INNOVATIVE LEADER IN HIGHER EDUCATION

Vytautas Katasanovas, Vidmantas Katasanovas, Žilvinas Stankevičius

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Research background.Changing higher education environment, global competition of universitiesand colleges, need to react to the changes in labour market created new challengesfor highereducationinstitutions, that must implement innovations that help to keep their activityeffective and improve it.One ofthe traits of effective leadership is innovative leadership in higher educationinstitutionthat is especiallyoriented towards implementing changes in universities and colleges. Challenges for higher educationinstitutionin the context of innovations are widely determined in scientific literature. It is important to identifywhat are the roles of innovative leader in higher education, and to research the level of innovative leadershipin Lithuanian higher educationinstitutions.The object of the research is the innovative leader in highereducation.Goal of researchisidentify main roles of innovative leader in higher education and to determine howthey manifest at higher education organization “Kauno kolegija”.Methods of research.Methods of analysis and systemising were used performing theoreticalliterature analysis. Method of questionnaire survey was used to perform an empirical research, that is, toevaluate how roles of innovative leader manifest at higher educationinstitution“Kauno kolegija”(n= 49).Questionnaire was prepared,Cronbach’s Alpha= 0.76.Results and findings.Analysis of theoretical literature revelsthat working with people is an importantpart of innovative leader’s agenda. Such a leader should use style of transformational leadership (idealizedinfluence, inspirational motivation; intellectual stimulation, individualized consideration). On the other hand,innovative leader should take part in innovation process. He should initiate important innovations that wouldimprove higher education environment (help a university or college to correspond to challenges of our times;implement new methods of activity and education; stimulate meaningful researches; implement innovationsthat prepare students for international and internal labour market), and also take part in planning and executinginnovations.Results of empirical research performed in higher educationinstitution“Kauno kolegija” reveal thatinnovative leadership is yet not fully implemented in this organization. Abilities of formal leaders to act asinnovative leader and work with people as a transformational leader are not sufficient. Leadersin thisorganization do not take an adequate role starting innovations that would help organization to cope withchallenges of our times, management innovation,or innovationshelping students to become prepared forinternational labour market is rather weak.Main conclusions:1.Innovative leader should play two main roles in higher education organization: working with peopleusing the style of transformation leadership; and working with innovation process, stimulated right innovationscorrespondingtothe challenges in higher educationinstitution’s environment.2.Abilities of formal leadersin higher educationinstitution“Kauno kolegija”to act as innovativeleader and work with people as a transformational leader are not sufficient; role of innovative leaders inimplementing innovations that helpinstitutionto cope with challengesin the environmentis rather weak.Keywords:innovative leader; innovation; higher education; higher educationinstitution.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.33607/elt.v1i9.236

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