Re-culturing a university department: a case study

David Giles, Russell Yates

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    4 Citations (Scopus)


    At a time when any number of academics might be forgiven for being distracted by performance-based accountability regimes, some stories and experiences can be found of strong relational and collaborative cultures existing within educational institutions. Indeed, the relational ethos and team priority developed within a particular university department has not only stood the test of time, but is seen as helpful in enabling the individual and collective responsibilities of academic staff. This paper explores leadership re-culturing practices that seek to further enable this continuing relational endeavour. Using a case study approach, the perceptions and experiences of faculty members were drawn on specific re-culturing practices and their influence on the formation of a relational culture within the department. These practices often involve a degree of improvisation and are formed as both proactive and reactive responses to the present ideological context and challenges. What appears to be sustained aspirationally is the leadership's intent to establish a relational organisational culture which underpins the department's educational endeavour. This paper seeks to identify a range of leadership practices that influences and re-cultures academics' individual and collective endeavour within a university department. Such leadership practices focus on open collegial dialogue towards the priority and practice of collaborative relational endeavour in higher education.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberCurrent Contents search
    Pages (from-to)87-92
    Number of pages6
    JournalManagement in Education
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


    • educational leadership
    • higher education
    • organisational culture
    • professional practice
    • re-culturing


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