22 SES 11 E JS, Leadership in Higher Education
Joint Paper Session NW 22 and NW 26
The search for solutions to the leadership in higher education leads to variety of leadership studies most of which are contradictory and inconclusive. In higher education “leadership” concept is complex considering the context where several types of leadership (intellectual, thought, educational, academic) overlap. While using the term “intellectual leader” in association with researcher’s roles in higher education it is essential to acknowledge the inspirational effect that a researcher-leader must have. The intellectual leadership of the researcher is about fostering the academic culture. A researcher as intellectual leader must articulate an inspiring vision that compels others to collaborate for it and to implement it (Yielder & Codling, 2004). In higher education environment it is important for researchers as members of the scientific community to have a clear understanding of their roles for intellectual leadership and to step up to the challenges they face to help the university to progress toward mission fulfillment (Rowley & Sherman, 2003). Four elements of intellectual leadership are inherent to researcher as intellectual leader in higher education: a passion for transformation, possessing a balance of personal virtues, a commitment to service, and overcoming adversity (Macfarlane & Chan, 2014).
A researcher as intellectual leader in higher education is committed to the attainment of university’s objectives, though s/he must be able to articulate alternative views about the processes leading to the university’s achievements (Blackmore & Blackwell, 2006). Researcher’s intellectual leadership in higher education not rare has gravitated into managerial roles at the expense of any real intellectual leadership. While translating into a university setting, the roles of researcher as managerial leader and intellectual leader can be seen as quite different ones and their implementation creates confusion, because researcher must be good at performing all the roles. There are some researchers who combine the necessary traits of academic leader and manager, nevertheless these roles are quite distinct and need different focus and abilities (Gmelch, 1991). It could be considered that combining the variety of roles and allowing one to become the other by default or force of circumstances, is not an appropriate way to develop the academic culture in which researcher is the intellectual leader (Yielder & Codling, 2004). However, personal characteristics and achievements are important for the development of researcher’s reputation as intellectual leader in higher education (Macfarlane & Chan, 2014).
Researchers are traditionally seen through their expertise and particular scope of knowledge worth. The role of an academic, researcher or professor in a traditional higher education school incorporates academic leadership with management occurring almost incidentally and depending on personal qualities of a researcher and administrative staff (Yielder & Codling, 2004). Intellectual leadership cannot be strictly defined as a role or function, because it is both and at the same time more than a role and a function. It is a mission, a purpose within other purposes, a component of leadership and an outcome of well-managed intellectual capital in academic setting, and the autonomous concept with dimensions and orientations (Grant & Booth, 2009). Intellectual leadership is within the higher education organizational structure and can be captured intuitively, but it is not related to managerial rules or structures. Intellectual leadership is rather symbolic metaphor and expectation towards higher education school researcher, regardless his/her administrational or research position in particular university (Macfarlane, 2011, 2012).
The aim of the study was to reveal the meaning of intellectual leadership for researcher in higher education. The following research questions were addressed: “How researcher experiences the intellectual leadership in higher education? What are the roles of the researcher in higher education? Which roles and why researchers associate with the intellectual leadership in higher education?”
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