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Underpinning excellence in higher education – an investigation into the leadership, governance and management behaviours of high-performing academic departments

Kok, SK and McDonald, C (2015) Underpinning excellence in higher education – an investigation into the leadership, governance and management behaviours of high-performing academic departments. Studies in Higher Education, 2015. pp. 1-22. ISSN 1470-174X

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Abstract

The changes in government funding alongside external pressures of increased international and national competition have meant that higher education institutions need to excel in a turbulent environment. The leadership, governance and management (LGM) of academic departments are key concerns. This study investigates the correlation between behaviours, attitudes and competencies at a department level and overall departmental performance in terms of hard data measures. The research question this paper seeks to address is: what are the LGM behaviours that are associated with high-performance in academic departments? More than 600 people across 50 academic departments in 5 UK universities were surveyed through the use of three research phases consisting of open-ended questionnaires, critical case sampled semi-structured interviews and a fixed-response survey. Synthesising the data and findings of the study revealed a thematic framework of eight broad themes that contribute to excellence in academic departments. These were in the areas of change management, research and teaching, communication, strategy and shared values, leadership, departmental culture, rewards and staffing. The behaviours associated with each of these themes were used to construct the Underpinning Excellence model.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Studies in Higher Education on 08/05/2015, available online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2015.1036849
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1301 Education Systems, 1303 Specialist Studies In Education
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Liverpool Business School
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2015 08:27
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2016 00:50
DOI or Identification number: 10.1080/03075079.2015.1036849
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/2191

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