Pragmatic leadership for collaboration in a competitive sector: The case of sigma

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter reviews the evolution of the provision of mathematics and statistics support in UK and international higher education. It explores how pragmatic and servant leadership principles have enabled the development of a collaborative community of practice in a sector where external forces have strongly promoted marketization and competition. Founded in 2005, sigma began as a Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning based at Coventry and Loughborough Universities. Since then, it has grown into a national network of mathematics and statistics support providers in which collaboration is a fundamental value. This growth has come about through pragmatic “managing up” within institutions and by empowering capacity building within the community itself, following principles of servant leadership. The chapter demonstrates how important values and beliefs have been maintained, not abandoned, through the deployment of pragmatic leadership.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerspectives on Teaching and Learning Leadership in Higher Education
Subtitle of host publicationCase Studies from UK and Australia
Editors Josephine Lang, Namrata Rao, Anesa Hosein
ISBN (Electronic)9781003360018
ISBN (Print)9781032418421
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Jul 2023


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