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Exploring distributed leadership in an English university

Fung, Dilly and Floyd, Alan (2015). Exploring distributed leadership in an English university. In: SRHE Annual Research Conference, 9-11 Dec 2015, Celtic Manor Resort, Newport in South Wales, United Kingdom.

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In the UK and elsewhere, the idea of ‘distributing leadership’ in universities is becoming more popular. Yet, there is surprisingly little research on this topic. This paper reports on a funded study which explored how one institution had implemented a newly conceived ‘distributed’ leadership model, specifically to investigate the impact of the model on the academics who had taken on the new leadership positions within the university. The study adopted an exploratory, sequential mixed methods design with in-depth interviews (n=30) being undertaken first, followed by an online survey (n=177). The findings suggest that the challenge of ‘distributed leadership’ in universities is complex on a number of levels: the plurality of the institutional mission; the diversity of possible leadership/management roles; the challenge of effective communication; and the effects of traditional academic values and identities, which may support but may also be antithetical to the strategic direction of the institution.

Keywords: identity; university purpose; values; communication.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Copyright Holders: Unknown
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Focusing the kaleidoscope: Investigating the newly formed role of ‘Academic Lead’ at a research-led UniversityNot SetLeadership Foundation for Higher Education
Keywords: identity; university purpose; values; communication
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Research Group: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Education Futures
Related URLs:
Item ID: 45051
Depositing User: Alan Floyd
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2016 15:26
Last Modified: 02 May 2018 14:16
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