Publication

High complexity and high autonomy: Challenges and requirements of low-level manager-academics at two Austrian higher education institutions

Publication, 2017

Outline

S. Sterrer, S. Preymann, B. Ehrenstorfer, R. Aichinger - High complexity and high autonomy: Challenges and requirements of low-level manager-academics at two Austrian higher education institutions - Beiträge zur Hochschulforschung, Vol. 39, No. 1, 2017, pp. 80-103

Abstract

Institutional autonomy, the implementation of new governance systems, and the increasing importance of competition in science pose a substantive challenge to higher education leadership and management. So far, few researchers have addressed the issue of how these parameters have affected the daily work of higher education low-level managers (e.g. heads of department or heads of study programmes) and how they cope with the related challenges. A qualitative research study was conducted in two different Austrian higher education institutions: one traditional university and one university of applied sciences. It analyses the duties and requirements of low-level managers and how they are affected by external and internal governance structures. Findings Show that the high complexity of duties and the high autonomy of academic staff are the primary influencing factors on the interpretation and explicit performance of These management and leadership positions.