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Title: Junior academic-manager in higher education: an untold story?
Authors: Mercer, Justine
First Published: Nov-2009
Publisher: Emerald
Citation: International Journal of Educational Management, 2009, 23 (4), pp. 348-359.
Abstract: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of new managerialism on junior academic-managers (defined as those having informal leadership or management roles below the level of head of department). It aims to discover: whether junior academic-managers experience the same tensions as Heads of Department; whether distributed leadership is possible and/or desirable in Higher Education; and what types of support junior academic-managers might welcome. Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws upon previous literature and a small case study of one university department in a mid-ranking UK university. Findings – Junior academic-managers experience similar kinds of tensions to heads of department. Although distributed leadership is considered a necessity in higher education, in practice, devolved leadership is more common than genuinely distributed leadership. Junior academic-managers would benefit from the same types of support as heads of department, but increased administrative assistance would be particularly helpful. Some, though not all, of the tensions felt by both groups could be alleviated if higher education institutions (HEIs) adopted a modified form of workforce remodelling, similar to that being implemented in English and Welsh schools. Research limitation/implications – The empirical data come from within one department of one university. It is debatable how far the findings of this study are generalizable to other contexts. Originality/value – There are relatively few studies looking at academic heads of department, and virtually none looking at junior academic-managers. The argument that school workforce remodelling might be adapted for the HE sector is not made elsewhere.
DOI Link: 10.1108/09513540910957444
ISSN: 0951-354X
Type: Article
Rights: This is the author's final draft of the paper published as International Journal of Educational Management, 2009, 23 (4), pp. 348-359. The final version is available from;jsessionid=0C383076602CAA2C24527B96D478606A?contentType=Article&contentId=1789266. Doi: htt10.1108/09513540910957444
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Education

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