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Book part
Publication date: 21 November 2022

Brent Ruben, Gwendolyn Mahon and Karen Shapiro

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…

Abstract

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.

Details

International Perspectives on Leadership in Higher Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80262-305-5

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 1 March 2012

Judy Nagy

The contemporary life of an Australian academic has changed in almost every way imaginable in response to the challenges and opportunities emerging from global and…

Abstract

The contemporary life of an Australian academic has changed in almost every way imaginable in response to the challenges and opportunities emerging from global and national policy agendas. In this context, the subject coordinator11A subject coordinator may also be referred to as a Unit Chair, Unit Coordinator or Course Coordinator at different universities. represents the frontline of a move towards increasingly distributed forms of leading and learning. The knowledge that managing teaching responsibilities does not provide a clear route to promotion (with active research status providing a more well established path) means that academics may proactively minimise the time they spend on the discretionary tasks of leading and managing teaching well. Tasks that include adopting a proactive longer term of curriculum development, team building and teaching innovation, in addition to the more immediate needs for compliance and measurable outcomes. Research from an Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) project provides evidence that despite lack of formal recognition for many of the discretionary responsibilities of subject coordination, coordinators believe they are executing their job well. This chapter discusses factors that impede discretionary academic leadership behaviours in Australian higher education and suggests strategies to empower leadership and thus improve engagement with discretionary teaching and learning responsibilities.

Details

Discretionary Behavior and Performance in Educational Organizations: The Missing Link in Educational Leadership and Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-643-0

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1997

Jennifer Rowley

Leadership is essential in all organizations and educational institutions are no exception, but the concept of academic leadership is unique in higher education and…

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Abstract

Leadership is essential in all organizations and educational institutions are no exception, but the concept of academic leadership is unique in higher education and, arguably, is concerned with leadership that extends beyond the organization into the wider world that higher education institutions seek to serve. Traditional concepts of academic leadership are closely associated with individual excellence. Explores the importance of the contingency model of leadership, which suggests that leadership style might change to accommodate changing and differing environments. The way in which teams function in higher education could be closely matched with the concept of the self‐directed team. The concept of the learning organization as an organization which knows how to transform itself to meet changing circumstances defines specific roles for leaders.

Details

Industrial and Commercial Training, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0019-7858

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Article
Publication date: 11 January 2016

Binh P. Le

Asian Americans (AAs) are underrepresented in leadership roles in academic libraries in the USA. Instead of exploring the factors contributing to their…

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Abstract

Purpose

Asian Americans (AAs) are underrepresented in leadership roles in academic libraries in the USA. Instead of exploring the factors contributing to their under-representation, the purpose of this paper is to focus on exploring the major factors that have helped AA academic librarians, albeit small in number, to attain, maintain, and advance further into leadership positions in academic libraries.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was conducted to garner responses from AAs who have held or currently hold senior leadership positions in American academic libraries. In total, 12 participants participated in the study: five women and seven men. The participants included three retired deans/directors/university librarians; seven deans/directors/university librarians; one associate dean/associate director/associate university librarian; and one assistant dean/assistant director/assistant university librarian. The participants represented a multiplicity of institutions, including community colleges, Ivy League institutions, and small as well as large private and public universities.

Findings

The results of the survey revealed several important success characteristics of AA academic library leaders, including wanting to serve, willing to assume leadership roles, taking non-AA traditional career path, seeking visibility, and developing communication skills.

Originality/value

This is the first and most comprehensive study on AA academic library leaders in the USA. Its goals are to: fill a gap in the literature on AAs and academic library leadership; raise awareness about the challenges facing AAs in their efforts to attain leadership positions in US academic libraries; and highlight some characteristics of successful AA academic library leaders that aspiring AA academic leaders will want to develop.

Article
Publication date: 6 May 2014

Carol Cardno

Leadership in educational settings has been established as a key factor that impacts student learning outcomes, consequently it is important to understand how academic

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Abstract

Purpose

Leadership in educational settings has been established as a key factor that impacts student learning outcomes, consequently it is important to understand how academic leadership is conceptualised and enacted. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative study investigated the nature and demands of academic leadership in the New Zealand polytechnic sector by analysing documentary evidence and investigating the perceptions held of the role by 15 academic leaders in four institutions who were interviewed.

Findings

Findings of the study highlight the four roles of organisational leadership, curriculum leadership, academic management and academic currency. Participants confirmed that they struggle with ambiguity and tensions. The importance of teams, collaboration and communication are established and the study concludes that an understanding of role complexity to reduce ambiguity and provision of support to perform the role should be key institutional concerns.

Originality/value

This is one of very few research studies into conceptualising and researching the enactment of academic leadership in a polytechnic setting. The findings could impact the design of future leadership development.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article
Publication date: 12 June 2017

Stephen Graham Anthony and Jiju Antony

Is academic leadership unique? Is it special? Do academic leaders require certain knowledge, skills and behaviours that only a career in academic can develop – or is it…

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Abstract

Purpose

Is academic leadership unique? Is it special? Do academic leaders require certain knowledge, skills and behaviours that only a career in academic can develop – or is it fundamentally the same as traditional leadership? This paper explores whether or not academic leadership is special or simple. It starts by defining the context and environment academic leaders find themselves in, moving onto explore characteristics and the overlap with traditional leadership thinking and finally concludes with current trends and a working definition of what academic leadership really is. The purpose of this paper is to explore the uniqueness of academic institutions and whether or not they require certain leadership characteristics which can only be found in academic career progression or could an exceptional individual from outside academia lead academics, researchers, administrators and support staff?

Design/methodology/approach

Based around a literature review of current thinking on academic leadership and then the production of a Venn diagram to compares these current trends with more traditional definitions of leadership.

Findings

The key findings of this paper include a definition of academic leadership, and how it is similar in many ways to traditional leadership thinking. However, there is a uniqueness centred on the culture and politics of an academic institution which many traditional leaders would not need to work within.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is part of a wider research project relating to academic leadership and Lean Six Sigma and thus the author has searched out papers which support both areas of the author’s interest.

Practical implications

Anyone in a position of academic leadership may be interested in how it relates to traditional leadership concepts and where their field differs from others.

Originality/value

No research current exists which overlaps academic leadership with traditional definitions and characteristics and thus this paper is a new view of academic leadership.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 66 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article
Publication date: 16 July 2020

Omaymah Radwan, Simin Ghavifekr and Ahmad Zabidi Abdul Razak

The main purpose is to analyse the effect of academic leadership competencies (LCs) on student learning outcomes (SLOs) in terms of cognitive, skill and affective aspects.

Abstract

Purpose

The main purpose is to analyse the effect of academic leadership competencies (LCs) on student learning outcomes (SLOs) in terms of cognitive, skill and affective aspects.

Design/methodology/approach

The study utilised quantitative research that focussed on correlation design by randomly distributing questionnaires containing 53 items to a total of 496 faculty members in Saudi Arabia public higher education institutions (HEIs). The data was analysed using SPSS (V.24) and SEM-AMOS.

Findings

Results show a direct and significant effect of academic LC on students' cognitive, skill and affective learning outcomes in public HEIs.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitation was that the participants of public HEIs were from Saudi Arabia. However, the findings have provided valuable understandings and a comprehensive conclusion about the impact of academic LC on SLOs in terms of cognitive, skill and affective aspects. The study recommended that different LC should be further developed. Future studies proposed to investigate the factors that support academic leaders to affect SLOs directly in HEIs.

Originality/value

The findings contribute to the body of knowledge regarding the significant and direct effect of academic LC on SLOs in HEIs. The findings have the potential to reflect positively on the academic leaders in public HEIs. The findings act as a guide for HEIs in terms of the importance of academic LC for having desirable SLOs. This study is crucial for educational policymakers and practitioners of academic leadership as the academic leaders' effort will greatly contribute to the HEIs as well as the nation's development in general.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

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Article
Publication date: 15 September 2022

Majid Ghasemy, James A. Elwood and Geoffrey Scott

Given the increased emphasis on embedding the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) in the curriculum, research, engagement activities and operations…

Abstract

Purpose

Given the increased emphasis on embedding the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) in the curriculum, research, engagement activities and operations of higher education institutions, this comparative study aims to replicate an earlier international study of Turnaround Leadership for Sustainability in Higher Education (TLSHE) in the unique context of Malaysia and Japan. This paper also presents a case for closer focus on developing Education for Sustainability (EfS) leaders in institutions of higher learning.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is a quantitative comparative research. The authors collected data for EfS-related variables from lecturers affiliated with Malaysian and Japanese public and private universities. Building on the data and results from the TLSHE study, this study made a series of within- and between-sample descriptive comparisons from different angles and levels. To generalize the findings, this study used gender and experience outside higher education as control variables and compared the academics from the Malaysian and the Japanese institutions through the path modeling framework.

Findings

The comparisons showed that except for two domains, namely, contextual factors influencing EfS leadership and the EfS leadership development approaches, the means of all other domains based on the data collected from the Malaysian sample were the highest, followed by means from the international TLSHE sample, and finally the means from the Japanese sample. This study also observed that transparency, engagement with EfS initiatives at different levels, passion for teaching and learning, and creative and lateral thinking were among the top indicators. The inferential tests revealed significant differences between the academics from Japan and Malaysia as well.

Practical implications

The findings of the analyses can be used to ensure that the selection and development of EfS leaders (in this case, lecturers who may be formal or informal EfS leaders), not just at the central but at the local level in the distinctive context of Japan and Malaysia, focus on what counts and the good ideas embodied in the 17 UN SDGs are actually put into practice. This study has also highlighted the policy implications with respect to the gender and the previous work experience of lecturers outside higher education sector in more detail.

Originality/value

This study compares the perceptions of two samples of academics from Asian countries with the perceptions of the international TLSHE sampled EfS leaders in terms of EfS leadership-related issues and therefore, increases the awareness of academic community in this regard. It also highlights the role of lecturers (e.g. professors) as intellectual academic leaders in achieving SDGs. Moreover, this study shows that lecturers’ gender and previous work experience outside higher education should be considered when developing and implementing policies on EfS leadership.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article
Publication date: 29 September 2022

Nokuphiwa Kunene and Patrick Mapulanga

The purpose of the paper was to survey transformational leadership traits in three academic libraries in the Gauteng province in South Africa. The three academic libraries…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper was to survey transformational leadership traits in three academic libraries in the Gauteng province in South Africa. The three academic libraries were chosen based on the fact that two of the universities were residential research-intensive universities and the third was an academic library of a distance learning university.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted a quantitative approach with a survey design in three academic libraries in the Gauteng province in South Africa in which a close-ended questionnaire yielded quantitative data. The study included 29 academic staff from the rank of assistant librarian to the director from the three academic libraries, as these are the personnel in leadership positions. To code and analyse, quantitative data from a Likert scale, SPSS version 25 was used. Cronbach's alpha was used to evaluate the instrument's reliability on the five constructs used in this study to determine readiness to adopt a transformational leadership style. The overall level of internal consistency exceeded the theoretical minimum of 70 percent. The Shapiro-Wilk test was used to determine the normality of the data and the p values were greater than 0.05 (p > 0.05). Tables have been used to present descriptive and inferential statistics based on data.

Findings

Participants expressed favourable opinions about academic libraries' ability to learn from the best practices of others in the profession, with mean scores greater than 3.5 on a 5.0 scale. Participants' perceptions of transformative versus traditional management styles yielded a moderate mean score of 3.0, with moderate mean scores ranging from 2.8 to 3.3. The average score for talent identification and succession planning in academic libraries was 3.5. Perceptions of leadership responsibilities had a mean score of 4.1, with attributes on leadership responsibilities scoring at least 3.5. Perceptions of problems for the next generation of leaders in academic libraries were moderate, with a mean score of 3.2 on a scale of 5.0.

Research limitations/implications

Only three of the seven public university libraries in the Gauteng province in South Africa were surveyed in this study. The sample size was reasonably small for generalizations beyond the South African Gauteng province academic libraries. However, it was felt useful for this particular case. A survey of all 26 South African public universities is required to assess transformational leadership traits in academic libraries.

Practical implications

Next-generation leaders in South African academic libraries are perceived as not being aggressive in terms of team building, coaching and motivating others.

Social implications

In the wake of COVID-19, new leadership traits such as scenario planning are needed for academic libraries.

Originality/value

Leadership studies abound in the library and information studies (LIS) profession and they are not new. However, research on transformational leadership in South African libraries is still in its early stages. As a result, this study fills a gap in the literature on transformative leadership in academic libraries in South Africa.

Details

Library Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 October 2021

Nokuphiwa Kunene and Patrick Mapulanga

The purpose of this study was to ascertain the adoption of transformational leadership qualities in South African libraries in Gauteng Province.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to ascertain the adoption of transformational leadership qualities in South African libraries in Gauteng Province.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used a qualitative approach with open-ended questions that yielded some qualitative data. For the study, a multi-case study design was used. The study specifically targeted participants by identifying three directors of academic libraries in Gauteng. The criteria for selecting the three directors were that two of the universities are residential research-intensive universities, and the third is an academic library of a distance learning university. Atlas.ti8 was used to analyse the data, which was then presented using thematic content analysis.

Findings

Thematic areas for leaders of the 21st century, as mentioned by the directors, were a mixed bag. That empowerment was suggested by the first academic director. The appropriate leadership qualities were fiduciary, analytical, pragmatic, transformative and visionary. The second academic director proposed consultative, innovative and adaptable approaches, while the third proposed collaborative, ethical and adaptive approaches.

Practical implications

Transformative leadership is required, particularly in the aftermath of technological advances and pandemics such as COVID-19, which have altered the way academic libraries should operate.

Originality/value

Many studies on transformative leadership have been conducted. However, in the aftermath of technological advancements and pandemics such as COVID-19, the role of transformative leadership remained untested. This study fills the void.

Details

Library Management, vol. 42 no. 8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

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