Academic managers in contemporary university: Challenges and learnings

Marita Sánchez-Moreno, Mariana Altopiedi


Purpose: The article presents and discusses some findings derived from a research project about University academic management, and it is focused on the identification of principal clues –even related to subjects and methodology– for the design of training programmes on this task.

Design/methodology/approach: The research design adopted a qualitative approach and contemplated the development of in-depth interviews to 71 academic managers at the university who were valued as good in that task, in three Spanish Universities –Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULP), Universidad de Lleida (UdL) y Universidad de Sevilla (US). Data were analyzed using MAXQDA.11 and their interpretations were contrasted with the opinions obtained in a second round of interviews with 15 of those managers.

Findings: Results allows to identify some kind of “vital cycle” in academic managers, inform about their reasons to continue in their managing charges, about their worries related to interpersonal relationships and conflict management, as well as about the recognized need of receiving a specific training for academic management, based on an active an participative methodology which can promote a practical learning.

Research limitations/implications: The most important limitations of the study have to do with two unrelated issues. First of them, from a methodological point of view, is related to the limited number of participants. Second of them derives of the changing environment in which management and government model of Spanish is changing. This could probably affect the value and the interest showed by a academics on University management.

Practical implications: According to one of the original mains of the study, a training program for academics in university management was already designed and developed.

Social implications: The development of training Programs on University management as the one derived from the commented study would represent a contribution for the improvement of Universities’ functioning.

Originality/value: Taking into account the limited number of training programs based on empirical evidenced training needs, the relevance of the proposals derived from this study is reinforced.


Leadership at the University, academic management, training on academic management, professional development, management good practices

Full Text:

PDF[es] HTML[es]


Licencia de Creative Commons 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Intangible Capital, 2004-2022

Online ISSN: 1697-9818; Print ISSN: 2014-3214; DL: B-33375-2004

Publisher: OmniaScience