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An investigation of the construction of the leadership in higher education in Malaysia

Mohamad, Rokimah


Rokimah Mohamad


Susan Miller

Barbara, 1954 Allan

Kevin Orr


This study explores the construction of leadership and identity in higher education in Malaysia. It is a qualitative research, adopting a postmodern view in favour of social constructionist approach. The study is looking into the relational process of the leadership, examining how the social identity of the leadership being constructed around the contextual phenomena. The study was guided by three research questions: 1) how do the external factors affect the leadership in public higher education? 2) how do the internal factors affect the leadership in public higher education? 3) how do the emerging leadership identities constructed from the context?

This study employs an in-depth interview as the main method in collecting data. The respondents were leaders from the central administration office of the Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia, and the public universities. They were selected based on purposive sampling. The interviews were conducted in both language - English and Malay, ranging from one to two and half hours for each interview. The interviews were digitally tape recorded, transcribed and translated into English, and analysed manually.

The findings suggested both the external and internal factors plays significant roles in constructing the leadership and leadership identities in Malaysian higher education, with the external being the stronger influencing factors. The historical and cultural factors become the backdrop of the construction process. Subsequently, the findings provide the basis for developing a new model of the construction of the leadership and leadership identity in this context. The rigour and richness of the findings will contribute to the development of organisational behaviour knowledge particularly in leadership and organisational studies, by providing empirical evidences from a Malaysian perspective.


Mohamad, R. (2012). An investigation of the construction of the leadership in higher education in Malaysia. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Apr 15, 2014
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Business
Public URL
Additional Information Business School, The University of Hull
Award Date Aug 1, 2012


Thesis (2.3 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2012 Mohamad, Rokimah. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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