• Description: strategic leader is one who carefully weighs available options and positions of the institution for growth by taking action. This leadership style is dynamic by nature and requires a high level of commitment and work involvement.

 Commitment is the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.( Webster Dictionary).-The most annoying thing recruiters have to deal with is an uncommitted and time-wasting job candidate: the ones that seem interested in the role, say all of the right things and then at the last moment, when you offer them the job, they decide they’re not interested.

  • Perhaps for completely legitimate reasons.
  • Perhaps because they get given a counter-offer.
  • Perhaps because they chicken out of leaving their current place

“So, what aspects of the role do you think you’ll like? And which will you dislike?”

“If we offer you the job, how long do you think you’ll stay here?”

“So why do you think this job would be different/better than your current job?”

“What did you like about your last job?”

“What do you know about the company?”

What did you like or dislike about our website?

Who is a strategic leader in the higher education institutions of learning?

Strategic leaders use their deep domain knowledge of the sector and their institutions to craft new approaches and practices that complement existing behaviors. They support and demonstrate the way greater business engagement meets the objectives of universities and their staff of having a positive social impact.

Vision is an essential part of strategic leadership. Without it, University staff and personnel aren’t working towards the same goal and therefore will find themselves at odds, slowing progress and impeding success. The following four points are essential for incorporating leadership vision in the University environment.

  1. Outstanding leaders must have a vision for their organizations.
  2. A University’s vision should be communicated in a way that secures commitment from other members of the organization.
  3. Communication of the vision requires communication of its meaning.
  4. The focus should be given to the institutionalizing of the vision if leadership is to be successful.To be able to act successfully in a complex environment with a large number of heterogeneous demands, a majority of HEIs have begun to implement strategic management.  Why Strategy? A ‘strategy’ is defined as a set of objectives that focus on the activities of an institution tending to reach medium- or long-term success. A strategic plan helps leaders to choose between important and unimportant demands and to give members and stakeholders of their organization an orientation by formulating an explicit direction. In general, strategies of HEIs should address issues that are not limited to the following four questions: 
  1. On which core competencies could we base our activities in the next 5 – 10 years?
  2. How do we meet competitive demands compared to other institutions?
  3. In which established or new fields do we want to operate in the next 5 – 10 years to ensure institutional success?
  4. How do we fulfill our social responsibility in those fields? Etc.

Questions 1-3 refer to the profile and the conceptual direction an HEI plans to take to save or to reach an optimal level of reputation, funding, and staffing. Question 4 refers to public tasks (teaching, research, etc).

Institutional autonomy and responsibility

Strategic management is of utmost importance for every HEI which understands itself as an autonomous actor, making independent decisions regarding goals, successes, and failures while maintaining accountability regarding those outcomes. Institutional autonomy is a concept pursued by HEIs as well as higher education politics in many countries all over the world: “It refers to the managerial flexibility of institutions to construct their own identity, to determine their profile and to set their own goals and priorities without interference” 

commitment and productivity

Employees‟ organizational commitment is considered to be a critical issue in a higher educational setting for the success of its visions and goals, as well as to keep its employee’s motivation granted for achieving better work performance. Highly committed staff are the backbone of universities since they play an important role in the success of their institutions

 Commitment to work or work commitment is defined as the level of enthusiasm an employee has towards his/her tasks assigned at a workplace. It is the feeling of responsibility that a person has towards the goals, mission, and vision of the organization he/she is associated with.     But most great things in this world is achieved by perseverance, hard work, and dedication. All these qualities don’t just show up in a day.

A person develops these qualities over the years. The same goes for organizations, if an organization expects its employees to perform exceptionally well then they will have to provide a work environment that will help increase commitment to work.

Organizational commitment is one of the job-related attitudes which has attracted the minds of scholars and practitioners in the field of Human Resources Management due to the impact it has on employees and organizational performance.  Individuals become committed to organizations for a variety of reasons, including an affective attachment to the values of the organization, a realization of the costs involved with leaving the organization, and a sense of obligation to the organization.  This involves an employees’ willingness to exert effort on behalf of the organization, the degree of goal and value associated with the organization, and desire to maintain membership. Institutional commitment is a bond between an employee and the employer and the more favorable an individual’s attitudes toward the institution, the greater the individual’s acceptance of the goals of the organization, as well as their willingness to exert more effort on behalf of the organization or institution.  when employees are dissatisfied at work, they are less committed and will look for other opportunities to quit. If opportunities are unavailable, they may emotionally or mentally withdraw from the organization. Thus, organizational commitment is an important attitude in assessing employees’ intentions to quit and the overall contribution of the employee to the organization. Performance, therefore, is the outcome of actions with the skills of employees who perform in some situations. Employee performance is a mutual result of effort, ability, and perception of tasks. Good performance is a step towards the achievement of organizational aims. Hence more struggle is required to improve organizational performance. Negin, Omid, and Ahmad, (2013) affirmed that Organizational commitment can improve employees’ performance and raise organizational overall competitiveness.

Tertiary educational institutions are facing some level of challenges in terms of skilled human resource capacity, which hurts its ability to make an impact in the areas of socio-economic and political development  This evidence provides the need for qualified academic staff in tertiary institutions of learning. The performance of academic staff is of importance because good quality tertiary education is an important avenue towards nurturing the teachers needed for universal primary education, the experienced doctors, nurses, and community workers needed for better water and health facilities, the accountants, economists, and journalists required for better private business and better governance. For higher education to develop the above capacities, it must ensure that their staffs are well motivated to commit to the quality needed for socioeconomic and political development.

Here are some definitions of commitment to different contexts1:

  • Connection to a goal: being bound to a goal or the determination in respect of a goal, regardless of the origin of the goal. Believing in a goal and wanting to achieve it also reflects a certain degree of commitment.
  • Connection to an organization: a psychological state that binds an individual to the organization. As a result, employees are more loyal to an organization and less likely to leave it.
  • Connection to a job: the probability that someone continues to work in that job and feels psychologically bound to it. This is regardless of whether it is fulfilling or not.
  • Someone’s attitude towards their work.
  • 1) Affective commitment
  • Affective commitment relates to how much employees want to stay at their organization. If employees are affectively committed to their organization, it means that they wantto stay at their organization. They typically identify with the organizational goals, feel that they fit into the organization, and are satisfied with their work. Employees who are affectively committed to feeling valued, act as ambassadors for their organization, and are generally great assets for organizations.
  • 2) Normative commitment
  • Normative commitment relates to how much employees feel they should stay at their organization. Employees that are normatively committed generally feel that they should stay at their organizations.  Normatively committed employees to feel that leaving their organization would have disastrous consequences, and feel a sense of guilt about the possibility of leaving.
  • Reasons for such guilt vary but are often concerned with employees feeling that in leaving the organization they would create a void in knowledge/skills, which would subsequently increase the pressure on their colleagues. Such feelings can and do negatively influence the performance of employees working in organizations.
  • 3) Continuance commitment
  • Continuance commitment relates to how much employees feel the need to stay at their organization. In employees that are continuance committed, the underlying reason for their commitment lies in their need to stay with the organization. Possible reasons for needing to stay with organizations vary, but the main reasons relate to a lack of work alternatives and remuneration.
  • A good example of continuance commitment is when employees feel the need to stay with their organization because their salary and fringe benefits won’t improve if they move to another organization. Such examples can become an issue for organizations as employees that are continuance committed may become dissatisfied (and disengaged) with their work and yet, are unwilling to leave the organization.


  • Meyer, J.P., and Herscovitch, L. (2001) Commitment in the Workplace: Toward a General Model. Human Resource Management Review, Vol. 11, 299-326
  • Locke, et al (1988) The Determinants of Goal Commitment. Academy of Management Review, Vol. 13, 23-39
  • Allen, N.J. and Meyer, J.P. (1990) The Measurement and Antecedents of Affective, Continuance, and Normative Commitment to the Organization. Journal of Occupational Psychology, Vol. 63, 1-18
  • Rusbult, C.E. and Farrell, D. (1983) A Longitudinal Test of the Investment Model: the Impact of Job Satisfaction, Job Commitment, and Turnover Variations in Rewards, Costs, Alternatives, and Investments. Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 69, 429-438
  • Blau, G.J. (1985) The Measurement and Prediction of Career Commitment. Journal of Occupational Psychology, Vol. 58, 277-288 
  • Meyer, J.P., Vandenberghe, C. and Becker, T.E. (2004) Employee Commitment and Motivation: A Conceptual Analysis and Integrative Model. Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 89, 991-1007
  • Meyer, J.P., and Herscovitch, L. (2001) Commitment in the Workplace: Toward a General Model. Human Resource Management Review, Vol. 11, 299-326
  • Allen, N.J. and Meyer, J.P. (1990) The Measurement and Antecedents of Affective, Continuance, and Normative Commitment to the Organization. Journal of Occupational Psychology, Vol. 63, 1-18
  • Iles, P. et al (1990) HRM Practices and Employee Commitment: Possibilities, Pitfalls, and Paradoxes. British Journal of Management, Vol. 1, 147-157
  • https://www.questionpro.com/blog/employee-retention-strategies/
  • https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/willingness
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