A1 Journal article – refereed
The ‘Dean’s Squeeze’ Revisited: A Contextual Approach

List of Authors: Kimmo Alajoutsijärvi, Kerttu Kettunen
Publisher: Emerald Insight
Publication year: 2016
Journal: Journal of Management Development
Volume number: 35
Issue number: 3
eISSN: 1758-7492


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual framework for identifying the primary tensions that business school dean's encounter when moving between different university contexts.

Design/methodology/approach - The paper is part of a larger research project on the development of business schools. This conceptual paper builds on the studies and personal experiences of business schools and their management in a number of different countries, primarily in Europe, North America, Asia, and the Middle East.

Findings - The present study argues that as a response to the increasing corporatization of higher education, the university sector has fragmented into at least three identifiable contexts: the traditional research university, the academic capitalist university, and the corporate university. The authors conclude that the match between a dean's worldview and the university context ultimately determines the appropriateness, survival, and success of deanship.

Practical implications - The paper provides practical suggestions for managing business schools. Given that "good" leadership is always context dependent, no single deanship would fit for all business schools. As an outcome, both deans and the selection committees making decisions regarding their recruitment should be sensitive to their worldviews originating from the university contexts in which they previously worked.

Originality/value - Emphasizing a contextual approach to business school leadership, this paper proposes a new typology of deanship situations.

Last updated on 2019-21-08 at 22:19