The coordination role in research education: Emerging understandings and dilemmas for leadership

David Boud*, Angela Brew, Robyn Dowling, Margaret Kiley, Jo McKenzie, Janne Malfroy, Kevin Ryland, Nicky Solomon

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Changes in expectations of research education worldwide have seen the rise of new demands beyond supervision and have highlighted the need for academic leadership in research education at a local level. Based on an interview study of those who have taken up local leadership roles in four Australian universities, this paper maps and analyses different dimensions of the emerging leadership role of research education coordination. It argues that while there is increasing clarity of what is required, there are considerable tensions in the nature of the coordination role and how coordination is to be executed. In particular, what leadership roles are appropriate and how can they be positioned effectively within universities? The paper draws on the Integrated Competing Values Framework to focus on the activities of coordination and on ideas of distributed leadership to discuss the leadership that characterises coordination. It is argued that without acknowledgement of the influences that coordinators need to exert and the positioning and support needed to achieve this, the contemporary agenda for research education will not be realised.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)440-454
    Number of pages15
    JournalJournal of Higher Education Policy and Management
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014


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