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Achieving Harmony: Tuning into Practice
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Thursday, June 18 • 1:45pm - 2:45pm
RTD.44 - An investigation of transformational and transactional leadership used by professors and its impact on student learning and engagement

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Today’s students are evolving and consequently require teaching methods that incorporate a more situational-sensing leadership approach. This exploratory paper brings together two relevant bodies of literature: transactional and transformational leadership (Judge & Piccolo, 2004) and specific learning styles/approaches within teaching and learning research. The paper addresses the learning styles of an accommodator, diverger, converger and assimilator (Kolb, 1984); as well as surface and deep approaches to learning (Caudill, Murphy & Young, 2008). When professors attempt to best match their leadership approaches to student learning styles, and to develop more “tuned in” ways of delivering lectures, engagement can be enhanced. Students can observe professors developing effective situational sensing leadership and teaching methods. Professors’ use of transformational leadership approaches can inspire and motivate students to participate, while at the same time utilization of transactional leadership can provide students with contingent rewards to increase engagement. A primary survey was administered to a sample population of undergraduate Business students, consisting of qualitative questions on teaching and learning. Findings emphasize the necessity of fostering better techniques for professor-student relations; elements of the most productive learning environments for students; and the importance of relating theory to real world examples in order to increase student participation. Findings also reveal the necessity for professors to have a mindset of adapting leadership and teaching methods in order to close the current learning gaps. Lastly, the paper concludes with discussions on specific feedback from students on how professors can “tune into practice” to effectively increase professor-student engagement and cohesiveness.

Caudill, Eve M., J. William Murphy and Mark R. Young. (2008). Evaluating Experiential Learning Activities. Journal for Advancement of Marketing Education, Vol. 13: 28-33, 36, 38.

Judge, T.A., & Piccolo, R.F. (2004). Transformational and Transactional Leadership: A meta-analytic test of their relative validity. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89, 755-768.

Kolb, D.A. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc.

Thursday June 18, 2015 1:45pm - 2:45pm PDT
Mackenzie Room

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