Past Event details

Webinar: Effective Leadership and Management

Friday, 15 November 2019

 This Webinar is part of Share your Research: A programme of Online Webinars. This series is intended to facilitate the sharing of cutting edge and innovative research, globally. These webinars enable lively debate and constructive feedback from interested peers. These sessions are open and free for all to attend. 

Please click here to attend. 

Chair: Dr Mark JP Kerrigan, Plymouth College of Art

1.       Investigating the perceived leadership preparation needs of departmental leaders in an international education context in Vietnam Mark Atkinson, University of Leicester

This research aims to explore the perceived roles and responsibilities of department leaders, the barriers they face within their roles, and their professional development and leadership preparation needs, whilst ultimately aiming to support departmental leaders in overcoming barriers to fulfil their role more effectively.

Research and scholarship into the many dispositions and articulations of educational leadership in an international context has developed rapidly due to the expansion of international organisations worldwide (Hallinger and Huber, 2012; Tarc, 2009). Nevertheless, research surrounding department leaders continues to be relatively scarce. Keller (2015, p.1) describes the international education context as a loosely defined, yet rapidly growing specialty niche. Of which, the various strands of leadership appear to be ‘filled with ambiguity and complex tensions between opposing forces’. Given the rate of globalization and the development of international institutions and international education, there is now a growing demand to explore further.

Data will be obtained using a two part data collection process. Firstly, an open-ended survey questionnaire will be used as a preliminary method, featuring lead questions to identify dimensions of roles, the barriers department leaders face within their roles, and the professional development and leadership preparation needs of department leaders. A second data collection method will then be administered in the form of semi-structured focus groups; allowing for deeper and more meaningful data to be obtained, using responses from the preliminary survey questionnaires as a platform to explore participant’s views and experiences, whilst obtaining a more complex and rich set of data.

The initial data suggests that teachers or lecturers perceived their departmental leaders as having a positive impact when demonstrate effective organizational practise, coupled with strong interpersonal skills and sufficient pedagogic knowledge. Lecturers felt their leaders had a negative impact when their lack of interpersonal qualities resulted in feelings of desolation and neglect, and practise driven by control and autocracy. [Department leaders attributed their good pracitse to the continued support of structured senior leadership and governance provision, whilst suggesting their negative practice was a result of either an over-controlling senior leadership team, a lack of guidance or insufficient professional development provision.

This research could not only meet the professional development needs of department leaders, but it may also assist policy and practice in similar research settings; contributing to new knowledge and to societies, while driving change and laying foundations of values on a broader scale.

2.       A review of the working relationship between academic and administrative staff at the University of Sunderland with particular reference to communities of practice Deborah Bell, University of Sunderland                               

The research on this topic forms part of the focus of the professional doctorate that Deborah is currently undertaking at University of Sunderland. The motivation and interest in the research has been developed both from my degree and through employment as an administrative member of staff at the University of Sunderland.

The study aims to critically analyse the working relationships between academic and administrative staff at a post 1992 University in the North East of England.  The area of research is prevalent in the current climate due to the changes and external pressures that are being placed on Universities. There has as Vabo (2013) states, been an increase in the number of students, new management regimes, amended policies and changes in funding arrangements within Higher Education in recent years. Conway  (2014) states that there have been considerable changes which have led universities towards operating as a business model and proposes that in the light of these changes, there is the need for effective collaboration between academic and administrative staff.

The research was conducted by the adoption of a social constructionist paradigm and comprised semi structured interviews with 14 members of staff.  The data was analysed following the main principles of grounded theory enhanced by the use of the Quirkos package.  Following on from this the themes were derived from the analysis.

One of the initial findings from the study are the benefits of collaboration and the notion of communities of practice that are in existence. There is a close comparison with the work of Wenger (1998) and this is further developed by the proposal of academic and administrative staff working within the same community of practice.


Network: Newer Researchers
Date(s): Friday, 15 November 2019
Times: 13:00 - 14:00
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