How to Lead Academic Departments Successfully


How to Lead Academic Departments Successfully

9781035309030 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Adam Lindgreen, Professor, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark and Extraordinary Professor, Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa, Alan Irwin, Professor, Department of Organization, Copenhagen Business School and Danish Centre for Studies in Research and Research Policy, Aarhus University, Flemming Poulfelt, Professor Emeritus and Thyra Uth Thomsen, Professor (WSR),Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Publication Date: 2022 ISBN: 978 1 03530 903 0 Extent: 416 pp
It is an old cliché that leading and managing academics is like herding cats. This book challenges this myth and presents a way to deal with the many challenges of academic leadership, from managing departments, research groups and teams to managing tensions between research and teaching. The book is a practical and stimulating guide to different pathways to successful academic leadership, both in personal and organizational terms.

Copyright & permissions

Recommend to librarian

Your Details

Privacy Policy

Librarian Details

Download leaflet

Print page

More Information
Critical Acclaim
More Information
It is an old cliché that leading and managing academics is like herding cats. This book challenges this myth and presents a way to deal with the many challenges of academic leadership, from managing departments, research groups and teams to managing tensions between research and teaching. The book is a practical and stimulating guide to different pathways to successful academic leadership, both in personal and organizational terms.

Including reflections and advice from experienced leaders, this book provides ideas and guidance to help current and aspiring leaders increase their own efficiency and effectiveness across the following areas:

• Dealing with conflict
• Engendering team spirit
• Ensuring diversity and inclusion
• Leading change in business schools
• Leading research groups
• Creating a triple crown business school
• Collaborating with other disciplines and practitioners.

An experienced group of contributors reflects on their own successes and failures to shine new light on academic leadership to support your own sense of success as a practicing or aspiring departmental head. We also hope that this book will be instructive for those who simply want to understand how this crucial aspect of academic life operates.
Critical Acclaim
‘Few things – if any – are more important to universities than departments and their capacity to provide the organizational framework for successful scholarly collectives. Hence, department heads are key personnel in any academic institution. How to Lead Academic Departments Successfully offers multiple perspectives and insights into the art and craft of being an effective head of department. The book holds a unique collection of astute and inspirational chapters and the volume should be of great interest to anyone with an interest in academic leadership.’
– Jens Ringsmose, Southern University Denmark

‘Few colleagues plan (and prepare) to be an academic leader at the start of their career. But, almost inevitably, many of us will be asked to take up a major leadership role at some point, and often unexpectedly. Managing professionals within a distinct organisational climate, with unique practices and politics, against the backdrop of a dynamic marketplace is no small matter. It is, in fact, often a sink-or-swim experience. But, have no fear, How to Lead Academic Departments Successfully is here. The book is a rich source of information that offers actionable advice and perhaps comfort for those of us who are about to face the challenges of academic leadership or are trying their very best at it every day. The book’s content provides lucid and eclectic answers to the question posed its title. It will be an inspiring companion of travel for any colleague on a leadership journey.’
– Ko de Ruyter, King’s College London, UK

‘This is an important book addressing many central issues regarding how to effectively lead academic departments, thereby also pointing towards what might become the business school/academic  institution of the future. The area of managing academic institutions is largely both under-researched as well as being largely void in the literature. The book makes a significant contribution by filling much of this gap. Specifically, it is a major message of the book that firm, clear leadership and strategic vision is called for by department heads (as well as deans and rectors), and thus that the widely shared view that professors should be left to themselves may not be enough!’
– Peter Lorange, IMD and Lorange Network

‘Being head of an academic department has not become less challenging in the 21st century with growing and changing demands on the universities from society. Drawing on the collective knowledge and experience of leaders and scholars from the university sector, this book provides a treasure chest of perspectives, ideas and real-life experiences that are both highly relevant and very useful for any current (or future) head of department – and for anyone with an interest in leadership in academia.’
– Nikolaj Malchow Møller, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

‘Academic life sometimes appears to be a riddle hidden inside an enigma. Universities should be relevant to the local community, attractive to global students, visible in the finest academic journals, collegial in style yet run by accountable leaders. This hybridized academy is in urgent need of a guide from which the frustrated insider can get consolation and advice. This is the book, drawing on personal experience and a wide range of sources filtered through the analytic lens of seasoned social scientists. A twist of humour makes it even more essential, and it will be of equal importance to the higher education scholar and to the professional in need of perspectives.’
– Mats Benner, Lund University, Sweden

Contributors: Hanne Andersen, Søren Barlebo Rasmussen, Roderick J. Brodie, Asbjørn Busk J., Ann Højbjerg Clarke, Thomas G. Cummings, C. Anthony Di Benedetto, Katja Einola, Jacob K. Eskildsen, Denis Fischbacher-Smith, Rob Goffee, Enno Hofeldt, Maja Horst, Alan Irwin, Michael C. Jackson, Morten W. Jeppesen, Gareth Jones, Martin Kitchener, Peter Kjær, Nicola S. Kleyn, Adam Lindgreen, Nanna Mik-Meyer, Rickie A. Moore, Peter Møllgaard, Peter Naudé, Børge Obel, Kai Peters, Daniel J. Petzer, Flemming Poulfelt, Matthew Robson, Michele Ruiters, Marianne Storgaard, Thyra Uth Thomsen, Gerrit van Bruggen, Michel van der Borgh, Andreas Werr

Introduction to How to Lead Academic Departments Successfully xix

1 On the particular challenges of managing professionals 3
Flemming Poulfelt
2 Relevant leadership: the dynamic equilibrium of managing and leading
academic departments 14
Rickie A. Moore
3 The role of academic leaders of a business school: an internal tensions
perspective 19
Matthew J. Robson

4 The head of department as the key transformational leader 29
Asbjørn Busk J. and Søren Barlebo Rasmussen
5 Leading with purpose: developing the first business school for public good 52
Martin Kitchener
6 Leading academic departments 68
Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones
7 Individual performance management: enabler or threat to academic
performance? 79
Andreas Werr and Katja Einola
8 Deploying systems thinking to create a ‘triple-crown’ business school 98
Michael C. Jackson OBE

9 ‘Don’t think you can be everyone’s friend’: dealing with conflict in an
academic department 117
Alan Irwin
10 Smells like team spirit: a user’s guide for department heads 127
Peter Kjær
11 ‘Now you see it’: gender, inclusion and diversity 137
Maja Horst
12 Leading faculty as teachers 147
Hanne Andersen
13 Inclusive onboarding in academic departments 164
Daniel J. Petzer, Nicola S. Kleyn and Michele Ruiters

14 Building research groups 182
Adam Lindgreen, C. Anthony Di Benedetto, Roderick J. Brodie and Peter Naudé
15 Dilemmas in university management: the case of Copenhagen Business School 211
Nanna Mik-Meyer
16 Pathways to external funding at departments: how to strengthen
a change of culture by empowerment, supportive organizing and leadership? 226
Enno Hofeldt

17 Collaborating with practitioners 246
C. Anthony Di Benedetto, Adam Lindgreen, Marianne Storgaard and
Ann Højbjerg Clarke
18 Leading academics in a public–private partnership: balancing value and
performance-based leadership in times of (climate) change 263
Morten W. Jeppesen
19 Undertaking cross-disciplinary research 275
Adam Lindgreen, C. Anthony Di Benedetto, Roderick J. Brodie and
Michel van der Borgh

20 Framing business schools as a socio-technical system: issues around
complexity and emergence 285
Denis Fischbacher-Smith
21 Business school leadership in an era of change and uncertainty:
complex structures, executive education and accreditation 302
Kai Peters
22 Academic leadership: the Danish case 313
Jacob Kjær Eskildsen and Børge Obel

23 Responsibilities of the department chair: lessons from the frontline 325
Thomas G. Cummings
24 How to lead an academic marketing department: some personal
observations and reflections 342
Gerrit van Bruggen
25 From head to dean: academic leadership 353
Peter Møllgaard

Index 370
eBook for individuals
978 1 78990 715 5
From $45.56
Click here for options
eBook for library purchase
978 1 78990 715 5
View sample chapter and check access on:
eBook options

Available for individuals to buy from these websites

Or recommend to your institution to acquire on Elgaronline
  • Buy as part of an eBook subject collection - flexible options available
  • Downloading and printing allowed
  • No limits on concurrent user access, ideal for course use
My Cart