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#EAIR2019 Programme

#EAIR2019 Programme

Trust and Strategic Behavior of Academic (Middle) Leaders in Higher Education



Governance and the Responsible University


Ton Kallenberg, Leiden University, Netherlands

Single presentation - 30 Minutes

August 26, 2019 at 1:15:00 PM



This study explores the relationship between trust, strategic behavior of academic (middle) leaders, and their aspire to achieve personal, organizational or societal strategic goals regarding the organizational strategy. The key aspect of the functioning of academic (middle) leaders is the way they fulfill the notion of brokerage: they “knit together” organizational activities and mediate, negotiate and interpret connections between top and bottom levels throughout the organization. By doing that, they fulfill four strategic roles in a more or less intensive manner: championing, synthesizing, facilitating, implementing. The author argues that relational-, competence -, and organizational based trust of academic (middle) leaders has a major influence on the organisational-strategy formulation and the implementation processes of the strategy in the higher education institution. He further suggest that some sorts of strategic behavior of academic (middle) leaders, such as bridging structural holes, may not be an optimal strategy in all situations and may have significant disruptive consequences. Important implications of the model are discussed and several future research directions are proposed.

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