International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss


Leadership Management as an Integral Part of Succession Planning in HEIs: A Malaysian Perspective
Alina Shamsuddin, Chee-Ming Chan, Eta Wahab, Angzzas Sari Mohd Kassim

Succession planning in local public HEIs is fast gaining attention, in not exactly a positive manner, where various loopholes and weaknesses of the system (if there is one) have become points of contention both in and outside the ivory towers. One of the main reasons of such unparalleled public interest is the expectations of the leader to produce ground-shaking transformations and reinstitute Malaysian HEIs to their formal glory. Truth is, the discourse can never be complete without invoking the other half of ‘succession’, i.e. ‘leadership’. Succession planning goes hand in hand with leadership management, which actually resembles a Pandora box of underlying intricate and interrelated issues. Mishandling one or more issues can result in an incessant trickling of problems and ill symptoms, snowballing into a greater avalanche of crisis threatening to obliterate the very survival of HEIs itself. It is timely therefore, that the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) has initiated urgent calls for review of the current succession execution and planning. This effort has inadvertently led to the realization and acknowledgement of leadership management as the long lost twin! Taking HEI as no different from a complex business organization, successful succession planning and leadership management models or strategies in the corporate can be adapted for effective implementation. This paper attempts to put the current situation and circumstances into perspective, and to propose a fundamental framework for a smooth transition of helmsmanship in HEIs, incorporating qualities of continuity, equality and credibility. Authorities are urged to not make complete adoption of existing models, which do not fit well with subtleties of the local scene, resulting in hiccups and paralysis of the HEI’s governance and administrative organs. In other words, an all-encompassing mould must be cast to cater for the needs, context and factors that make up our HEIs, without which we will be encumbered by a perpetual game of merry-go-round, never finding the way forward.

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