Transformational classroom leadership and workplace engagement: Is there a relationship?

James S. POUNDER*, Peter STOFFELL, Edward CHOI

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore whether the transformational classroom leadership concept could describe the notion of the inspiring professor that the Gallup–Purdue survey (2014) found to be a major factor in enhancing college and university graduates’ workplace engagement.

Design/methodology/approach: Surveys of existing students and alumni of Lingnan University in Hong Kong were conducted to ascertain whether transformational classroom leadership is a proxy for the inspiring professor notion and to gauge the possible effect that transformational classroom leadership has on alumni workplace engagement. 

Findings: The results of the study suggested a potential link between the experience of transformational classroom leadership and alumni subsequent levels of workplace engagement. 

Research limitations/implications: The results should be treated as indicative only, given that the Hong Kong study was limited to one university, and the sample sizes were similarly limited. 

Practical implications: Should further investigations confirm the Hong Kong results, this could trigger a shift in emphasis and resources in higher education from research to teaching. Furthermore, the nature of transformational classroom leadership provides tremendous scope for establishing a professional development framework based on the model. 

Originality/value: This is the first study that has explored the link between transformational classroom leadership and alumni levels of workplace engagement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-342
Number of pages10
JournalQuality Assurance in Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2018


  • Gallup survey
  • The inspiring professor
  • Transformational classroom leadership
  • Workplace engagement


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