The Department Chair: A Conundrum of Educational Leadership versus Educational Management

Pathways to Excellence: Developing and Cultivating Leaders for the Classroom and Beyond

ISBN: 978-1-78441-116-9

ISSN: 1479-3660

Publication date: 29 November 2014

Abstract

Leadership and management are concepts regularly used in organizational change and reform literature. This is particularly evident in educational settings and oftentimes understood as interchangeable. The school administrator is considered a leadership position, as is department chair in an institution of higher education. Yet, most are engaged daily in management tasks with little to no time spent on leadership (Bush, 2008). In higher education, the complex role of department chair necessitates a multi-task oriented individual (Hecht, Higgerson, Gmelch, & Tucker, 1999) who can both serve and coordinate multiple constituencies and ultimately balance the role of chair with the continuing roles of teacher and scholar. Although they are pulled in many directions there may be no more important leadership position in the institution for those interested in affecting the future of young people as well as their colleagues. In this chapter we discuss the commonalities and differences between leadership and management across the PreK-16 continuum; present the general roles and responsibilities of school-based administrators and university-level department chairs, and; compare leadership readiness and transition processes of school-based and university-level department chairs. Implications for theory and practice are presented.

Citation

Normore, A.H. and Brooks, J.S. (2014), "The Department Chair: A Conundrum of Educational Leadership versus Educational Management", Pathways to Excellence: Developing and Cultivating Leaders for the Classroom and Beyond (Advances in Educational Administration, Vol. 21), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 3-19. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-366020140000021014

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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