Perspectives on leadership concepts by engineering academics

Goh, Steven and Hartle, Todd and Brodie, Megan (2011) Perspectives on leadership concepts by engineering academics. In: 41st ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE 2011): Celebrating 41 Years of Monumental Innovations from around the World , 12-15 Oct 2011, Rapid City, SD. United States.


This paper presents the analysis of structured interviews with engineering academics on the perception of leadership based on an action-based participatory research at the frontline of academic activities as part of a USQ Senior Fellowship. There were eight participants who volunteered to be part of a faculty team to initiate and liaise with the peak professional body, Engineers Australia, to conceive and develop a new postgraduate program for graduate engineers as a pathway to professional (chartered) status. The interviews were coded and analyzed using NVivo software based on grounded theory. The analysis provided a wide spectrum of perspectives on leadership however there were strong themes that suggest there is a linkage between authority and leadership. There is a belief that the type and the degree of leadership required are different for professional practice versus academia. There are also strong themes that leadership is heavily influenced by natural traits (nature), but interestingly, by learnable skills and behaviors (nurture), and very much dependent on the actual environment (context). The perspectives presented in this paper are useful in providing an understanding why academics do or do not pursue opportunities for leadership professional development and opportunities to exhibit leadership in their frontline (non-supervisory/executive) academic activities.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
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Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2012 06:52
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2014 01:51
Uncontrolled Keywords: academic culture; leadership development; leadership concepts
Fields of Research (2008): 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130304 Educational Administration, Management and Leadership
Fields of Research (2020): 39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390307 Teacher education and professional development of educators
39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390113 Science, technology and engineering curriculum and pedagogy
39 EDUCATION > 3904 Specialist studies in education > 390403 Educational administration, management and leadership
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930202 Teacher and Instructor Development
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