What disability? I am a leader! Understanding leadership in HE from a disability perspective
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AbstractThis article is based on the findings of an externally funded, mixed-methods research project conducted at one English university. This small-scale project aimed to examine leadership, barriers to becoming a leader and the support needed to overcome them, from the perspectives of disabled staff. An online questionnaire was sent to all 66 members of staff who had disclosed their disabled status to the university and 22 responses were received. Twelve participants were then interviewed as two focus groups to discuss their views on leadership and its relation to their role. Six more respondents opted for individual face-to-face/telephone interviews. The findings indicated that over half of the respondents were already engaged in ‘formal’ leadership and even more exercised ‘informal’ leadership. This key finding seems to contradict the under-representation of disabled academics in leadership reported in the literature. Despite their engagement in leadership, disabled staff faced several institutional and personal barriers. The findings suggest that having an impairment per se might not necessarily deter disabled staff from exercising leadership. A number of support strategies are recommended to facilitate their participation in (formal) leadership.
CitationEmira, M., Brewster, S., Duncan, N., & Clifford, A. (2018). What disability? I am a leader! Understanding leadership in HE from a disability perspective. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 46(3), 457–473. https://doi.org/10.1177/1741143216662923
JournalEducational Management Administration & Leadership
DescriptionThis is an accepted manuscript of an article published by SAGE in Educational Management Administration & Leadership on 21/11/2016, available online: https://doi.org/10.1177/1741143216662923 The accepted version of the publication may differ from the final published version.
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