The purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual framework for identifying the primary tensions that business school dean’s encounter when moving between different university contexts.
The paper is part of a larger research project on the development of business schools. This conceptual paper builds on the studies and personal experiences of business schools and their management in a number of different countries, primarily in Europe, North America, Asia, and the Middle East.
The present study argues that as a response to the increasing corporatization of higher education, the university sector has fragmented into at least three identifiable contexts: the traditional research university, the academic capitalist university, and the corporate university. The authors conclude that the match between a dean’s worldview and the university context ultimately determines the appropriateness, survival, and success of deanship.
The paper provides practical suggestions for managing business schools. Given that “good” leadership is always context dependent, no single deanship would fit for all business schools. As an outcome, both deans and the selection committees making decisions regarding their recruitment should be sensitive to their worldviews originating from the university contexts in which they previously worked.
Emphasizing a contextual approach to business school leadership, this paper proposes a new typology of deanship situations.
The authors are grateful to the editor and anonymous reviewers of Journal of Management Development for their constructive comments and suggestions. The authors would like to express their gratitude to the colleagues Julie Davies, Ken Starkey, Graeme Currie, and others who presented their insightful and encouraging comments to the early version of the paper at the Association of Business Schools (UK) Business School Leadership Pipeline, London 2014. Moreover, thanks for important suggestions and observations are owed to the colleagues Katariina Juusola and Marjo Siltaoja from the University of Jyväskylä.
Alajoutsijärvi, K. and Kettunen, K. (2016), "The “Dean’s Squeeze” revisited: a contextual approach", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 35 No. 3, pp. 326-340. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMD-02-2015-0017Download as .RIS
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