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Questions-Answers: Leadership in Higher Education

Question 1:

  • How do the four frames for viewing colleges and universities (machine, family, jungle, and theater) facilitate leadership in higher education?

The four frames facilitate leadership in higher education because they encompass the ability to embrace the core models of effective leadership in academics. First, the image of the machine acts as the metaphor for the facets of the institution that are related to tasks. It provides colleges and universities with roles, rules, and policies that align with the purpose and goals of the campus. It also facilitates leadership when leaders create the appropriate reporting relationships and arrangements that provide clarity to the work of the staff, students, faculty, and volunteers (Livengood, 2012). The family image focuses on symbiotic connections between organizations and people and shows the skills and talents required to fuel the human energy. Leadership is achieved when academic leaders create a productive and caring environment where all talents can be developed to meet the mission of the campus. The jungle image facilitates effective leadership by encapsulating the world in which diverse tribes or species participate in a dance of competition and cooperation (Knapp & Siegel, 2009). The aspect of diversity enables leaders to maneuver for scarce resources that result from different behaviors, beliefs, interests, and worldviews (Livengood, 2012). Therefore, the jungle image facilitates effective leadership by acting as the wellspring of innovation and creativity, as well as providing for the future of education. Finally, the theater image captures the drama in universities by creating culture, context, commitment, and meaning to the assigned roles. Successful leaders have a potential to infuse the daily efforts expressed through their work (Livengood, 2012).


Question 2:

  • How are institutions of higher education and business organizations different? How do these differences affect the success or failure of the leaders in these organizations?

Institutions of higher education and business organizations are different in that universities and colleges lack productivity, efficiency, and innovation. Business organizations encompass many appeals that enable them to flourish. On the other hand, institutions of higher education present their activities in a sophisticated manner that renders them conflicted and ambivalent (Lamal, 2001). The differences between these institutions affect failure or success of every organization. In particular, institutions of higher education do not succeed due to the lack of productivity, efficiency, and innovation required to measure their performance (Lamal, 2001). The differences also affect the success of institutions by providing an uncomfortable environment that is filled with deep skepticism, resulting in instability and lack of progress (Knapp & Siegel, 2009).

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