Female leadership in Gorontalo Universities: An appreciative inquiry exploring Gorontalonesse female leaders’ and managers’ experiences

Author: . Zulystiawati

  • Thesis download: available for open access on 8 Jul 2023.

-, Zulystiawati , 2020 Female leadership in Gorontalo Universities: An appreciative inquiry exploring Gorontalonesse female leaders’ and managers’ experiences, Flinders University, College of Education, Psychology and Social Work

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Abstract

The purpose of this appreciative study was to explore Gorontalo female leaders and managers’

leadership journeys in the Gorontalo university context to highlight the interrelated aspects of

women’s experiences of leadership in higher education in order to better understand the features

that influence their decisions about pursuing and maintaining leadership positions. The central

question and sub-questions for this research project were posed as follows: What are the

leadership experiences of female leaders and managers in Gorontalo Universities? The two

guiding research sub-questions were: (1) What enables and hinders Gorontalo female leaders and

managers from attaining and sustaining leadership positions in universities? (2) What are the

implications of female leaders’ and managers’ personal stories for their leadership and for

supporting women in leadership now and in the future?

This study took Papert’s (Ackermann, 2001) idea of constructionism and an interpretive approach,

using qualitative methods in appreciative inquiry in order to reveal the meaning under the collective

stories of leadership experiences from the female leadership in the university setting. Thematic

analysis was used as a mean of analysing the data. The sample consisted of fifteen women across

five Gorontalo universities, both academic and non-academic staff, who hold leadership positions.

Findings were derived from interviewers’ responses regarding what may have enabled and

hindered their leadership opportunities, as well as their leadership experiences in their careers and

leadership positions. The findings of this study indicated that the enabling–sustaining features are

extended to facilitating elements within their personal and professional lives that sustain their

leadership roles, including parents’ and husbands’ support and sponsorship, education and formal

educational degrees, along with support from social changes that have occurred in the regional

development of Gorontalo. The barriers were also explored, showing patriarchy, double-bind,

guilty-feeling, the misinterpretation of sacred text, micro-politics and seniority as the major

hindering features in Gorontalo women leaders’ and managers’ leadership journeys. The

implication of female leaders’ and managers’ personal stories for their leadership and for

supporting women in leadership now and in the future are also discussed.

My reflection on the research journey is described in the last chapter of this study. Suggestions

and recommendations conclude this study

Keywords: female leadership, appreciative inquiry, Gorontalo women leaders, leadership barriers, leadership stories

Subject: Education thesis

Thesis type: Doctor of Philosophy
Completed: 2020
School: College of Education, Psychology and Social Work
Supervisor: Dr. Michael Bell