Edited by Michael D. Mumford and Sven Hemlin
Chapter 20: Academic leadership: Embracing uncertainty and diversity by building communication and trust
In contrast to bureaucracies and classic public authorities, the core activities in academia are not rule performing and subject to direction, but explorative and searching. However, as academia over time has been overtaken by a short-term achievement perspective with origins in the private sector, the challenge for academic leadership today seems close to that of supporting corporate innovation: how to safeguard and encourage risk-taking and uncertainty in the face of a managerial approach rewarding short-term results before long-term potential. This chapter addresses issues of how changes in governance and the increasing predominance of managerialism have affected academic leadership at the macro- and micro-levels, collectively and individually. It is pointed out that creative academic environments and the leadership sustaining them is characterized by institutional autonomy, diversity in disciplinary training, balance in competencies, and organizational flexibility. Since academia is decentralized, a great deal of attention is paid to the micro-level; to leadership at the actual shop floor.
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