Educational middle change leaders in New Zealand: The meat in the sandwich
Citation:Marshall, S. G. (2012). Educational middle change leaders in New Zealand: The meat in the sandwich. International Journal of Educational Management, 26(6), 1-34.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/1896
This article reports findings from a larger study into the role of middle leaders of change in New Zealand Higher Education. The study discusses the perceptions of being in the ‘middle’ and how change leaders reconcile their position as a subordinate, an equal and a superior. Ten middle leaders from the New Zealand Higher Education sector took part in the study which examined successful change leadership. Each middle leader answered questions about their views on being in the ‘middle’ in their change leadership roles and their views on middle leadership in general. They described their place in their respective organisations in terms of being ‘caught in between’, or ‘sandwiched between’ senior management to whom they were accountable, lecturers whom they described as colleagues or peers, and subordinates for whom they had some functional and often moral responsibility. Insight is gained into how these educational leaders reconcile their position in the ‘middle’ as they hold management responsibility for both academic and general staff who are hierarchically, beneath them; lead teams of colleagues in collegial decision making, and answer to higher authority in the form of senior organisational leadership. The participants located themselves as being ‘very much’ in the middle in terms line management of both resources and academic matters and often as being caught between competing imperatives, institutional dynamics and institutional structures.