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The role of middle managers in land based further education

Lloyd, Catherine; (2018) The role of middle managers in land based further education. Doctoral thesis (Ed.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This study explores the role of middle managers within specialist land-based provision. Middle management is currently under researched within further education and relatively little is known about the role in specialist settings. The study was influenced by the current context within the sector and the need for colleges to become more efficient whilst still meeting the needs of their local communities. This has led to a growing interest in new models of leadership which will enable them to meet current and future challenges. A qualitative study was undertaken and empirical data gathered through 12 semi-structured interviews with middle managers across a variety of land-based subject areas. The managers were asked to describe their role from a range of perspectives with a focus on leadership and management. Whilst they were able to articulate the differences between leadership and management from a theoretical standpoint, it was much harder to separate them in their daily practices. Most considered their role to combine aspects of both, with an emphasis on management. The findings indicate that although the participants were reluctant to identify themselves as leaders, they were clearly undertaking leadership activities as part of their role. They faced similar challenges to those in other educational environments such as a lack of role clarity and role overload. ‘Management by walking about’ was central to the experiences of those managing vocational areas which included large physical resources such as farms or animal centres. Despite the current context and continued influence of managerialism the participants remained positive about the sector and their role. The research raises issues around how leadership is viewed and enacted and suggests that identifying leadership as a practice, rather than as located within designated individuals, would redefine the contribution made by the managers.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ed.D
Title: The role of middle managers in land based further education
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Learning and Leadership
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10042105
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