ERIC Number: EJ1056811
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
The Values and Visions of the Professional Department Head: Not so Different from the Past?
Møthe, Svein; Ballangrud, Brit Olaug Bolken; Stensaker, Bjørn
International Journal of Educational Management, v29 n3 p298-308 2015
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to analyze how appointed leaders in Norwegian higher education perceive their role and influence, and their discretion as academic leaders. Design/Methodology/Approach: The paper applies strategic, cultural and political perspectives on leadership to investigate the understanding and perceptions held by academic leaders regarding their own work. The study applied a qualitative strategy based on a cross-sectional design. The findings are based on semi-structured interviews with 18 purposefully selected academic leaders. Findings: The findings reveal that appointed academic leaders are struggling with traditions and cultures and current governing structures and funding mechanisms on the other. The paper argues that this dilemma limits the potential for academic leaders to instigate change and that leadership perhaps has been overemphasized as a factor driving transformation of higher education. Originality/Value: The paper suggests the heated debates in Norway about whether academic leaders should be elected or appointed has limited relevance for understanding how academic leadership is performed in the actual daily work of leaders. The paper suggest that the current interest in selection of leaders perhaps should be downplayed in favor of a perspective focussing on the cultural factors framing current leadership practices.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Department Heads, Administrator Attitudes, Administrator Role, Higher Education, Educational Change, Transformational Leadership, Personnel Selection, Cultural Influences, Qualitative Research, Case Studies, Semi Structured Interviews
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Norway