Problem Statement:Today’s ever-changing educational environment has created a need for new leadership styles that encourage positive change and improvement. In Turkish universities, the most commonly used leadership models are the classic and/or traditional ones, which lead to stagnation in innovation and entrepreneurship. Only a limited number of universities are actively engaged in innovative research activities and achieve success in terms of entrepreneurship and cooperative work with industry. A broad effort is needed to improve cooperation and encourage leadership development.
Purpose of Study: This paper attempts to show and critically analyze the role of leadership models of university management in creating a learning environment for innovation and entrepreneurship.
Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 42 different faculty members and 12 graduate students over a period of three months at three different universities in Istanbul. Interviews were centered on 6 core research questions. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to analyze the interview outcomes. The data were analyzed using the Atlas.ti 7 software kit.
Findings and Results:A large percentage of the participants, 78%, mentioned that participatory democracy is an important new leadership model that can empower innovation and entrepreneurship. Most respondents, 80%, also identified the important role of intensive collaboration with industry managers. In the transformation of the university, a significant percentage of the participants, 69%, agreed that experts should be frequently consulted and their views taken into consideration. Slightly more than half of the participants, 54%, said that their university could do more to encourage innovation and innovative ideas from students and faculty members; out of the respondents who expressed this idea, the majority, 86%, said that new leadership and management styles would be critical in promoting this change.
Conclusions and Recommendations:As the current study shows, universities that apply new leadership styles create an environment more conducive to fostering entrepreneurship and innovation. Consistent with previous research, the leadership model of university management plays a vital role in universities’ readiness to accept innovative and entrepreneurial changes. Universities should adopt new leadership styles instead of using conservative and traditional leadership models that discourage innovation and entrepreneurship. Generally speaking, democratic leadership models are more effective at fostering open innovation. In the new management framework, leaders can create new environments and spaces, such as technology transfer offices, to collaborate with industry.
Keywords:New Leadership Model, University Management, Innovation, Entrepreneurship