22 SES 14 A, When Educational Leadership and Management Falls Short: Three Cases from European Higher Education Contexts
Joint Session with Network 26
In 2011 the UK’s Leadership for Higher Education funded a project called “Leading professors: academic professorial leadership as it is perceived by ‘the led’”. This paper reports and analyses selected findings from that year-long UK-based study. Using online questionnaires and semi-structured interviews, the study gathered data on academics’ views of the professorial role and of professors whom they have encountered during their careers. The findings reveal that professors are perceived as a very heterogeneous group: some are considered remote, arrogant, self-absorbed and to be shirking their leadership responsibilities. Such professors prompted disdain and dissatisfaction from the colleagues whom they are meant to be leading. Located within a theoretical framework that merges occupational psychology with the sociology of the professions, this paper presents the cases of individuals whose working lives and career development have been negatively affected by such professorial colleagues. Drawing on Evans’s (2011) conceptions of professionalism, it illustrates the problems of mismatch between ‘required’ or ‘demanded’ professionalism and ‘enacted’ professionalism , and the impact of such mismatch on morale and motivation. Reference Evans, L. (2011) The ‘shape’ of teacher professionalism in England: professional standards, performance management, professional development, and the changes proposed in the 2010 White Paper, British Educational Research Journal, 37 (5), 851-870.
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