Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award


Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Faith Ngunjiri

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Simone Elias

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Peter Williams


Research shows that higher education institutions in sub-Saharan Africa are severely under-resourced, systemically lack strong leadership, have low enrollment numbers, lack scholarly productivity, and have high rates of attrition and turnover of students and faculty. Higher education institutions in sub-Saharan Africa do not compete well globally, with low research productivity and failure to retain top scholars. Higher education institutions in Ghana are particularly facing this problem: Ghana has a relatively stable government, society, and economy, with less corruption and other malfeasance as compared to other countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Even with these advantages, Ghana generally fails to establish and maintain successful higher education institutions. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the leadership practices, organizational strategies, and other elements that contributed to the success of Ashesi University. For this study, success was defined as the achievement of stipulated objectives and purposes. Theories explored in this study included the responsible leadership theory, transformational leadership theory, and Bolman and Deal’s four frames. The study used interviews and surveys for data collection. In-depth interviews using portraiture were selected as a data source because interview questions are expressed without restrictions, allowing the participants to present rich descriptions of their views while gaining valuable insight into their unique experiences prior to and while at Ashesi University. Portraiture is used to capture softer aspects that may otherwise be lost or go unnoticed. Findings revealed four key themes that contribute to the success of Ashesi University: ethical leadership, inspirational leadership, servant leadership, and values-based leadership. These findings are encouraging as they offer important insights for other institutions of higher education looking to achieve greater success through organizational leadership. By using these four themes, “the Ashesi leadership model,” as v criteria for future leadership appointment decisions, higher education institutions can likely achieve greater and more sustainable levels of success. This study hopes to give a new kind of perspective and encouraging insights regarding what is working well at Ashesi University. This can benefit other universities in similar contexts that are also striving to be “The Good University.”

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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