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Transformational and transactional leadership practices in community forestry in Cameroon

Joseph O. Mbane, Divine Foundjem-Tita, Jane M. Mutune, Nzioka J. Muthama

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J. Bio. Env. Sci.21(5), 140-153, November 2022


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Transformational leadership style is characterized by the leader that empowers community members, causing positive social change and inducing sustainable development. Whereas in transactional leadership style the leader focuses on using community members as a mean to arrive at his end, with no consideration for their empowerment. This study assessed the leadership practice of community forests (CFs) leaders in Cameroon, based on transactional and transformational leadership theories. Data were collected through the administration of Multifactor Leadership Questionnaires short form (MLQ-S6) to 204 households’ members, selected based on availability and willingness to participate in the survey, key informants’ interviews and documents review. Findings reveal that 34.2% of respondents viewed their leaders as transformational, while a significant majority of them perceived their leaders as mostly transactional (χ2=34.32, P=0.000). Leaders in the Mbam & Kim division exhibited higher levels of transformational leadership style than those of Upper-Nyong (P=0.002); while no significant difference was found for transactional style (P=0.1) between the two divisions. Key constraints to transformational leadership style included inadequate government support in the CFs’ approval process, lack of training on leadership and management for CF’s leaders, and lack of effective monitoring and evaluation mechanisms of leadership and governance. Considering the above, if objectives of participatory forest management in Cameroon are to be sustainably achieved, there is a need to promote transformational leadership style development for CFs’ leadership, and so address the current status of business as usual that mostly favors the expression of transactional style.


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Transformational and transactional leadership practices in community forestry in Cameroon

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