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Search for Academic Excellence in Public Universities through Multi-level Leadership Practices: Lessons Learnt from East Asia Presenter: Ngo Tuyet Mai,

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Presentation on theme: "Search for Academic Excellence in Public Universities through Multi-level Leadership Practices: Lessons Learnt from East Asia Presenter: Ngo Tuyet Mai,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Search for Academic Excellence in Public Universities through Multi-level Leadership Practices: Lessons Learnt from East Asia Presenter: Ngo Tuyet Mai, School of Education University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

2 Why University Leadership? University leadership matters. (e.g., Fullan, 2005; Hallinger, 2007; Millett, 1978; Mulford, 2010; Ramsden, 1998). Good leadership is conceivably the most practical and cost- effective strategy known to organizations … It can transform the commonplace and average into the remarkable and excellent…It creates an environment for better academic work. (Ramsden, 1998, p.363) The changing landscape of higher education requires new thinking and updated leadership practices. (ADB, 2012)

3 Why Leadership Actions? National Government, universities and their sub-organizational units (departments) are corporate actors who can act and need to act. He or she can act in a certain function or from a certain corporate position. (Binsbergen et al., 1994, p.223)

4 Why Leadership Actions? -Leadership is the particular actions of leaders…Leadership resides in the eye of the beholder (subjectivist/interpretivist) or in the actions of leaders (objectivist/functionalist) (Middlehurst, 1993, p.19) -Organizations intelligence is seen in leaders actions (Hanson, 2001, p.644). Leaders must be people of actions (Ramsden, 1998, p.9).

5 Leaders Actions in University Contexts Actions concerning PRIMARY processes (academic tasks) Actions concerning PRIMARY processes (academic tasks) Actions concerning SECONDARY processes (supportive tasks) Actions concerning SECONDARY processes (supportive tasks)

6 Why Incentives Promoting Actions? The function of university leadership is to provide [promote] incentives for academics to achieve academic excellence (Kehm & Lazendorf (2007, p.171) Any success of public actions depends on the adequacy of incentives that they offer to individual units (Varghese, 2004, p.30) Successful reforms in higher education in the recent past were those with incentives to the academic staff (Zheng, 1997)

7 Why Multi-level Leadership? MACRO DECISION LEVEL (Government/Ministry Leadership Actions MESO IMPLEMENTATION LEVEL (Executive University Leadership Actions) MICRO IMPLEMENTATION LEVEL (Departmental Leadership Actions ) A Multi-level Model Of University Leadership

8 Presentation Focus Multi-level University Leadership Actions of Promoting Incentives for Academic Excellence in Practice: Empirical Case Studies Implications for Practice: East Asian Lessons for Vietnam Concluding Remarks

9 Key Research Questions WHAT do macro, meso and micro leaders in East Asian flagship public universities do in promoting incentives towards achieving universities academic excellence? WHAT can Vietnam learn from other East Asian public universitys multi level leadership practices?

10 University Leadership In Practice: An Empirical Study (2012) EMPIRICAL STUDIES E SSENTIAL ELEMENTS Research ApproachCross-national comparative studies Research MethodDocument Analysis Semi-structured Interviews (in English & Vietnamese language) Questionnaire Survey Research Site4 Field trips to 4 flagship public universities in East Asia Field Trip Time Frame January 2012 (one week/site x 4 sites = 4 weeks long) Research ParticipantsTotal: 18 Vice Chancellors, DVC in 4 public universities (3 in Vietnam, 5 in Hong Kong, 5 in Thailand, 5 in China ) Research Focus-Leaders incentive promoting ACTIONS towards achieving the common goal of academic excellence. Research Purpose- Draw practical lessons for Public University Leaders in Vietnam Explanatory Framework - Institutional Theory (Scott, 2004) - Action –centered Leadership (Adair, 1968)

11 METHODOLOGY CHART Data Collection and Sources National Documents National Documents University Documents Interviews Questionnaire Survey Qualitative Database Quantitative Database Descriptive statistics Scale Alpha Reliability Thematic Analysis: Using Nvivo 9 Statistical Analysis: SPSS 20 Statistical Analysis: SPSS 20 Evidence of Micro Leaders Actions Evidence of Macro Leaders Actions Evidence of Meso Leaders Actions A Multi-level Model of Leadership Actions

12 Research Sites in East Asia: 4 Flagship Public Universities COUNTRY RANKINGQS ASIAN RANKINGWORLD RANKING The University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong) 1st3 rd 151-200 Peking University (China) 1st6 th 151-200 The Mahidol University (Thailand) 1 st 38 th 151-200 Hanoi University (Vietnam) Not applicable 400.html

13 Macro Leaders Actions: Analysis of Government Documents and Websites #AssertionsEvidence in National Case StudyMacro Leader Representing Government Cross-national Levels of Government Control Nature of Actions 1. Govern ment Action s Governments in TL, CN and HK has more specific and focused actions to place emphasis on academic excellence (performance based funding/rewa rds), promoting good governance, not micromanage CHINA: Policies + Project 211, Project 988; Action Plan for Invigorating Education Towards 21 st Century Ministry of Education (MOE) Medium LowCommand and Control + Negotiation HONG KONG: Policies + Consultation, Review Process with Recommendation to shape the future, funding incentives University Grants Committee (UGC) LowNegotiation and Persuasion THAILAND: Policies + Performance Agreement, strategic support activities, block grant from MOE and flexibility for universities to self-generate funds Office of Higher Education Commission (OHEC) LowNegotiation and Persuasion VIETNAM: HERA, policies + meeting + reporting Prime Ministers and Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) HighPurely command and control

14 Meso Leaders Actions: Analysis of Interviews with Executive Leaders #AssertionsEvidence in National Case StudyLevels of Specificity 2. Univer sity Executi ve Leader s Action s Top leaders in Public universities in TL, CN and HK takes more specific and consistent actions than their counterpart s in VN Actions are more individuals needs oriented in TL, CN, and HK CHINA : faculty performance evaluation/assessment; set targets to fight for resources, promotion policies for high performing academics, free treatment programs for young teachers, teaching competition, support programs for under-performing teachers, special programs to help young researchers do research, invite university lecturers world wide to university campus Medium HONG KONG: set focused goals (VC), draft policy papers sent to university senate, post strategic plan and priorities on websites, staff development program, encourage staff to do things that are innovative, academic excellence awards, providing housing for staff, organize workshops, involve academics into decision making High THAILAND: VC pay visits to all 33 departments (2 departments/week, 15 weeks, Performance Agreement (PA) and PA review, Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle, Deans meetings every 2 weeks, topic-based two day retreat, Deans 15 minute video brief, publication rate negotiation with teachers, provide teachers with additional income opportunities, grants for young researchers High VIETNAM: Talking with Teachers làm công tác t ư t ư ng vi giáo viên, Inspecting teaching time, Reporting, Set requirements (quantitative goals), Deans meeting (every semester), rectors, vice rector attending Departments meeting once a year Low

15 Cross-National Comparison: University Leaders Actions in Focus

16 Micro Leaders Readiness for Actions: Analysis of Questionnaire Survey Case study NMinimu m MaximumMeanLevels of Readiness Assertion # VIETNAM812.03.62.87Lowest3. CN, HK, and TLs Department al leaders are more ready for leadership actions of promoting incentives for academic excellence CHINA833.05.03.65Medium THAILAND803.05.04.12High HONG KONG 863.05.04.44Highest Note: 5 point Likert Scale, 10 item measurement scale

17 Cross-National Departmental Leaders Readiness for Incentive Promoting Actions

18 Implication 1: Policy Initiatives and Leadership Actions Government Policy Initiatives: Regulations by Directives vs. Regulations by incentives University Policy Initiatives PLUS Specific, focused, strategic leadership actions Establish a database of effective multi-level university leadership practices

19 Implication 2 for Leadership Practice Achieving the TASK Developing the INDIVIDUAL Building and maintaining the TEAM Direct the job to be done (Task Structuring) Support and review the individual people doing it Coordinate and foster the work team as a whole

20 Implication 3: Financial Incentives and Social Incentives 'social incentives' (high appreciations/regards) 'financial incentives' (money rewards) (Kehm & Lazendorf, 2007, p.157) Incentives should be individualized to the greatest extent possible given the nature of the education organization (Windham, 1997, p.47)

21 Implication 4: Strategic Leadership Actions -A single action can be multi-functional (Adair, 1988) -A single input by a leader can have multiple outcomes (Mulford, 2010, p.187) -Actions balancing 3 inter-connected needs (1) the task to be performed, (2) the team responsible for performing them, (3) the individuals in that team (Adair, 1988, p.1) -Success, therefore, will depend on which elements and in what sequence the education leader chooses to spend time and attention on (Mulford, 2007, 2010).

22 Wrap-up: Practical Lessons Learnt From The Empirical Study INSTRUMENTS OF AUTHORITY: -Increasing Autonomy - Empower more, control less INSTRUMENTS OF DIRECT ACTIONS: -Individual needs focused -Focused Efforts on Academic Goals, -A System of Coordinated and Collective Leadership Actions

23 Concluding Remarks It may be a mistake to believe that all leadership actions must come from leaders (Birnbaum,1989, p.134) The elements for successful university leadership involve being contextually literate, organizationally savvy and leadership smart. (Bill Mulford, 2010, p.187)

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