Leadership cultures in transition: On the cultural construction of leadership in university change processes
2013 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
In contemporary organizational research, the development of leadership norms andideal in public sector reform has been a recurring theme. The current changeprocesses in the higher education sector is in this paper analysed as the changes inleadership cultures, i.e. as processes in which discursive understandings ofleadership are drawn upon in the construction of norms, ideals and practices relatedto the production of organisational direction. The aim of this paper is thus to analyseleadership cultures under production in the reforms of higher education, in adiscursive context of increased managerialism and leaderism. Building on aperspective on leadership as a cultural phenomenon emerging in interactionprocesses in which societal, sectorial and professional discursive resources areinvoked, we intend to add to earlier studies on how notions of leadership are involvedin the transformation of higher education organisations. This perspective does notonly allow a more fine-grained analysis of how these transformations unfold –involving not only clear discursive clashes but also instances of hybrid cultures andcreeping changes in the discursive resources drawn upon – but also a criticalanalysis of changed power relations as ‘truths’ on professionalism and leadership aregradually re-formulated. Departing from two vignettes from sessions with juniortenure track participants at a Swedish university, our analysis centres on theemergence of hybrid leadership cultures in which several discursive resources aredrawn upon in daily interaction. Where earlier research often tends to handle therelation between traditional academic/bureaucratic discourses and emergentmanagerialist/leaderist ones as a clear and distinct shift, we emphasise how hybridcultures develop through confirmation, re-formulation and rejection of discursiveinfluences.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-118714OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-118714DiVA: diva2:607505
29th EGOS Colloquium; Montréal, Canada, 4-6 July, 2013
QC 201602122013-02-242013-02-242016-02-12Bibliographically approved