Leading at the coal-face: the world as experienced by subject coordinators in Australian higher education

Holt, Dale and Cohen, Lynne and Campbell-Evans, Glenda and Chang, Paul and Macdonald, Ian and McDonald, Jacquie (2013) Leading at the coal-face: the world as experienced by subject coordinators in Australian higher education. Educational Management, Administration and Leadership, 41 (2). pp. 233-249. ISSN 1741-1432

Official URL: http://ema.sagepub.com/


This article is based on nationally funded research into the role, capabilities, challenges and professional development needs of subject coordinators in Australian higher education. The second of three data collection phases involved a multi-institutional survey of staff in the role of subject coordinator with the aim of understanding the role through the experiences of those who undertake it. In particular the conceptualization of this lowest level in academe as one of 'leadership', and as being the first rung on the academic leadership ladder, formed the underpinning logic for data collection. Results allow for a contemporary picture of leadership responsibilities to be drawn and also highlights some of the challenges which confront staff in this role. The vast majority of staff consider themselves as demonstrating leadership, although they have varying views about how others higher in the management hierarchy understand and appreciate their role. Most see themselves as performing effectively with the key challenges they face highlighted in the article. Outcomes suggest the need to undertake substantial capacity building of leadership for new and incumbent subject coordinators in response to the ever-changing nature of the higher education environment.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2013. Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Learning and Teaching Support Unit
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2014 06:54
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2017 01:00
Uncontrolled Keywords: academic identity; leadership capacity building; leadership development; subject coordinator
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160807 Sociological Methodology and Research Methods
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9305 Education and Training Systems > 930502 Management of Education and Training Systems
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1177/1741143212468346
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/26116

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