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ERIC Number: EJ1128284
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1360-3124
Building Research Capacity for African Institutions: Confronting the Research Leadership Gap and Lessons from African Research Leaders
Owusu, Francis; Kalipeni, Ezekiel; Awortwi, Nicholas; Kiiru, Joy Mueni Maina
International Journal of Leadership in Education, v20 n2 p220-245 2017
This study explores the meaning and competencies of "research leadership" in the African context and investigates strategies for developing it. Data for the study were gathered through an online survey that targeted recipients of research grants/support from key research funders to selected African institutions. The recipients of these grants were either research leaders or team members. The study employs a mixed methodology approach with empirical data drawn from focus group discussions and online surveys of English-speaking research leaders and research teams whose research work was supported by the selected funding institutions. In line with literature of leadership styles in Africa, our results suggest that preferred research leadership style for African researchers is different in some ways, especially with its attention to the "human touch". Respondents preferred "people/relationship orientated", "task orientated" and "democratic/participative" styles of leadership, all of which have strong elements of "Ubuntu" (humaneness). The study also showed that leadership development for many in Africa involves mostly "learning by doing" and informal mentoring, and less formal training opportunities. We explore policy implications of our findings with reference to research leadership development in African institutions, paying particular attention to challenges faced by female research leaders, and stress that research leadership development in Africa must be seen as a long-term and continuous activity and calls for more formal leadership development opportunities to complement the existing informal approaches.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A