The relationship between leadership and employee morale in higher education.


H. C. Ngambi

The University of South Africa (UNISA), like many other institutions of higher education, is facing new challenges, including budget cuts, a new funding formula, changes in technology, mergers, new leadership, and a call for increased research productivity and graduation rate. All these challenges have contributed to dampened staff morale and have led to some resistance and apprehension. The aim of the study reported in this article was to explore the morale, commitment, satisfaction and perceptions of staff of UNISA’s College of Economic and Management Sciences (CEMS) and to explore the relationship between leadership and morale. A self-administrated web-based survey approach was used in a census to collect information among all 604 CEMS staff members. A 42.1% response rate was obtained. The results revealed an overall satisfaction index of 62 and that of CEMS leadership of 61. The study revealed that there is a relationship between leadership and morale, and those leadership competencies such as communication, fostering trust and team building set a clear direction for the college impact on morale. It is recommended that morale surveys should be conducted to obtain the requisite information before developing strategies that relate to employee morale, retention and performance.

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