Values, visions, strategies and goals: Is coaching a viable pathway?
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There is no doubt that higher education is in a state of continuous change. Academics have to consider how they balance teaching, research, and community and professional involvement. Alongside this they have to offer leadership and manage change, which in turn demands an understanding of the shifting relationships between information, finance, physical and human resources and quality control. Some of the challenging agendas resulting from the management of these functions can be mapped against external, often politically-motivated shifts within the education culture. Others enter the realm of personal responsibility and personal choice.In this context, to be a successful researcher often means balancing the demands of leadership agendas breadth of knowledge, strategic planning and resource management) against the personally motivated activities of a research agenda (creativity, originality, discipline based identity and allegiances).In this paper we examine how existing support systems such as mentoring empower individuals to prioritise research or enable a balance to be made between management roles and research activity. Secondly we examine the role coaching might play in this context. The paper provides a case study of the coaching experience from the viewpoint of a senior academic who has recently made a transition between educational institutions. We offer insights into different management styles and examine strategies for leadership and working relationships, which includes reflection on working methods and the capacity for change as a form of personal development.
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