Transformational instructor-leadership and academic performance: a moderated mediation model of student engagement and structural distance


Researchers are becoming increasingly interested in the use of transformational leadership theory in higher education teaching (often referred to as transformational instructor-leadership). Much of this body of research investigates a direct association between transformational instructor-leadership and student outcomes. In the present study, we take a step further by investigating (a) student engagement as a mechanism in the relationship between transformational instructor-leadership and students’ academic performance and (b) structural distance as a moderator of the relationship between transformational instructor-leadership and student engagement. Using a sample of 183 students across the UK, the findings supported student engagement as a full mediator, but did not support structural distance as a moderator. This study contributes to theory by (a) showing a key underlying process through which transformational instructor-leadership is related to students’ academic performance and (b) empirically examining all three dimensions of student engagement. Limitations, suggestions for future research and practical implications are discussed.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Economics, Finance & Entrepreneurship
Additional Information: © 2018 Informa UK Limited, publishing as Taylor & Francis. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Further and Higher Education on 16th January 2018, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords: leadership,transformational leadership,student learning,higher education,leader distance
Publication ISSN: 1469-9486
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2024 07:04
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2018 08:25
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Related URLs: https://www.tan ... rnalCode=cjfh20 (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2018-01-16
Published Online Date: 2018-01-16
Accepted Date: 2017-12-16
Authors: Balwant, Paul T.
Birdi, Kamal
Stephan, Ute (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-4514-6057)
Topakas, Anna



Version: Accepted Version

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