Does Academic Leaders influence Staffs’ Commitment to Service Quality in Malaysia?
Raemah Abdullah Hashim
Corresponding author, University of Management and Technology B1-10, Block C
Leisure Commerce Square
No 09, Jalan PJS 08/09
46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
College of Business
Universiti Utara Malaysia
060120, Sintok, Kedah Darul Aman
This paper discussed the relationship between leadership style of transformational and the commitment to service quality among academic staffs in public and private Malaysian Universities. It has been argued that excellent service quality performance is one of the key factors in building niche and having competitive edge that separates one from its competitors nationally and globally. Total useable questionnaires were 387 with a response rate of 36 percent. The result revealed that there is a significant relationship between transformational leadership style and commitment to service quality among academic staff at the Malaysian universities. This study implies to the policy makers and academic leaders at the universities that they should focus in developing their academic staff, by tapping their potentials, inspiring them, promoting collaboration, motivating and reinforcing positive attitudes towards commitment to service quality. Future study should consider alternative modes of enquires such as employing the longitudinal method of data collection design and a nationwide survey covering samples from the whole population of the higher institutions of learning in Malaysia that would be more significant in making generalizations . Keywords: Service quality, Transformational Leadership, Commitment to Service Quality, Malaysia
Existing literature on education indicates a motion towards “educational excellence” which is about world class branding, marketable academic programmes, research activities and facilities in attracting and retaining foreign and local students (Isahak, 2007), but how does one compete to be different?Governing bodies, in Malaysia such as the Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA) provide accreditation to quality programmes that fulfill certain standards. But how do Malaysian Universities attempt to remain competitive and maintain a sustainable growth in this volatile environment where programmes seen to be globally homogeneous in nature, competitive in terms of pricing, and significant in location and branding? Hudson et al. (2004) argued that excellent service quality performance is one of the key factors in building
market niche and a competitive edge that separates one from its competitors. Sim and Idrus (2004), Jusoh et al. (2004), and Sahney et al, (2008) concurred and uphold the notion that commitment from the academic staff in the education sector to the overall organizational goal such as in the delivery of high service quality is a better strategy as in the case of customer retention and satisfaction. Unfortunately, not much attention has been given to the issue of commitment to service quality among the academic staff in the higher education sector. There is an increasing thought supporting the idea that students‟ evaluation of service quality in the Malaysian universities is to a large extent influenced by the way they are treated by the customer contact employee notably the academic staff (Hasan et al., 2008; Ismail & Abiddin, 2009). Past researches have also suggested that some universities in Malaysia were losing students because their standard of service quality was not up to the expectation of the students (Jain et al., 2004; Firdaus, 2006; Latif et al., 2009). It was reported that the level of service quality in the Malaysian universities was just mediocre (Jusoh et al. 2004; Sim & Idrus, 2004; Hasan et al., 2008, Ismail & Abiddin, 2009). This arises concern in the way the students‟ are being treated or handled. The implication of these students‟ withdrawals may not...
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