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Title: Leadership of changing universities : a case for criticality
Author: Gates, John Fitzgerald
ISNI:       0000 0004 2702 7035
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2009
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Contemporary universities are changing universities that function under conditions of uncertainty, even unknowability, to meet often-unclear demands from within and outside their walls. The complexities of changing universities render unfeasible a singular perspective by which to guide them. At issue is how leaders might understand, correlate, and utilize the awarenesses within their universities to develop a sense of institutional knowing. It is hypothesized in this thesis that, given the above conditions, the effective leadership of changing universities necessitates a critical method. Case studies of the CEOs of three universities, one in Great Britain and two in the United States, form the empirical basis of the study. From the case studies three interlocking themes (knowledge frameworks, institutional identity, and social exchange) emerged. The study revealed that in a time of change and uncertainty, the effective leadership of universities requires a means by which to transform information into knowledge, knowledge into knowing, and knowing into being. The study further revealed that 1) knowledge frameworks (cognitive structures for understanding) are adaptable; 2) the leadership of changing universities is largely transactional; and 3) leaders and staff make their way amidst change and uncertainty through their collective efforts to address institutional issues. Based on Barnett's (1997) idea of criticality, which encompasses critical knowing, critical action, and critical being, criticality for university leadership is here developed as a set of theoretical propositions for the practice of university leadership under conditions of change and uncertainty. The study will contribute to the body of knowledge on, and aid in the examination of, the leadership of contemporary universities as well as the sociology of organisations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available