n Journal of Contemporary Management - The impact of leadership practices on service quality in private higher education in South Africa

Volume 10, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1815-7440



In recent years, higher education institutions in South Africa and, more specifically, private higher education institutions, have faced increasing pressures on many fronts. These pressures include increased competition, changing technology and greater emphasis on efficient and effective management. The aim of this article is to report on the findings of a study that investigated the impact of leadership practices on service quality in private higher education (PHE) in South Africa as a source of competitive advantage. Literature suggests that leadership impacts positively on quality and, equally importantly, on service quality. Principals at these PHE institutions have a notable influence on the quality of service rendered to the students. Using a quantitative methodology and a cross-sectional survey research design, the study was conducted on five campuses of a prominent PHE provider across South Africa. Two survey instruments were used, namely the Leadership Practices Inventory questionnaire and the SERVQUAL questionnaire. Correlation analysis was used for data analysis. Findings of this study indicate a strong positive linear correlation between the leadership practices of principals and the service quality at these institutions. Thus the empirical findings complement and add to existing literature by emphasising the positive impact of leadership on service quality in PHE.

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