International Journal of Educational Management

Published by Emerald

Print ISSN: 0951-354X


What a community will bear: Leadership and the change process
  • Article

June 2010


249 Reads

Barbara Curry


Lillian M. Lowery


Dennis Loftus
Purpose – This paper seeks to explore the dynamics between innovators and the communities they attempt to change. Design/methodology/approach – The paper offers brief case studies/vignettes that demonstrate the theoretical construct: “what communities will always negotiate to what they can bear during the change process.” Findings – Experiences of the practitioners featured give some credence to the theoretical construct. Originality/value – The paper provides an original and valuable lens through which change can be considered and navigated.

Swift and smart decision making: Heuristics that work

May 2010


468 Reads

Purpose - The aim of this paper is to examine the research literature on decision making and identify and develop a set of heuristics that work for school decision makers. Design/methodology/approach - This analysis is a synthesis of the research on decision-making heuristics that work. Findings - A set of nine rules for swift and smart decision making was identified to facilitate and improve day-to-day decision making in schools. Practical implications - The rules are proposed as ways for administrators to respond rapidly to problems without sacrificing quality or efficiency in the process. Originality/value - The inquiry identifies a set of heuristics for decision making that are not well-known in the literature in educational administration.

Power principles for educational leaders: Research into practice

February 2011


271 Reads

Purpose The aim of this article is to examine the empirical literature on irrationality and identify a set of concepts to help administrators cope with irrationality in decision making. Design/methodology/approach This analysis is a synthesis of the selected research literature on irrationality. Findings A set of seven concepts and propositions was indentified that are critical in understanding the influence on irrationality on decision making. Research limitations/implications The propositions proposed are ways to deal constructively with irrational behavior in decision making, but it is only a beginning. Practical implications The concepts, propositions, and their application to practice are not well‐known in educational administration and are useful tools for educational leaders. Originality/value The paper discusses the power of seven concepts: perception; simplification; decisiveness; deadlines; norms; ownership; and emotional expectation.

Conditions for Change

October 1994


51 Reads

Understanding the milieu in which successful change decisions have been made in the past can help to prepare the way for future successful change efforts. The circumstances surrounding successful innovations or “conditions” presented are not intended to be a definitive list. Drawing from related research, we can identify clearly the primary conditions which greatly enhance the success of a specific innovation. The conditions can serve as a useful analytical tool for the educational leader who would like to see a specific innovation implemented in a school or district. Too often we have seen innovations introduced with little forethought, and too often, for the wrong reasons. The conditions can be utilized as significant predictors of future success.

Leadership in Further Education — Styles and Theory for the 1990s

December 1988


105 Reads

A new approach to assessment of the leadership skills, which are seen as being essential to effective and efficient management of further education in a fast changing environment, is described. A practical and down-to-earth model is offered, based firmly on current educational philosophy, which, it is hoped, will cause many managers to pause and rethink their basic approach to their role.

The 60th ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show 2005, 2-4 April 2005: “Voices of education – unleashing the power, passion and promise”

October 2005


22 Reads

Purpose – Aims to report on the 60th ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show 2005, held in Orlando Florida, 2‐4 April 2005 by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Design/methodology/approach – Discusses the presentations such as the obesity epidemic in children, educational progress in schools, creating capacity for learning, the human face of technological change, the implications of research and practice in school improvement for the design and implementation of accountability systems and the multiple intelligences of leadership. Findings – The presentations gave excellent opportunities for teachers and researchers to share good practice and dialogue, as many of them were highly interactive. Originality/value – The paper provides a good overview of the 60th ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show 2005.

Public Schools Should Learn to Ski ... A Design for Educating in the 21st Century

December 1990


60 Reads

A fully integrated and responsive instructional management system, based upon a continuing analysis of data, is necessary if the “whole is to be greater than the sum of its parts”. This outcome-based system (in this case for the management of mathematics instruction) consists of: (1) An empirically validated curriculum for mathematics instruction, pre-school through algebra (quadratic equations); (2) Individual assessment and criterion referenced evaluation instruments (pre-test, post-test, placement, cumulative review tests) for all 231 clusters of skills and mathematical concepts, that have been established for validity, reliability, item discrimination and efficiency; (3) A hierarchy of mathematical objectives that graphically displays all skills and concepts and describes the dependency and prerequisite relationships found among the objectives; (4) Computer management software that: maintains an individual history for each student in the programme; identifies objectives in greatest demand; identifies each student's changing eligibility; matches and optimises individual eligibilities with programme options; monitors each student and signals anomalies if and when an individual student exceeds a historically generated norm.

Participation in tertiary study abroad programs: The role of personality

August 2004


269 Reads

The increasing trend for the globalisation of business has highlighted the need for a better understanding of the factors that influence levels of intercultural awareness within organisations. Within the higher education sector, one initiative that aims to address this issue is student study abroad programs. This paper reports on a study that investigates factors that influence Australian students' propensity to engage in these programs. Using both qualitative and quantitative analysis, we examined the role of students' personality in the decision to participate in study abroad programs. The implications for education in international business are discussed.

The functions, attributes and challenges of academic leadership in New Zealand polytechnics

May 2014


146 Reads

Purpose – Leadership in educational settings has been established as a key factor that impacts student learning outcomes, consequently it is important to understand how academic leadership is conceptualised and enacted. The paper aims to discuss this issue. Design/methodology/approach – This qualitative study investigated the nature and demands of academic leadership in the New Zealand polytechnic sector by analysing documentary evidence and investigating the perceptions held of the role by 15 academic leaders in four institutions who were interviewed. Findings – Findings of the study highlight the four roles of organisational leadership, curriculum leadership, academic management and academic currency. Participants confirmed that they struggle with ambiguity and tensions. The importance of teams, collaboration and communication are established and the study concludes that an understanding of role complexity to reduce ambiguity and provision of support to perform the role should be key institutional concerns. Originality/value – This is one of very few research studies into conceptualising and researching the enactment of academic leadership in a polytechnic setting. The findings could impact the design of future leadership development.

Junior Academic-Manager in Higher Education: an Untold Story?

May 2009


89 Reads

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.

Discipline in Response to Unacceptable Performance: Barriers to Access in Academic Organizations

December 1992


46 Reads

It is generally accepted that irrespective of training, motivational programmes, and the development of positive work environments, not all personnel will perform at acceptable levels. In an effort to change behaviour, many organizations attempt to develop formal disciplinary procedures that include a number of possible disciplinary actions, with each disciplinary action identified as a reasonable response to defined levels of unsatisfactory performance. Unfortunately, few academic organizations have developed or implemented “appropriate-response” disciplinary procedures or programmes. Without such reasoned disciplinary procedures, organizational responses to unacceptable performance may take on many of the characteristics of punishment rather than discipline. Explores the barriers to such disciplinary programmes in academic organizations.

The Principle of Hiring the Best Available Academics

August 2009


38 Reads

Purpose Higher education, including research, depends crucially on the people involved, their talents and human capital. Therefore, a university can improve or at least maintain its standing by hiring only the best available academics. Hiring the absolute best may be too expensive for most and is impossible for all. However, it is not too difficult to recognise the relatively best scholars. The real problem is to act on this knowledge instead of following other objectives. That is why detached decision makers like managers, politicians or academics from other institutions may be in a better position than faculty members with respect to senior hirings. This paper aims to address these issues Design/methodology/approach The argument is explained in detail and historical examples are given. Findings It is shown why and how to hire the best available academics. The existence of many deviations from this rule offers opportunities for those who follow it. Research limitations/implications Besides some practical problems, the key intellectual problem is to measure or even define quality in academia. The principle holds nevertheless for any kind of academic quality. Practical implications Universities can improve their status by hiring the best available academics. Originality/value One simple (formal) principle can structure the recruiting process and thereby change universities for the better.

Figure 1. 
The antecedents of organizational commitment: The case of Australian casual academics
  • Article
  • Full-text available

October 2006


1,964 Reads

Purpose Despite the increasing attention of organizational commitment in the management literature, most studies predominantly focus on full‐time workers in traditional work settings. This paper examined the antecedents of organizational commitment among casual academics working in the tertiary education sector in Australia. Design/methodology/approach A questionnaire survey was developed and distributed to casual academics working in a large Australian public university. Findings Analysis of the data shows that personal characteristics (gender, marital status, family responsibilities and education), job‐related characteristics (supervisor support, co‐worker support, role clarity and resource availability) and job involvement characteristics (tenure, second job and post‐graduate study at the employing university) all impact on organizational commitment. Research limitations/implications Australian tertiary institutions are prominent employers of casual workers, however, very little is known about the work behavior of this group of academics. The results of this study highlight important directions for implementing strategies to increase casual academic's organizational commitment. Organization commitment is important because it is known association with other important organizational variables such as turnover, absenteeism and work effort. Originality/value Given the increasing reliance on casual academics in tertiary institutions, this study provides the first step in better understanding the factors that affect the organization commitment of casual academics.

The intellectual identity of educational administration: Views of Israeli academics

June 2014


112 Reads

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is twofold, to answer two questions: how do senior educational administration (EA) field members perceive the field's scholarly aims and boundaries and the meaning of their intellectual work? and what are the similarities and differences between “outsider” and “insider” perceptions of the field's major purposes and directions? Design/methodology/approach – Semi-structured interviews with 12 Israeli academics who work in departments of EA in varied universities and colleges. Findings – The field members in the study shared similar views of the field's purposes and challenges, but were divided about the field's desired knowledgebase and scholarly boundaries. Some implications for the field's future development are suggested. Originality/value – The exploration of academics’ perceptions of their own field of study may increase the intellectual and theoretical understandings of major epistemological aspects of EA as a field of study.

Communication for Accounting Students

December 1993


93 Reads

Empirically compares the emphasis given to writing topics by business communication textbooks and business communication professors with the writing topics that accounting practitioners believe are most important. Addresses the questions: (1) Is there an agreement between the perceptions of accounting executives concerning the importance of certain written communication topics and the space devoted to those topics in the business communication textbooks most commonly used by undergraduate accounting students? (2) Are business communication professors teaching accounting students the writing skills that accounting executives perceive to be the most important? Findings indicate that the business communication courses taken by accounting majors are not emphasizing the writing topics that accounting practitioners believe to be most vital to accountants. The implication is that these courses may not be teaching accounting students the practical writing skills they will need on the job.

Accreditation of Prior Learning: Implications for Trainers and Managers of Colleges of Further Education

December 1990


8 Reads

The results of an investigation into the possibilities with regard to the accreditation of the prior achievements of instructors in community workshops in Northern Ireland are detailed. A number of instructors were interviewed to determine whether they would be interested in accreditation and what kinds of evidence of prior achievement they would be able to offer. It was found that instructors would welcome the introduction of an accreditation procedure but that, in most cases, they would be unable to supply documentary evidence of prior achievements. It is suggested that managers of further education colleges should make provision for accreditation, as this will be an important source of clients in the future provided that they are able to offer appropriate facilities in terms of counselling and assessment of experiential learning.

Mapping the structure of MBA (AMBA-accredited) programmes in the UK and France

February 2008


91 Reads

Purpose – The purpose of the paper is to determine possible grouping of similar MBA programmes offered by 45 British and French business schools accredited by the Association of Master Business Administration (AMBA) as of January 2006. Design/methodology/approach – The study uses the statistical co‐plot method reported in a similar study of leading full time MBA programmes in the USA. The method is used to map/group the schools according to both core and elective units offered by the business schools. Findings – The paper outlines the features of the six groups of MBA programmes found (Cluster 1: Manchester and Bath; Cluster 2: Warwick, Lancaster and London; Cluster 3: five top French business schools and Cranfield; Cluster 4: two French schools – Grenoble and Audiencia‐Nantes; Cluster 5: two French schools – ENPC‐EAP and IEP; Cluster 6: the remaining UK MBA programmes). The differentiating characteristics of core and option units offered by business schools in each cluster are described and discussed. Originality/value – The study makes a contribution under the application area of international business education (specifically the design of MBA programmes), as well as in the area of statistical analysis by using co‐plot cluster analysis, an approach not used before when comparing UK and French Business schools to explore aspects of curriculum design.

APU Science Tests: Concept Acquisition

December 1990


14 Reads

A study of concept acquisition and development in children at 8 and 11 years using five assessment of performance unit (APU) science tests: 30 children from each age group completed the tests and 15 from each group were interviewed. The oral and written responses were analysed. It was found that the “languages of experience”, as opposed to the “language of schooling”, issues were a salient feature of the children's oral responses. Misconceptions were evident in written and oral responses of both age groups. Results indicated that Piaget's stage theory still has a significant contribution to make to science teaching. Oral testing must be given due stress in assessing pupil achievement.

Adjunct Faculty Teaching Needs: Meeting These Needs through a Faculty Development Programme

December 1991


9 Reads

A presentation is given of the design, implementation, evaluation and follow-up of a successful faculty development programme that is effectively and efficiently meeting the needs of both part-time and full-time professors at a private university in Mexico. It illustrates some features of effective programmes such as presentation of theory of skills, use of variety of delivery strategies, practice in simulated and actual settings, teaching performance feedback, coaching for application, individualisation, incentives for participation, and administrative support. Some advantages and disadvantages are also identified.

The Theory of Educational Administration: An Endangered Species

December 1989


40 Reads

This article argues that a major review of the theory of educational administration is required if it is to regain a credible role in academic and practical circles. It does this by considering the case of regional directors in Victoria, Australia, a role similarly endangered on present assumptions and trends. The argument has four major parts. First is a brief summary of some reasons why the dominant theoretical perspective of the field is losing the credibility it once had. Second is a description of the context of a case study about what it is, or was, to be a regional director of education (RDE). Third are some of the major practical and theoretical implications of the case study and how they relate to other recent research projects. Four, on these bases, it is proposed that a new practical theory of educative administration will require a non-foundational epistemology, a Deweyan moral theory as well as an economic-political and sociological imagination.

Educational Administration: International Trends and Issues

December 1990


65 Reads

The management and leadership of education provide formidable challenges and new opportunities due to the constant changes taking place all over the world. There are several factors giving rise to this change, such as the relationship between education and the world of employment, and the ever-expanding growth of knowledge and education technology. It is therefore not surprising that attention is currently being given internationally to the problems of educational administration. This article examines administration as a process, and the role of the educational administrator as a leader.

Salary Administration in the Political Systems versus Management Systems of Higher Education

December 1991


11 Reads

The operation of political systems with management systems in salary administration is contrasted. This comparison will clearly show that political systems are dysfunctional in salary administration and should be replaced by management systems. But bureaucrats who operate with position power in political systems are resisting the transition to management systems. This is because these latter authority structures are designed to hold superiors strictly accountable for the quality of their performance. Additionally, management systems require salary administration decisions to be rooted in third wave principles, ethical standards and objective analysis. Efforts to perpetuate political systems as the dominant authority structures in collegiate organisations will promote waste, inefficiency, mismanagement and sometimes fraud in salary administration. These conditions undermine the productivity and commitment of personnel in their university.

Democratic Participation and Administrative Control in Education

December 1989


12 Reads

The generally held belief that the extension of participative administrative arrangements within education systems has necessarily led to democratic educational reform is critically examined. Although restructured systems may afford greater community involvement in educational governance, such involvement is generally bureaucratically mandated and occurs within a social and political context in which power relationships, including the relationship of education to other social spheres, are largely unexamined and remain unaltered. Using the case of Victoria, Australia, as an example it is demonstrated that versions of participation in education need not disturb patterns of managerial control.

Have you been appraised? A survey of the university administrative staff

November 2002


74 Reads

Incl. abstract, bibl. Little has been reported in the literature on the perception and understanding of administrative staff regarding the processes involved in performance appraisal within the higher educational establishments. At the University of Bradford appraisal for this cadre of employees has hitherto taken a voluntary form. In response to this vacuum, an empirical survey has been carried out in four departments in order to explore the perception, views and preferences of the administrative staff of the entire process and its related issues. The results indicated that lack of provision for formal appraisal has often resulted in inconsistencies, little or no provision for establishing formal dialogue between management and the staff concerning their performance expectations, misplacement of personal goals, and realistic opportunities for personal and career development. Therefore concludes that there is an urgent need for the university to disseminate its policies widely and maintain uniformity of practice throughout its departments. Moreover, attention ought to be paid to the effective training and the role and responsibilities of line managers.

Training Educational Administrators in China: The Relevance of Some Western Concepts

February 1992


12 Reads

Proposes that the improvement of educational management practices at the operational level requires the adoption of an approach based on needs analysis, evaluation, and training. Assumes that educational managers are accountable to the public for their actions and performance and that they seek improvements in the quality of the educational services they provide and stresses the importance of understanding and attempting to measure the results of such services. This in turn requires an analysis of educational programme dynamics and the limitations upon managers in working to achieve increases in service quality. In constructing a training scheme aimed at management improvement, this aspect is referred to as a “needs analysis based on programme dynamics”. Identifies factors involved in the design of a training scheme for educational administrators, namely: needs analysis based on programme dynamics: key competences for administrators: training design: a HRD agenda: and an implementation plan. Discusses only the first of these, given the current constraints of time and space, with the other factors being the subject of a subsequent article.

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