Connecting Subject Departments with National Reforms: The Role of the Chair

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Wayne Melville
Jeremy Peacock


This article draws together Narrative Positioning Analysis and a Bourdieuian perspective to investigate the relationship between the position of the chair, their disposition towards reforms, and the impact on departmental learning. Our analysis indicates two major conclusions. First, there is a disconnect between chairs’ leadership dispositions and the logics of reform practice. Second, chairs are constrained in their capacity to shape leadership dispositions towards reforms in a manner that challenges departmental logics of practice. A key implication of this is that it may be politically easier for a chair to argue for superficial issues rather than substantive reform.  


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Research / Empirical