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ERIC Number: EJ1086449
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jan
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1741-1432
Middle Leadership in Higher Education: A Relational Analysis
Branson, Christopher M.; Franken, Margaret; Penney, Dawn
Educational Management Administration & Leadership, v44 n1 p128-145 Jan 2016
The paper is informed by a research study exploring middle leadership as experienced by Chairpersons of Departments within one faculty in a university in Aotearoa New Zealand. It is argued that middle leadership in higher education needs to be understood as a highly complex relational endeavour, characterised by compromises that are negotiated amidst leadership structures, hierarchies and relations. The focus on leadership as first and foremost relational provides a frame for critically examining the nature and complexities inherent in the lived reality of middle leadership. Relational leadership is conceptualised as encompassing four inter-related dimensions. These are derived from data and respectively centre on structure and power; trust and credibility; learning; and discursive relations. We suggest that each dimension provides a productive lens through which the complexities and challenges of middle leadership can be explored. Throughout the emphasis is that for middle leaders, the relations that they have to navigate and negotiate are multi-faceted and multi-directional, involving relations up, down and across organisational structures and networks. Middle leaders are shown to be acutely aware that their decisions and the decisions of other staff variously impact upon the context and relations that they are working amidst.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A