Chapter 34: Developing leadership in higher education
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Although good leadership is seen as a crucial element of higher education institutional success, such perceptions tend to be based on outdated notions of leadership. More recent work conceives academic leadership as practice, rather than as relating to characteristics or traits residing within one person or as the preserve of an incumbent of a formal leadership role. The purpose of this chapter is to reflect on the author’s epistemic journey from someone who began researching leadership through a traditional mainstream lens to a more recent, critical perspective. The chapter draws on the author’s previous research, and other published literature, to consider how such perspectives may be developed in the future, framed within a more critical leadership studies discourse. It is hoped that this reconceptualisation will lead to more successful models of academic leadership development and more positive academic institutional outcomes in relation to teaching, research, and student and staff experiences.

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