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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Once again I give you a very warm welcome to the second issue of 2008 in what should be a very positive year for the journal. Already there are papers for virtually the whole of the seven issues for the year including two Special Issues – one on the marketing aspects of higher education and the other on China. At present these are scheduled for issues four and six. This issue contains six papers from Ghana/USA, Germany, Australia, Canada, and the UK.
The first paper is a joint effort from Martin Zame of Ghana and Warren Hope and Trinetia Respress of the USA. The work is on educational reform in Ghana: the leadership challenge. Leadership is a key commodity in twenty-first century organisations, especially in schools. Research was conducted to respond to six questions about head teachers and leadership of schools. The Greater Accra area was used and headteachers constituted the sample. A premise of the research was that heads lacked leadership proficiencies because of the absence of school leadership programmes. Heads lacked professional leadership preparation and practice management and administrative behaviours rather than leadership. Ghana has implemented several reforms with the intention of developing a quality education system, but there has not been a focus on leadership. The literature is clear about the vital role head teachers have in effective schools and student achievement. This research calls attention to the leadership needs of headteachers in the Ghana education system.
The next paper is from Dr Guellali of the Dresden University of Technology. This contribution is on a quality framework of further education in the German context. The aim of the study is to show that it is not necessary to use one of the current models of quality management – self evaluation is considered to be an essential practice for further education providers willing to improve their quality. The study proposes a quality framework with field-related criteria. The quality framework was developed on a comparative model analysis and its suitability confirmed after investigation by further education experts.
The third work is from Australia from Dr John De Nobile and Dr John McCormick of Macquarie University and The University of New South Wales, respectively. The contribution is on job satisfaction of Catholic primary school staff. The study examines the relationships between the biographical characteristics of gender, age, years of experience and employment position, and job satisfaction of staff members in Catholic primary schools. Survey data was collected from 356 staff members and the research hypotheses are tested using multivariate analysis and comparison means. The findings were that age, position and gender were related to a number of facets of job satisfaction as well as to overall job satisfaction. No significant relationships were identified for years of experience.
Dr Jack Kulchitsky of the University of Calgary presents a paper on high-tech versus high-touch education and the perception of risk in distance learning. The author states that as colleges implement alternative forms of education delivery students should consider the method of delivery in choosing a place of education. The purpose of this paper is to assess the search criteria considered most appropriate to prospective undergraduates and evaluate their preference for online as opposed to on-campus instruction. Many studies have concluded that online education may be more suited to mature graduate students. This study, however, identifies an undergraduate student segment with a propensity for high-tech education. As online technology continues to diffuse through society, prospective undergraduates are expected to become less averse to alternate means of instruction.
A trio of authors from Australia write on research in Beijing universities. The article explores how self-efficacy is related to academic research activities and how intra-culturally relevant factors may play a role in self-efficacy in the context of higher education in Beijing. In particular, relationships of self-efficacy for research with research production and idiocentrism-allocentrism were examined. Gender and discipline were identified as predictors of self-efficacy; specifically, female academics reported lower levels of self-efficacy for research than males. Academics in the social sciences reported lower levels of self-efficacy for research than those in the natural sciences. Relationships were also found between self-efficacy and idiocentrism-allocentrism.
In the final paper Dr Paucar-Caceres of Manchester Metropolitan University maps the structures of MBA programmes in the UK and France. The purpose of the paper is to determine a possible grouping of similar MBA programmes offered by 45 accredited British and French business schools. The paper outlines the features of the six groups of MBA programmes found and the differentiating characteristics of core and option units offered by business schools in each cluster are described and discussed.