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The role of the associate dean in UK universities: distributed leadership in action?

Floyd, Alan and Preston, Diane (2018). The role of the associate dean in UK universities: distributed leadership in action? Higher Education, 75(5) pp. 925–943.

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This paper reports on findings from a Leadership Foundation for Higher Education funded project exploring the role of associate deans in UK universities. While the number of associate deans leading cross-curricular and inter-disciplinary initiatives appears to be on the increase, there has been very little research focusing on the exact nature of the role and its importance, or otherwise, in the leadership and management of universities. Drawing on mixed-methods data from 15 semi-structured interviews and a follow-up online survey (n = 172), this paper reports on how the role is defined and positioned in relation to university organisational structures and identifies what the similarities and differences are between associate deans working at traditional and modern universities. As the first national survey of the role, it is argued that this paper makes a significant and original contribution to knowledge. By drawing on the concept of distributed leadership, the paper also offers new theoretical insights into how different types of universities in the UK are responding to external pressures as a consequence of the fast-changing and increasingly complex sector environment.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2017 The Authors
ISSN: 0018-1560
Keywords: Associate deans; Distributed leadership; Mixed methods; Organisational structures; University leadership
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business > Department for People and Organisations
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
Item ID: 54893
SWORD Depositor: Jisc Publications-Router
Depositing User: Jisc Publications-Router
Date Deposited: 03 May 2018 08:41
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2020 20:18
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