Table of contents(17 chapters)
Part 1 Insiders, Intruders, and Newcomers
Leadership in higher education has become of increasing importance as the size of the enterprise has grown, and this has naturally led to a growing research interest in the topic. Using systematic review methods, this chapter interrogates and synthesises the research literature on leadership in higher education in terms of its meanings, application and practice, and the issues and critiques raised. It concludes that research into leadership in higher education has been both extensive and global in nature, identifying a variety of understandings, practices and approaches adopted, and the continuing dominance of white men in senior leadership positions. There is clearly scope for more research on this topic, which could both emphasise different issues and give greater recognition to the particular nature of higher education and higher education institutions.
Academic inbreeding, whereby universities select their academic staff from among their own graduates, is a prevalent practice worldwide. This chapter presents a review of academic inbreeding research and discusses its relevance to leadership. The definition of academic inbreeding is examined, including its rationale and conceptualization. Then, the mechanisms through which academic inbreeding comes to be and the mechanisms that sustain the practice are presented and elaborated upon. Empirical evidence about the effects of academic inbreeding on scholarly practices is considered. Considering that the effects of academic inbreeding tend to be mostly detrimental to a university which aims to be creative, proactive, engaged with external communities, and producing knowledge with the highest levels of quality, policies to deal with this phenomenon are needed. Leadership in this context faces often difficult challenges since the curtailing of academic inbreeding is necessary but often deeply entrenched in traditions, culture and norms, habitus and power structures of the universities.
This chapter considers the reasons for appointing external leaders to higher education institutions, and how to support and retain them. Outsiders can bring a particular set of skills that can be valuable to modern higher education institutions and which are complementary to the skillsets of ‘expert’ academic leaders. The success of injecting ‘otherness’ into institutions is an active and ongoing process if the benefits sought after are to be realised. Three scenarios are given particular attention: being recruited from a different sector; being recruited to a higher education institution in another country and arriving in the sector having followed a very different career path. For each scenario, factors are identified that can enable a positive impact and contribution. Some of the unintentional and unforeseen barriers that can hamper such leaders having the desired impact are also identified.
This chapter outlines the academic training and career characteristics of institutional leaders (presidents) in three higher education systems in East Asia. These three systems have a large share of private universities, have experienced rapid massification during the last four decades, achieved a global reputation, and have experienced managerial governance since the 1990s. University presidents are elected through faculty voting in most national universities while it is optional for private universities. This chapter uncovers how these three countries differ and are similar in terms of their institutional leaders' training and career development before they were appointed as university president. We found that university presidents are “old” and “male” in these three countries. In addition, their academic disciplines are balanced between hard and soft disciplines. A large number of university presidents are drawn from alumni members in Korea and Japan while this is a relatively uncommon in Taiwan. Their international experience is relatively high in Korea and Taiwan while it is low in Japan. Most university presidents have prior experience in senior leadership positions in Taiwan but much less so in Japan and Korea. Faculty members in Taiwan perceive their senior managers to be more competent than faculty in Japan and Korea.
In this chapter the authors analyse different forms of gender and class discrimination in Spanish academic institutions. Androcentrism in terms of the structures of academic institutions, the meritocratic system, the rhythms and contents of work present barriers for women advancing into positions of leadership. The intersectionality of gender and class provides different kinds of hurdles and possibilities for women and men from middle-class and working-class backgrounds. Relationships between (mostly male) supervisors and men and women researchers tend to strengthen men's capabilities of developing their own scientific aspirations and claims to leadership, while women tend to become subordinated supporters of their supervisors' objectives. Power structures dominated by men's values have the effect that some women do not perceive leadership positions as desirable.
Part 2 Developing Leaders
This chapter reviews the key findings from a suite of studies of effective higher education leaders undertaken over the past 15 years. It shows the relationship between leadership and management in higher education and draws out the implications for those currently in leadership positions or anticipating becoming a higher education leader. The chapter argues that effective management is necessary but not sufficient to be identified by supervisors, colleagues and clients as an effective higher education leader; that, if our universities and colleges are to successfully navigate the ‘wicked problems’ characteristic of the age of uncertainty currently faced, they need to strategically develop a linked ecosystem of change savvy local and central leaders. The two integrating themes for the chapter are that ‘change doesn't just happen but must be led, and deftly’ and ‘good ideas with no ideas on how to implement them are wasted ideas’.
Superior leadership in higher education makes the difference between institutions that merely survive and those that can truly thrive in today's complex environment. At this time of significant transformation in higher education, academic leaders face intensifying institutional, environmental, and societal challenges, yet colleges and universities often devote limited attention to integrating their approaches to the selection, development, evaluation, and recognition of leaders. Moreover, traditional approaches and criteria used in the selection of academic leaders are often inadequate for predicting their success. Through the process of organizational and leader profiling, as described in this chapter, institutions can better understand the landscape in which the leader will be functioning, providing a more contextualized and useful approach to leader selection, development, evaluation, and recognition.
This chapter aims to examine the ways coaching and mentoring are currently leveraged to deliver leadership development in higher education institutions. By exploring the variety of coaching and mentoring approaches and their deployment at different levels and across different institutions we are able to indicate opportunities for further enhancing leadership development in the sector through coaching and mentoring. The chapter examines peer-reviewed articles, sector reports and insights from key informants crafted into mini case studies. Mentoring emerges as a default approach to leadership development, in particular at early career stages and where inclusivity and diversity feature as part of leadership development programmes. Coaching is evident at the senior levels and offers a wider range of individual leader, senior team and organisational leadership development opportunities. Our cases highlight the range of responses and sophistication of coaching approaches and practices, from the highly embedded to other more piecemeal examples. The findings emphasise the importance of empirical research in this area to better understand and inform the sector of the wider benefits and opportunities of coaching and mentoring in supporting leadership development. Opportunities to support greater inclusivity and diversity in leadership should consider coaching approaches and practices too. This exploration of coaching and mentoring identifies why shifts towards coaching may be evident. It challenges those in the sector – researchers, people management and organisational developers, as well as senior leaders – to adopt more integrated and embedded coaching and mentoring initiatives to support the sector in addressing its current challenges.
Department chairs represent one of the most intriguing, complex, and important leadership roles in higher education. Despite the important role chairs play, there is limited research about ongoing dynamics and how they manage the complexities that come along with the position. The tension between the academic and administrative cores creates inherent stress in the position. What stresses department chairs? Has it changed over time? The theoretical construct used to investigate these questions is based on the four-stage chair stress cycle (identification, perception, response, and consequences), and in particular the first two stages of identification and perception. The data for this study are derived from two data sets collected in 1991 and 2016 surveying 800 and 982 department chairs respectively. Each survey assessed personal profiles, professional and organizational variables, and two validated stress and role instruments. Findings collected 25 years apart suggested some shifts in chair gender, motivation to serve, professional identity, preparation, tenure status, and ethnicity. When comparing top stressors from 1991 to 2016, more stress emanated from chairs trying to balance scholarship and leadership as well as work-life balance. Top department chair stressors underscored the difficulty to find some balance between professional and personal roles. Many of these imbalances appeared to be more structural and inherent in the position while others fall within the chairs' control to be personally managed. Female chairs experienced higher stress than men from having insufficient time to stay current in their academic fields and balancing administrative and scholarly demands. The researchers expected to find significant differences according to marital status, ethnicity, and age, but no significant trends emerged. Ultimately, higher education institutions will continue to have a leadership crisis if the conditions for chairing departments remain unmanageable.
The academic sphere has in recent years become almost saturated in leadership-related processes, structures and positions. This is often explained through recourse to arguments concerning the pathologies of managerialism and the decline of academic autonomy. And yet one area where leadership-related thinking and development structures have not generally permeated is in relation to core research activities. As a result, thinking about research leadership, especially in relation to self-leadership and the governance of large inter-disciplinary ‘team science’ projects, is emerging as an important debate within academe. This chapter seeks to develop this debate by exploring what research leadership is and why it matters.
Part 3 Alternative Perspectives
Drawing upon the findings from three related research projects focused on academic leadership provided by university professors, in this chapter a leadership-sceptic lens is applied to the examination of the concepts of, first, leadership, and second, academic leadership. Discussion then focuses on the ways in which their perceptions of their leadership roles were found to influence how professors carried out their work, and with what effect(s). The key challenge is to persuade senior managers to remove their blinkers so that they may then see leadership not primarily as embodied in a person, but as influential agency that may – and does – occur in a myriad of ways, many of which go unnoticed and unrecognised, and are difficult to monitor and assess through formal performativity mechanisms.
Academic leadership is often measured in relation to the amount and success of change and growth. In bringing about change in the academic setting, leaders can benefit from disruptions just as much as their counterparts in commerce. In this chapter I illustrate approaches to change using disruptions as examples of catalysts or prompts for action. Universities offer an idiosyncratic environment where tradition and ceremony are valued, but flexibility and responsiveness are needed to survive. In treading the line between these contradictory tensions, leaders need to find ways to engage with stakeholders, to secure trust and confidence, so that short-term disadvantages are accepted in return for long-term improvements.
This chapter focuses on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on academic leadership. Interview data from 13 academic leaders (department chairs, deans, vice-rectors) at two Turkish universities are used to voice their experiences. Two main themes emerged from the analysis: the challenges encountered in an era or uncertainty, and the experience of being in between balance and resilience. While all of the leaders interviewed got through the uncertainty produced by the pandemic, and some thrived, it is clear that universities need to do more to prepare themselves and their leaders for future crises.
The immediate financial and operational impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on higher education have resulted in short-term responses focused on reducing costs. This has included decreasing the size of the permanent workforce, pausing senior executive pay and replacing face-to-face with online teaching. The impact of these changes on employees who provide education, research and student support has been significant. To enable higher education to respond effectively to future complexity requires a more strategic approach designed to build employees commitment. The extent of change requires a move away from the current control-oriented, individualist and hierarchical administrative management approach that characterises higher education, towards a more collaborative leadership approach. Based on a case study of Australian higher education, the chapter unpacks how, in combination, the elements of an ecological view of leadership, actioned through multiple double-loop feedback based on the six tenets of a distributed leadership approach, can underpin a collaborative leadership approach designed to build employee commitment.
This chapter presents a unique perspective on opportunities that the Covid pandemic has created for the sector. Drawing on extensive, professional experience of working with leaders in the higher education sector, a more holistic perspective is offered in relation to organisational development; transforming university cultures into more inclusive, collaborative and evolutionary environments. Three key leadership skills needed for the post-pandemic world are outlined: presencing, taking courageous actions and transmuting the ego in the service for others. System thinking, leaderful and holistic development models are used to consider the practical implications of leading the new.
- Publication date
- Book series
- International Perspectives on Higher Education Research
- Series copyright holder
- Emerald Publishing Limited
- Book series ISSN