Leading Leaders: A Situational Approach to Leadership Development in Large, Complex Educational Organisations

By Rodney Noble and Christine Robertson.

Published by The Organization Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

People are widely recognized as being the currency for organizational performance in this period of relatively low unemployment and an ageing workforce. Skills are scarce and an organization’s ability to build its leadership capability quickly and in line with its strategic direction is critical to ongoing success. Educational policy is being rapidly translated into practice which places ever increasing demands on leaders in educational organizations and their ability to provide quality outcomes. Which leads to the question, what kind of activities enable leaders to develop their capability and work successfully in such a fast paced and often uncertain environment?
Drawing on a recent case study, this paper discusses an approach to addressing the development needs of a group of senior managers in the vocational education and training sector of a leading multi-sector Australian University. While this group of leaders has responsibility for substantial portfolios of education and training activity within their particular discipline, complex organizational structures along with the diversity of leadership and management roles within the institution have resulted in the need to develop a more focussed, situational response to building organizational and individual leadership capability. The paper explores factors that promote shared learning and support participants to operate successfully in diverse, uncertain and often resistive environments. It does this to seek out new meanings in the idea of leadership and the power and effectiveness of ‘monitored situational responses’ as development activities to enhance leadership and management capability.

Keywords: Vocational Education and Training, Coaching, Leadership, Professional Development, Development

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 8, Issue 11, pp.23-28. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 538.218KB).

Rodney Noble

Manager VET Professional Development, Office of the Director Vocational Education and Training, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Rodney has backgrounds in the construction industry, banking sector and vocational training. He has over recent years undertaken roles as teacher, program coordinator, teaching and learning coordinator and special projects officer. He has a passion for the VET sector that sees him support all manner of projects across the University in his role as Professional Development Manager VET. He has particular experience in teaching and learning in the areas of eLearning, leadership development, industry engagement and improving student outcomes.

Christine Robertson

Associate Director Vocational Education and Training, Design and Social Context, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Christine has extensive experience in workforce development through vocational education and training. She has developed a range of innovative education and training partnerships with both government and community based agencies. She has also undertaken education and development projects in regional, rural and remote locations in Australia and the South Pacific region. Her current research interests include creating new learning experiences in workplace settings.


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