Exploring the clarity of the head of department role in a Timor-Leste higher education institution
Ximenes, Iria Fatima Antonia
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Citation:Ximenes, I. F. A. (2019). Exploring the clarity of the head of department role in a Timor-Leste higher education institution. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Educational Leadership and Management). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4767
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4767
RESEARCH QUESTIONS: 1. What are the perspectives of heads of department regarding their role documentation in a Timor-Leste higher education institution? 2. What are the challenges faced by the heads of department in understanding and performing their role? 3. What improvements are suggested by the heads of department? Heads of Department perform a crucial role in improving student learning outcomes and achieving the institutional goals. One of the essential considerations to ensure that Heads of Department perform well is the need for role clarity in the statement of the job description for heads of department so that they have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities in performing their functions. This study explored the clarity of the Head of Department role in one Timor-Leste Higher Education Institution. An interpretive approach was adopted for this qualitative study to examine the perceptions of Heads of Department concerning their understanding of role documentation. This study also investigated the challenges faced by heads of department, including exploring their perceptions related to suggestions for improvements for clarifying their role. Two qualitative methods were employed to collect data: semi-structured interview and documentary analysis. A semistructured interview was used to obtain heads of department perceptions, challenges and suggestions for improving their role performance. Documentary analysis was used to examine what documents revealed about the roles and responsibilities of Timor-Leste Heads of Department. This study reveals that the job description of a head of department is vital to provide an indepth understanding of the roles and responsibilities that are required and expected of them. Whilst some job descriptions were provided, half of the participants in the study had no written role description. A key finding was that the department heads would have liked the opportunity to discuss their role documentation and they would like to negotiate tasks. This study also found some challenges encountered by heads of department mainly related to time pressure and role ambiguity and expectations related to research and community service activity. It is recommended that the institution should develop two guidelines: for research and community service activity. Also, capacity building was highly recommended for Heads of Department.