University Of Tasmania
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Effective university leadership : attributes, behaviours, challenges and development : key predictors of performance

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thesis
posted on 2023-05-28, 09:43 authored by Martin Crees-MorrisMartin Crees-Morris
For many decades now, Australian universities have been confronted with ever increasing pressure to improve their relevance and undertake organisational transformation. As economies engage in increasingly competitive global markets, disruptive innovations and digital technologies forever transform business models and the way we work. Governments and society expect the education sector to both equip students and demonstrate how we meet these challenges. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the higher education sector where universities are increasingly not only expected to become part of the mechanisms through which advancing learning and knowledge transfer is intrinsically tied to sustainable competitive advantage of nations but are also seen as a critical sector contributing to a nation's economic performance. Nevertheless, for all this purported importance very little research seems to have been done on the capacity of senior leaders in universities to achieve success in a constantly changing environment while confronting challenges that attack the nature and purpose of the institution. Moreover, there is little critical research into the development of university leadership models particularly when compared to the corporate sector. This thesis provides: (a) a summary of the evolution of leadership theory, (b) a review of research into university leadership (c) a leadership model for universities, derived from education sector-based research and then (d) identification and validation a set of leadership capabilities to further develop the university leadership model. The findings of this thesis are an important step forward in the development of the leadership model and show that the proposed capabilities are considered important for university leaders as well as indicating key areas for leadership training and development.

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