Relational practice in the academy: an exploratory study
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Emotional intelligence has been identified as an important characteristic of successful leaders. Fletcher argues that people who show such characteristics in the organisation often in line with the espoused organisational values "get disappeared from the organisational screen" (Fletcher, 1999, pp. 2-3). She refers to such work as relational practice and it is closely associated with the work that women often undertake in organisations. This Fletcher sees as leading to its devaluation. Women are expected to display a range of relational practices in the workplace. In universities one demonstration is the pastoral care roles that women take on and are expected to take on particularly as universities move more and more towards customer service models of operation. However they are not rewarded for such work, it is work that gets disappeared in the reward structures. In this exploratory study we interviewed I 0 academic women staff at Curtin Business School and using Fletcher's framework as a guide, asked them to comment on the range of tasks that they have observed others undertake that could be considered as relational practice. They also commented on their own relational practice in the academy. This presentation will provide an overview of the findings.
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