Transformational leadership and Women-Owned MSEs in Kenya

Transformational leadership and Women-Owned MSEs in Kenya

Leadership has always been termed as the epicentre of business performance. The success of all sections of any businesses is dependent on the nature of leaders in that organisation. However, leadership comes in several styles; some styles of leadership are more suitable in certain contexts than others. Of all styles of and approaches to leadership, transformational leadership has been applauded as the best approach that can steer businesses forward to unimaginable levels. Perhaps this could be the reason why Dr. Joyce Gakobo of Kenyatta University chose to explore the concept in deeper details.

In her study titled Transformational Leadership and Growth of Women-Owned Micro and Small Enterprises in Kasarani Division, Nairobi County – Kenya, Dr. Joyce Gakobo performs a deeper investigation of transformational leadership in context of Kenya’s capital-Nairobi. The concept of transformational leadership was revolutionized by James McGregor Burns. Burns believed that leaders such as Gandhi and Franklin Roosevelt D. achieved structural changes in ways designed to advance not just their own self-interests and those of their teams, but also the larger common good. Whereas the transactional leader gain cooperation through bargaining rewards, the transformational leader achieves it by inspiring others with larger visions that brings out the best in them.

Dr. Joyce Gakobo thought of how Women-Owned Micro and Small Enterprises in Kasarani, Nairobi county could grow through collective achievement of many people. The greater part of transformational leadership is leaders working hard to educate, inspire and motivate groups to have higher aspirations. Thus, transformational leadership could require leaders to empower and nurture followers to transcend their own self-interests for the sake of others.

Using theories such as the liberal feminist and social feminist theories, Israel Kirzner’s Theory and Frank Knight’s Risk Bearing Theory, Dr. Joyce Gakobo expressed that transformational leadership has been widely supported in the context of theory.

The study by Dr. Joyce Gakobo focused on the 4Is of transformational leadership and used the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) was used to measure transformational leadership. Although conventionally transformational leadership has 4Is, Dr. Joyce Gakobo split idealised influence into idealised behaviour and idealised attribute to arrive at the 4Is as listed below:

  • Idealized behavior
  • Idealized attribute
  • Inspirational motivation
  • Intellectual stimulation
  • Individualized consideration

Dr. Joyce Gakobo’s study targeted 384 women-owned MSEs in Kasarani Division of Nairobi County. However, due to stratification and subsequent rounding of the proportion of enterprises to whole numbers in different sub-sectors, 400 women-owned MSEs were eventually surveyed. The mean age for the sampled women was 32.5 (SD = 7.5) years. The findings indicate that the sample was fairly split between the age categories of less than 30 years and between 31 and 50 years. This indicates that the sample was largely diverse across age groups.

The study is really interesting because although other dimensions of transformational leadership are instrumental in enhancing growth of women-owned MSEs in Kasarani Division of Nairobi County-Kenya, inspirational motivation has the greatest influence. What motivation does is that it increases the drive and inspiration among followers/group members towards achieving both individual and collective goals.

Based on the findings from her study, Dr. Joyce Gakobo emphasizes the centrality of formulating policies and programs on education and training that can foster transformational leadership in women entrepreneurs. The study is detailed and has been published in Stratford Journals and Book Publishing. Follow this link to access the full journal article as published.

Link to the whole journal article- https://stratfordjournals.org/journals/index.php/journal-of-human-resource/article/view/244

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