oa Journal of Contemporary Management - Examining the management and leadership styles and practices at higher education institutions : a case of three African universities

Volume 16 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1815-7440



Instructional supervision is an important aspect of educational management and leadership in any school and college. For this reason, every educational institution has established structures within the supervisory hierarchy as a form of division of labour and mechanism to ensure the effective and smooth running of the faculty at universities. Various universities have different supervisory hierarchy in the faculty, as dictated by the prescripts in each case. The most common hierarchical nomenclature would comprise the deans and deputies, directors and/or heads of departments, senior, junior managers and/or supervisors for various courses or programmes. The three universities used as cases in this article were closely similar to the provided description. The assumption of this article is that there is a possibility for some senior managers and supervisors within the faculty structures who abuse their positions by practicing double standards or overtly and covertly resort to divide and rule tactics to undermine some junior supervisors who might not even directly report to them. The objective of this case study was to examine the management and leadership styles and practices of three faculties at three universities in Africa. The study explored and established the existence of practices that might undermine structures. Forty-five (45) faculty members from the three different universities participated in this study. A mixed-methods approach where qualitative and quantitative methods were used. Data was collected by means of interviews and the administration of questionnaires emailed to selected participants. The study found out amongst other malpractices that some senior supervisory executives within the faculty seem to be resorting to double standards and divide and rule tactics as a face-saving mechanism to protect themselves and positions.

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