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University leadership practices among Muslim women academic leaders of two selected public universities in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia


Al Maki, Samah Hatem (2017) University leadership practices among Muslim women academic leaders of two selected public universities in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. Doctoral thesis, Universiti Putra Malaysia.


Muslim women have achieved many significant milestones professionally in higher education. It is no longer unusual to see Muslim women climb the leadership ladder and contribute for positive development in higher education. This study was conducted to explore university leadership practices among Muslim women academic leaders two public University in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. Specifically, this study focused on: Firstly, What does leadership mean to Muslim Women academic Leaders. Secondly, how do Muslim women academic leaders practice leadership in higher education. Thirdly, what are the challenges that Muslim women leaders face in higher education and how do Muslim women leaders cope with challenges in leadership? The study employed qualitative phenomenological case study approach. In-depth interviews were conducted to seek understanding, experiences and perspectives among ten Muslim women academic leaders in higher education in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. Trustworthiness of the study was established through triangulation, member checks, field notes, and peer validation. The findings of this study were presented in the alternative format of thesis writing. It includes the publication of four journal articles in the thesis report. The articles answered three research questions by looking into the phenomena from different angels. These articles include: understanding of the meaning of leadership, Muslim women academic leaders practices, and challenges faced by Muslim women. The major finding of this study showed different meaning of leadership exist among Muslim women academic leaders. In this regard, Muslim women academic leaders revealed comprehensive perspectives in the frame of integrating spiritual and intellectual dimensions in defining leadership role in higher education. The respondents were keen to vision, being role model, accountability, encouragement and empowerment. In addition, the findings revealed Muslim women academic leaders’ focus and comforts in following the Islamic teachings and the overall leadership related practices of the Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam. The respondents focused practices on academic leadership networking skills, changing and development, leadership competencies, leadership style and traits and ethics as important towards the aspired end. Furthermore, it was revealed that Muslim women academic leaders as other women leaders elsewhere face daunting challenges including of society and cultural stereotypes, personal and organizational factors in realisation of their leadership roles in higher education. From the above findings, this study concluded that seeking the pleasure of Allah is fundamental in the comprehensive conceptualisation process of leadership. Besides, it was concluded that leadership practices among Muslim women leaders should be reflected with firm holistic experiences, integrated competencies, knowledge and skills in order to succeed in this world and hereafter. Above all, this study concluded that there is an acute need to exercise inclusive policies and workable strategies to overcome the challenges in leadership practices across gender. Based on the findings it’s recommended that university authorities to acknowledge the achievement of Muslim women leaders and develop institutional strategies to inspire the essence of being role models for others to emulate, and planning, designing and implementing curriculum of targeted interventions aimed to enrich university courses that would focus on preparing future female and male leaders with necessary combined professional skills and Islamic ethical values.

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Additional Metadata

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subject: Leadership - Malaysia
Subject: Leadership - Saudi Arabia
Subject: Women leaders - Malaysia
Call Number: FPP 2017 7
Chairman Supervisor: Professor Abu Daud Silong, PhD
Divisions: Faculty of Educational Studies
Depositing User: Nabilah Mustapa
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2019 03:07
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2019 03:07
URI: http://psasir.upm.edu.my/id/eprint/70702
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