Development of a Training Program for Enhancing Instructor Academic Leadership in Private Universities of Henan Province, China

Main Article Content

Qingfang Zhang
Yan Ye


In response to the evolving landscape of higher education in China, this research critically examined the need for robust academic leadership development initiatives within Henan’s private universities, focusing on equipping instructors with the necessary skills and competencies to navigate complex challenges and shape future directions. The research aimed to (1) explore the desirable instructor academic leadership; (2) assess the current level of instructor academic leadership; (3) determine to what degree, the instructor academic leadership is impacted by personal factors and organizational factors; (4) develop a training program for enhancing instructor academic leadership; (5) measure the effectiveness of the training program and compare the differences of the instructor academic leadership before and after they attended the designed training program. Based on the systematic literature review and preliminary interview, a questionnaire was developed to survey instructor academic leadership in private universities of Henan Province, China. Totally 493 full-time instructors from four private universities in Henan province were selected by convenience sampling as the target sample. Based on these qualitative and quantitative analysis, a training model for enhancing the instructor academic leadership was designed, and a training program was implemented for four months. The research findings showed that: (1) instructor academic leadership mainly consisted of three parts: instructor academic leadership, personal factors, and organizational factors; (2) instructor academic leadership was at a moderate level in this research; (3) The instructor’s personal factors and organizational factors had significant impact on the instructor academic leadership; (4) the training model was validated effective; (5) the instructor academic leadership after implementing the training program was improved. The training program was also recommended to be implemented in other private universities.


Article Details

How to Cite
Zhang, Q., & Ye, Y. (2024). Development of a Training Program for Enhancing Instructor Academic Leadership in Private Universities of Henan Province, China. Journal of Multidisciplinary in Humanities and Social Sciences, 7(2), 689–717. Retrieved from
Research Articles


Akhter, I., & Haque, S.M. (2012). In Search of Academic Excellence by Becoming an Effective Leader: A Study of Academic Leadership in Higher Education. Global Journal of Management and Business Research, 12(10), 4-12.

Akuegwu, B., & Nwi-ue, F.D. (2017). Providing Academic Leadership in Universities in Cross River State, Nigeria: Assessment of Departmental Heads’ Effectiveness. Asian Journal of Education and Training, 3(1), 18-24.

Berg, J.H., & Zoellick, B. (2019). Teacher Leadership: Toward A New Conceptual Framework. Journal of Professional Capital and Community, 4(1), 2-14.

Bolden, R., Gosling, J., O’Brien, A., Peters, K., Ryan, M., & Haslam, A. (2012). Academic Leadership: Changing Conceptions, Experiences and Identities in Higher Education in UK Universities. Final Report, Research & Development Series. London: Leadership Foundation for Higher Education.

Buchen, I.H. (2000). The Myth of School Leadership. Education Week, 19(38).

Cassie, K. M., Sowers, K. M., & Rowe, W. (2007). Ready, willing, and able: An assessment of academic leadership preparation and interest. Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work, 13(1), 115-127.

Clark, B.R. (1983). The Higher Education System: Academic Organization in Cross-National Perspective. CA: University of California.

Dale, K. (2011). Leader Action Tips: Why become a legacy leader in education? Academic Leadership, 9(2), 34-47.

Detsky, A.S. (2011). How to Be a Good Academic Leader. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 26(1), 88-90.

Dinh, N.B., Caliskan, A., & Zhu, C. (2020). Academic leadership: Perceptions of academic leaders and staff in diverse contexts. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 49, 996-1016.

Gaither, G. H. (2002). Developing leadership skills in academia. Academic Leadership, the online journal. Retrieved from www.academic

Gallos, J.V., & Bolman, L.G. (2021). Reframing academic leadership (2nd Edition). San Francisco: Jossey‐Bass.

Garwe, E.C. (2014). The Effect of Institutional Leadership on Quality of Higher Education Provision. Research in Higher Education Journal, 22(1), 1–10.

Gavazzi, S.M., & Gee, E.G. (2018). The Impact of Governing Boards, Elected Officials, and Accrediting Bodies. In Land-Grant Universities for The Future (pp. 88–110). Baltimore: John Hopkins University.

Hamidifar, F., & Ebrahimi, M. (2016). Academic Leadership in a Private University: An Iranian Case Study. International Education Studies, 9(5), 193-203.

Huang H. L. (2019). Research on Supporting Policies of Non-profit Private Colleges and Universities[Doctoral Dissertation]. Northeast Normal University.

Jooste, K., Frantz, J., & Waggie, F. (2018) Challenges of Academic Healthcare Leaders in A Higher Education Context in South Africa. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 46(4), 692–708.

Joyce, P., & O’Boyle, C. (2013). Sustaining Academic Leadership in Higher Education. Emerging Issues in Higher Education III, 69-81.

Karadağ, N. (2017). The Senior Managers' Opinions on the Academic Leadership Process. Acta Didactica Napocensia, 10(4), 79-91.

Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (2007). The leadership challenge. (4th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Macfarlane, B. (2011). Professors as intellectual leaders: Formation, identity and role. Studies in Higher Education, 36(1), 57-73.

McDaniel, E.A. (2002). Senior Leadership in Higher Education: An Outcome Approach. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, 9(2), 80–88.

Middlehurst, R. (1999). New Realities for Leadership and Governance in Higher Education?. Tertiary Education and Management, 5, 307–328.

Min, W. (2015). The Challenge Facing Chinese Higher Education in the Next Two Decades. International Higher Education, (80), 11–12.

Niewiesk, S., & Garrity-Rokous, E.G. (2021). The Academic Leadership Framework: A Guide for Systematic Assessment and Improvement of Academic Administrative Aork. Global Business and Organizational Excellence, 40(4), 50-63.

Northouse, P.G. (2019). Leadership: Theory and Practice (8th Edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Pan J., & Hou, J.H. (2014). The Development of College Teacher’s Academic Leadership. Research in Education Development, 34(23), 54-58.

Pani, A. (2017). Academic Leadership: Concept, Attributes and Practices. University News, 55(49), 17-25.

Parker, S., & Baporikar, N. (2013). Academic leadership scenario in India after post globalization. Economic Affairs, 58(2), 263-273.

Parrish, D. (2015). The Relevance of Emotional Intelligence for Leadership in A Higher Education Context. Studies in Higher Education, 40(5), 821–837.

Que M.K., Wang H., & Wang H.Y. (2019). The Development Process and Prospect of China's Private Education in the 40 Years of Reform and Opening. Journal of The Chinese Society of Education, (1), 29-36.

Radwan, O., Ghavifekr, S., & Abdul Razak, A.Z. (2021). "Can academic leadership competencies have effect on students' cognitive, skill and affective learning outcomes? Higher education perspective". Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, 13(2), 430-445.

Ramsden, P. (1998). Learning to lead in higher education. London: Routledge Falmer.

Rishi, P. (2016). Academic Leadership: Current Challenges and Future Prospects. Journal of Organization and Human Behavior, 5(2), 1-5.

Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. A. (2020). Organizational Behavior (18th ed.). Pearson.

Rost, J.C. (1993). Leadership Development in the New Millennium. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 1(1), 91-110.

Ruben, B.D., De Lisi, R., & Gigliotti, R.A. (2017). A Guide for Leaders in Higher Education: Core Concepts, Competencies, and Tools. Sterling, Virginia: Stylus Publishing.

Scott, G., Coates, H., & Anderson, M. (2008). Learning Leaders in Times of Change: Academic Leadership Capabilities for Australian Higher Education. Sydney: University of Western Sydney, Australian Council for Educational Research.

Shahmandi, E., Silong, A.D., Ismail, I.A., Samah, B.A., & Othman, J. (2011). Competencies, Roles and Effective Academic Leadership in World Class University. International Journal of Business Administration, 2(1), 44-53.

State Council of the People’s Republic of China. (2021). Law on the Promotion of Privately-Run Schools. Regulation of the People’s Republic of China. Retrieved August 17, 2022, from

Sun Y. (2009). University Rectors and Chancellors: The Medieval Origin of Academic Leadership. Tsinghua Journal of Education, 30(2), 103-108.

The Education Department of Henan Province. (2020). Henan Province Education Statistics Summary - 2020. Zhengzhou: Education Department of Henan Province.

The Education Department of Henan Province. (2022, March 31). 2021 Statistical Bulletin on the Development of Education in Henan Province. Retrieved August 17, 2022, from

The Education Department of Henan Province. (2022). Searching Results about Undergraduate Universities Teacher Training. Retrieved August 17, 2022, from

Uslu, B. (2020). Mentoring and Role Modelling Through the Perspective of Academic Intellectual Leadership: Voluntarily and Institutionally. Research in Educational Administration & Leadership, 5(3), 921-952.

Yukl, G. (2013). Leadership in Organizations. (8th ed.). Boston: Pearson.

Yukl, G. A., & Gardner, W. L. (2020). Leadership in Organizations. (9th ed.). Boston: Pearson.

Zhang, J.H. (2008). Educational Leadership. Shanghai: East China Normal University.

Zhang, Z. (2020). A Study on the Improvement of College Instructor Academic Leadership – Based on the Perspective of the Relationship between Academic and Professional. Journal of Education and Culture Forum, 12(2), 65-70.

Zhao, Y. (2021). Research on the Construction of Leadership Model of Young Instructors in Colleges and Universities. Research in Education Development, 41(1), 57-63.

Zhu, C., & Zayim-Kurtay, M. (2018). University Governance and Academic Leadership: Perceptions of European and Chinese University Staff and Perceived Need for Capacity Building. European Journal of Higher Education, 8(4), 435–452.

Zomer, A., & Benneworth, P. (2011). The Rise of the University’s Third Mission. In: Reform of Higher Education in Europe, edited by Enders, J., de Boer, H.F., Westerheijden, D.F. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.