Universities and Leadership

Leading lights: The best academics make the best heads of department With Agnes Bäker. Times Higher Education (May 4, 2017)

Happy in your job? Then you must have a head of department who is a distinguished researcher. But what can be done to attract such people into management - and to ensure they don't forget how it feels to be at the coalface? More

Room at the top: Why are there so few women in the upper echelons of the academy? With Margit Osterloh. Times Higher Education (2015)

Recent findings in social psychology and behavioural economics suggest that women and men often have different preferences. The differences between men and women that are highlighted most frequently are aversion to competition, risk aversion, feedback aversion and low self-confidence. These factors all help to explain the gender gap in visibility, promotions and salaries. More

Do the social sciences need a makeover? Times Higher Education (2014) with Andrew Oswald

Examining the state of the social sciences, Amanda Goodall and Andrew Oswald conclude that researchers in stagnant, silo-bound subjects do not address mankind's most pressing issues and that the discipline needs a shake-up More

Silver linings: the academic lifecycle Times Higher Education (2014) with John Montgomery.

Life expectancy is lengthening. The latest predictions are that a child born in the UK in the early part of this decade will live for 79 years if they are a boy and 83 years if they are a girl. The Office for National Statistics forecasts that about one in three babies born in 2013 will live to celebrate their 100th birthday. More

For richer, for poorer: the merits or otherwise of the research excellence framework Times Higher Education, (2013).

The merits, or otherwise, of the research excellence framework has sparked many arguments. Is it a useful tool for distributing funds or a shackler of brilliance? Lecturer and author Amanda Goodall relates how hearing the story of John Rawls' long-gestated A Theory of Justice led, late at night, to one such debate with her economist husband Andrew Oswald. More

Creative versus accounting: Why different jobs really do require different work environments Times Higher Education (2012).

One of the most reported conditions found to enhance the performance of creatives and experts is autonomy or having a sense of control on the job, either in terms of how work is done or how time is allocated. More

Panel games Times Higher Education (2011).

Academics pride themselves on being objective. Yet when it comes to job interviews, objectivity frequently goes out the window. The interview process fosters prejudice and irrational assessments of candidates that can lead to the best not being hired. Institutions in the UK often lose sight of the fact that it is they who need the candidate, not the other way round. Interview panels behave as if they are doing the candidate a big favour. More...

Turning on the leading lights Times Higher Education (2011).

Universities need leaders - and leaders who are goodacademics. Yet in the UK there is no long queue of potential applicants. The pipeline is thin. The sad truth is that we do not value our vice-chancellors and heads of departments enough. Aspiring heads need to be encouraged - and talented leaders paid more. More...

Sisters' winning formula Times Higher Education (2010).

Women produce fewer papers than men over a lifetime and are still scarce in senior positions, especially in science. Dispelling myths of innate difference between the sexes, Amanda Goodall offers advice on how they can raise their research productivity and status in the academy More...

Raise your game: 20 inexpensive ways to rise in the rankings Times Higher Education (2010).

The rankings race is on, and the competition is expanding all the time: universities around the world are upping the ante and learning how to play the ratings game. More...

Power and university presidents International Higher Education (2009).

Credibility is important for leaders because it extends their influence. Arguably, any discussion about whether a leader should be a scholar or a manager is irrelevant if an institutional head has little direct power. But how much power does a university leader need? More...

Research universities flourish on scholarship not management Research Europe (2009)

The share of Nobel prizes going to European universities compared with US institutions has declined considerably. Between 1960 and 2007 just fewer than 100 prizes in chemistry, biology, physics and economics were awarded to scholars from Germany, France and the UK-the main recipient nations in the first half of the 20th Century. During this time, 250 prizes went to researchers in the US. And the gap continues to widen. More...

Universities, leaders and causality International Higher Education (2007).

Increasingly UK university presidents are trying to centralise decision-making, which is customary in the US. Many reported that they found making decisions by committee both inefficient and untenable. Common, also, was an expression of frustration at not being able to appoint members of their own top management team. Deputies, deans and even heads of departments were traditionally appointed by committees of academics, with numbers sometimes reaching up to 100. Most of those interviewed had successfully changed the process of appointing top teams in their organization allowing leaders greater powers of selection. More...

Who are leading the world’s top-100 universities? International Higher Education (2006).

The importance of research universities to nations populations and economies is largely undisputed. Of equal interest are issues of university leadership and governance. Major changes have taken place in the sector through increased competition, and subsequently in the role of university leaders. There has been an explosion of literature in the field of university leadership, but there has been little information available about those who actually lead the worlds universities, in particular the worlds top research universities. More...

The place of citations in today’s academy International Higher Education, (2006).

Many deans, department heads and recruitment committees are using citations as part of the assessmentp rocess involved in making new appointments. By going through databases like ISI, selection panels cannot only discover what quality of journals an individual is publishing in, but they can also check if a candidates work is making an impact by being cited by other researchers in their field. More...