Redefining and leading the academic discipline in Australian universities

Harkin, Damien G. & Healy, Annah H. (2013) Redefining and leading the academic discipline in Australian universities. Australian Universities Review, 55(2), pp. 80-92.

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Disciplines have emerged as an alternative administrative structure to departments or schools in Australian universities. We presently investigate the pattern of discipline use and by way of case study examine a role for distributed leadership in discipline management. Over forty per cent of Australian universities currently employ disciplines, especially within faculties of sciences, engineering and medicine. No trend is observed according to institutional age, state, or historical origins. Effective planning, retention of corporate knowledge and good communication are important during the transition period. Moreover, it is vital that professional staff continue to work closely alongside academics as extended members of the discipline. Distributed leadership encourages this interaction. The duties of a discipline leader can be similar to those faced by a head of department. Universities should therefore establish clear policies, position descriptions and appropriate remuneration packages in order to recruit, train and retain staff within this emerging academic management role.

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ID Code: 61654
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Leadership, University management, Academic structures, Distributed leadership, Academic disciplines, Australian universities, HERN, Higher education
ISSN: 0818-8068
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Higher Education (130103)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Organisation and Management Theory (150310)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Biomedical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Chancellery
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 The Author
Deposited On: 04 Aug 2013 22:43
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2015 09:20

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