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

Article


Holt, Dale, Cohen, Lynne, Campbell-Evans, Glenda, Chang, Paul, 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. https://doi.org/10.1177/1741143212468346
Article Title

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

ERA Journal ID19918
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsHolt, Dale (Author), Cohen, Lynne (Author), Campbell-Evans, Glenda (Author), Chang, Paul (Author), Macdonald, Ian (Author) and McDonald, Jacquie (Author)
Journal TitleEducational Management Administration and Leadership
Journal Citation41 (2), pp. 233-249
Number of Pages17
Year2013
Place of PublicationLondon, United Kingdom
ISSN1741-1432
1741-1440
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/1741143212468346
Web Address (URL)http://ema.sagepub.com/
Abstract

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.

Keywordsacademic identity; leadership capacity building; leadership development; subject coordinator
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020441006. Sociological methodology and research methods
390307. Teacher education and professional development of educators
390303. Higher education
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Byline AffiliationsDeakin University
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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