…thoughts on and about my PhD journey and beyond…

Happy to report that my PhD thesis ‘Leadership Literacies for Professional Staff in Universities’ has now been published at http://researchbank.rmit.edu.au/view/rmit:160335.

This blog was part of my action learning approach to my research and study and my grateful thanks go to all who engaged with this work along the way.


This interpretive inquiry explored leadership approaches for professional staff working in contemporary universities. It was underpinned by an emergent methodology grounded in American Pragmatist philosophy, Critical Management Studies theory and was framed as a qualitative act of inquiry.

A framework, comprising Worldly, Sustaining, Leadingful, Relational and Leadingful Leadership Literacies was constructed. This framework emerged from reflections about, and the critical examination of, leadership studies in changing times. Influences such as complexity as a sense making frame; mindsets emanating from different eras; as well as language and power relations were explored.

The framework was empirically explored by looking for signs of these Leadership Literacies in relation to professional staff working in universities. This was undertaken, first with a thematic exploration of two published Australian university leadership research reports for signs of theoretical congruence with the Leadership Literacies. Second, a survey of professional staff eliciting lived experiences of work and leadership were analysed for signs of the Leadership Literacies in practice, using a qualitative Framework Analysis.

This research found indications of the five emergent leadership literacies identified in the framework having theoretical congruence and observed in practice of professional staff working in Australian universities. This suggests that the Leadership Literacies framework is well positioned to ground ongoing research and analysis of these emergent leadership concerns for professional staff working in universities.


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