An exploration of the role of transformational leadership in times of institutionalization of change

Keywords: transformational leadership, higher education, university accreditation, institutionalization of change, planned change


In order to adapt to an increasingly competitive world, organizations need to continuously change, yet the success of the change is conditioned by its institutionalization. The institutionalization of change is the key factor to perpetuate sustainable changes. Based on the exploration of the role of transformational leadership in times of (institutionalization of) change, the objective of this study is to analyze the contribution of the components of transformational leadership on the institutionalization of change within a Lebanese private university Redundancy, engaged in an accreditation process. Through a qualitative method on a single case study, based on semi-structured interviews conducted with 15 senior executives occupying key positions in the studied university and through 15 focus groups with 85 faculty members from four disciplinary fields, we explored the role of each of the four dimensions of transformational leadership in times of institutionalization of change. Our findings highlight the essential role of intellectual stimulation and inspirational motivation of transformational leadership, while the two other dimensions, idealized influence and individualized consideration, play a limited role in the university context of institutionalization of change. Moreover, individual recognition and idealized influence are essential to convince all members of the need for change and involve them in the accreditation process. This study allows us to understand the role of each of the transformational leadership dimensions in order to promote and escort institutionalization of change within high education sector.

Received: 16 June 2021
Accepted: 20 June 2023


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Author Biographies

Ursula El-Hage, Saint-Joseph University of Beirut, Lebanon

Lecturer and quality expert at the Saint Joseph University of Beirut, Lebanon. Her research area includes change management, quality assurance, and innovation. A Lebanese national, Ursula El Hage is also an honorary citizen of Ecuador. She holds an EDBA from Paris Dauphine-USJ and an MBA from IDE Business School, Ecuador. Besides being the director of the Career and Placement Office and at the Saint Joseph University (USJ) and an expert and lecturer on innovation and quality management, she is the former vice-president of CODEFE, the Ecuadorian partner of EFQM (European Foundation for Quality Management), wherein she is a Trainer and Award Lead Assessor. Ms. El Hage co-founded the European Management Center in Ecuador and also worked at IDE Business School (IESE group) as the Entrepreneurship Center’s founding director. At the Presidency of the Republic of Ecuador, she has headed the Innovation Office responsible for the conception of the National E-government Plan, the Procedure Simplification Process, and the National Program for Excellence.

Dina Sidani, Saint-Joseph University of Beirut, Lebanon

PhD, is Professor at the Saint Joseph University of Beirut, Lebanon. Her research area includes leadership, organizational change, management of educational institutions, and smart technologies. Pr Dina Sidani holds, since 2014, a top Management position at Saint-Joseph University of Beirut as the Director of South Lebanon Campus of USJ, which regroups several branches of faculties: Business, Engineering preparatory classes, Biochemistry Science, Data Science, Higher Institute for Lebanese Educators… She joined Saint-Joseph University in 2008 and she is now a full time Associate Professor at the Business Faculty of Saint-Joseph University in Management and Strategic Management of Human Resources. Pr Sidani has been in charge for more than 17 years of developing, managing and leading administrative and academic programs for Human Resources in a learning institution and of the evaluation of their performance at both personal and organizational level. Pr Sidani research interest tackles the areas of Management, leadership, structural and organizational changes applied to various fields. In this frame, she holds several publications in peer-reviewed journals.


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How to Cite
El-Hage, Ursula, and Dina Sidani. 2023. “An Exploration of the Role of Transformational Leadership in Times of Institutionalization of Change”. Tuning Journal for Higher Education 11 (1), 175-95.