the FEBM. This included the Dean and two vice-deans, as well as heads of department and the deputy heads of department from five departments. The data was analysed and interpreted by using the thematic method. The findings of this research project are intended to provide significant guidelines for leaders in the Lao higher education sectors to lead organisations to accomplish the desired goals in times of change. The results of the findings revealed that there are five main leadership styles that leaders in the FEBM employed in order to inspire people to adapt to change. These are transformational leadership, charismatic leadership, democratic/participative leadership, laissez-faire leadership, and the autocratic leadership style. Moreover, it is interesting to note that some leaders executed more than one leadership style to motivate employees to participate in the change process. This is because the leaders would change their leadership styles based on the situations and the level of satisfaction of the employees. The study concluded that the FEBM leaders have an extensive understanding about the most suitable ways to motivate employees in times of change. This will enable the organisation to promote and sustain their capabilities to develop their organisation in a long-term. In addition, the researcher strongly believes that the results of the research could provide useful information for leaders to build on this knowledge base. Hence, the leaders would be able to create additional new knowledge of leadership practices so as to have a positive impact on organisational performance in the National University of Laos (NUOL) in the future.