Leading the Academy: distributed leadership in Higher Education

Prof Sandra Jones, RMIT, has published a HERDSA Guide Leading the Academy: distributed leadership in Higher Education, which was launched at the 2017 HERDSA Annual Conference.

Sandra spoke with Dr Heather Davis about the publication and their longstanding interest in shared leadership: “I am quite excited at its release as it gave me a chance to bring theory and our local empirical research together, with a set of resources for all. It provides an important extension to our Leadership Foundation Stimulus paper on shared leadership”.

Given that ‘shared leadership’ features in Module One: Managing and Developing the Self of the Emerging Leaders and Managers Program (eLAMP), offered by the LH Martin Institute to the sector since 2012, this guide will be of interest to many subscribers at the LH Martin Institute.
This HERDSA Guide advocates a particular form of activity-based/practice-based leadership known as distributed leadership, which incorporates what are termed three new ‘Rs’ for leadership.

  • Respect for the expertise contributed by all employees
  • Recognition (and development) of the contribution of each employee
  • Reward for leadership performance undertaken to achieve change.

The focus of this HERDSA Guide is upon future leadership possibilities that focus on the need for formal leaders to be active facilitators for the future - to support, encourage, facilitate, guide, mentor, and recognise the leadership contribution of the many experts who comprise higher education institutions.

The Guide brings research into the theory and practice of a distributed leadership. The experience of a distributed leadership approach in Australian higher education institutions forms the empirical research. The Guide captures the developmental, sequential process of this research to identify conceptual and organisational development.

The HERDSA guides are available in hard copy only at $35 and can be purchased online from HERDSA, see http://www.herdsa.org.au/publications/guides/leading-academy-distributed-leadership-higher-education

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Prof Sandra Jones