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This paper argues that leadership development programs in higher education face challenges that are unique to the context of academia. In designing, delivering and planning academic leadership programs universities must consider the influence of academic culture on the desired outcomes. Ironically, although higher education is undergoing a change to a business model more conversant with notions of management and leadership, these changing work conditions can feed tensions that present stumbling blocks to the up-take of leadership due to the enduring character of many academic traditions of working and interacting with colleagues.
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