The main purpose of this study is to assess the degree to which transformational leadership was practiced in the technical vocational education and training institutions (TVETIs) of Ethiopia. To this end, cross-sectional survey research design was adopted. The study was conducted in seven government TVET institutions selected through simple random sampling techniques. From these institutions, 122 participants were selected through proportionate, simple random and purposive sampling techniques. Questionnaire and interview were employed to collect data from teachers and leaders respectively. Both descriptive and inferential statistics, including mean, standard deviation and independent sample t-test were used to analyze the quantitative data. The data gathered through interviews were analyzed qualitatively using narration. The study found that the five transformational leadership models were being practiced low or below average in the TVET institutions. But, when the models were independently considered, the variable enabling others to act and model the way were rated relatively high whereas the remaining three leadership practices, inspiring a shared vision, challenging the process and encouraging the heart were rated low by the respondents. The result shows that majority of the trainers in the TVETIs were not satisfied with the leaders’ engagement in the five leadership practice of Kouzes and Posner’s transformational leadership models. Leaders’ failure to effectively lead change and innovation, lack of professional support for TVETI leaders and their incapability to use various approaches in securing and utilizing resources were the major problems hindered effective implementation of change in the institutions. It is recommended that the Oromia TVET commission should plan and invest resources in the development of leadership in the TVETIs of the region. The plan should focus on the utilization of best leadership practices that directly influence institutional effectiveness, relevant to the management of training institutions.
Key words: Transformational leadership, educational change, Ethiopia, technical vocational education and training (TVET).
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