"Being" a Head of Department in an English University

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
40 Downloads (Pure)


This article takes the author’s personal experience of being a Head of Department in an English University, and frames this experience as a transition narrative. The format draws on the work of Sandra Acker, who framed her own experience as a Head of Department in Canada, in three areas. Utilising literature both on Higher Education Management and the emotions of leadership, the article proposes that a focus on both the personal affective side of leadership can help the nascent department Head understand more clearly how the personal and the political, policy frameworks intertwine. Finally, the article suggests that understanding one’s own leadership skills in a particular context is crucial to working with academic colleagues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1168-1180
Number of pages13
JournalEducational Review
Issue number6
Early online date9 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.


  • emotion
  • governance/management/administration
  • higher education/university
  • identity
  • Leadership/management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


Dive into the research topics of '"Being" a Head of Department in an English University'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this