Professors as academic leaders: the perspectives of ‘the led’

Linda Evans, Matthew Homer, Steve Rayner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Most research and scholarship in the field of educational leadership and management seems focused on leaders and managers and their perspectives, while the perspective of an entire constituency – ‘the led’ – is generally overlooked and neglected. This article contributes towards redressing this imbalance. Located within the context of the higher education sector, it presents findings from one phase of a funded study whose purpose was to examine what non-professorial academics, researchers and teachers employed in British universities think of the academic leadership provided by their professorial colleagues. From data generated by over 1200 questionnaire responses, a wide range of views emerged on what professors should be doing in order to fulfil their leadership roles, and how effectively they are doing it. A key finding was that, whilst most respondents agreed that professors should be providing academic leadership to junior colleagues – typically, as mentors or advisors – more than half of the sample reported that they were not receiving the help and advice that they wanted or needed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)674-689
Number of pages16
JournalEducational Management Administration and Leadership
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • academic leadership
  • job satisfaction
  • professoriate
  • research leadership
  • research mentoring
  • university leadership


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