Leadership Values, Trust and Organisational Cultures in a Recession in UK Higher Education Centre for Leadership and Enterprise

An evidence-based examination of leadership values, trust and organisational cultures in the recession in higher education in the UK.

Principal investigators: Professors Jill Jameson and Ian McNay.

Funded by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education

This project on leadership in higher education, funded by the Leadership Foundation, is an evidence-based examination of leadership values, trust and organisational cultures in the recession in higher education in the UK, in a post-Browne, post-CSR environment, in the context of cuts to funding and large increases in student fees. The project was developed from extensive experience of higher and post-compulsory education leadership, governance and management research over the past three decades, considering diverse contexts from elite to mass participation institutions, and a wide range of international higher education environments, including emerging trends in online leadership.

The authors consider prior instances in which HE provision has been reduced (how/ why/ what was the outcome), the background and purposes of the Browne Review and CSR, the ways in which these proposals been received within HE, and their current and likely future effects on organisational cultures. The role of trust in the governance, leadership and management of UK HE and its links to leadership values and organisational culture was considered. The fundamental purposes and role of higher education as a "public and personal good" in this changing environment was investigated, as were the opportunities and challenges to leadership of online learning. Having considered the evidence, the authors drew up a range of recommendations to inform leadership values, the building of trust and renewed capacity for innovation in UK higher education for leaders, managers and governors in current and future challenging times. Recommendations include findings and leadership guidelines relating to strategic leadership for change, retrenchment and stringency.

Following data collection and analysis, a Leadership Foundation Report on the project was submitted for publication (December, 2012) and the authors are now awaiting its final completion. A journal article by Professor Jameson was produced on the project findings in 2012: Jameson, J. (2012) Leadership Values, Trust and Negative Capability: Managing the Uncertainties of Future English Higher Education. Higher Education Quarterly, 66 (4): 391-414. Professor Jameson has also delivered several related conference presentations at the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) Annual Conference (2010, 2011) and elsewhere.

Centre for Leadership and Enterprise is part of the Faculty of Education & Health, University of Greenwich.