Comparing Higher Education Practices and Cultural Competences in Kenya and the United States

Higher Education    Managers/Executives/Administrators

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TITLE Comparing Higher Education Practices and Cultural Competences in Kenya and the United States
RESEARCHER Kennedy Musamali and Barbara N. Martin
Higher Education Studies
2016: Vol. 6(3), pp. 127-137

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between cultural competency and effective leadership practices in higher education.

The sample included 15 leaders from three top-ranked higher education institutions in Kenya and the United States (specifically Missouri), for a total of 45 from each country. Respondents completed the LPI, the Cultural Competency (CQ) scale (Earley & Ang, 2003), and provided demographic information. Fifty percent of the respondents were female, with 23 percent identifying themselves as upper-level management, 56 percent as middle-level, and 17 percent identified with lower-level management. The majority of respondents had been in their positions less than five year. Forty-four percent had doctoral degrees, and another 39 percent had master’s degrees.

No statistically significant differences on any of the five leadership practices were found between the higher education leaders in Kenya and the U.S. In both countries, Enable was the most frequently engaged leadership practice, and Inspire the least frequently used.

Model was significantly correlated with CQ-Strategy and CQ-Knowledge but not CQ-Motivation nor CQ-Behavior. Inspire and Challenge were not significantly related to any of the four measures of cultural competency. Enable and Encourage were both significantly correlated with CQ-Strategy, Knowledge, and Motivation. CQ-Behavior was not correlated with any of the five leadership practices.

The author suggests that the lack of significant differences can be attributed to the similarities in educational systems and structures between the two countries. Three of the leadership practices were significantly related with cultural competence. The author concludes: “Globalization has increased the urgency and need for leaders with cross cultural competences and skills” (p. 135).