Purpose-driven leadership and organizational success: a case of higher educational institutions Article (Web of Science)


  • PurposeThis paper aims to examine the relationships between organizational purpose, leadership practices and sustainable outcomes for universities in emerging economies. We propose that a strong sense of purpose is a fundamental and defining feature in the leadership practices of these institutions, which ultimately contributes to their success.Design/methodology/approachThe authors present a research model that defines the relationships between a sense of purpose, leadership practices, student success outcomes, alumni involvement outcomes and societal reputation outcomes. Over 200 higher education administrators in India participated in the study.FindingsThe institutions' sense of purpose directly relates to their leadership engagement practices and their student success outcomes. Student success outcomes are a crucial linkage between leadership engagement practices and alumni involvement outcomes to achieve their societal reputation.Practical implicationsAs competitiveness intensifies, educational institutions under resource constraints must differentiate their organizational practices. This paper demonstrates how their core purpose and leadership actions result in achieving effective outcomes and overall sustainable societal reputation.Originality/valueThere is a significant difference between having an organizational purpose and enacting that purpose through their leadership practices. These results highlight the cascading effect from the institution's fundamental sense of purpose to their leadership practices and the positive outcomes of student success, alumni involvement and societal reputation.


publication date

  • 2021

number of pages

  • 13

start page

  • 1004

end page

  • 1017


  • 42


  • 7