Delivering Change and Transformation in Academic Organizations

Research Leadership Development Consortium (RLDC) Seminar Series

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The Business School leads the Research Leadership Development Consortium (RLDC) – a network that designs and organises development events that strengthen and support research leadership in the social sciences.

Leadership development activities are designed to support social science researchers in an increasingly interdisciplinary, inter-sectoral and fast-changing landscape. Our objective is to explore enablers and opportunities for professional connectivity, impactful networking, quality research co-production, mentorship and capacity building. Our audience is typically made up of mid-career and experienced researchers who are, or will soon be, responsible for leading research teams, centres and projects.

In our May workshop, we debated the power of cultivating meaningful research connections and varied strategies in building a strong leadership brand. In this workshop, we will discuss the challenges of delivering change and transformation in academic organizations.  

The workshop will start with a brief introduction from the Chair, Dr Scott Foster, and participants will then be allocated to four break-out groups for a 20-minute discussion on one of the topics below. Each group will be facilitated by a panellist and these sessions will work best where everyone switches cameras on and engages in the conversation.

Questions for interactive sessions:

  • In what ways do you currently communicate the need for change? 
  • How would you understand and engage with resistance to change? 
  • How can you deliver these activities alongside your existing workload?  
  • Reflect on your strengths as a leader. How do you leverage these strengths to drive change and transformation?  

Participants are then brought back together to listen to contributions from leading scholars: 

Professor Nigel Williams (Portsmouth) 

Dr Alex Hope (Northumbria)

The panellists will discuss the following questions:

  • What are the specific challenges of delivering change/transformation/projects in academic organizations?  
  • How do you support and enable staff to engage with these initiatives? 
  • How do you sustain engagement over time? 

About the speakers and session chair:

Professor Nigel L Williams is the Associate Dean for Research and Innovation, School of Organizations, Systems and People, University of Portsmouth. Nigel currently leads a number of research projects and supervises PhD Students in the area of Project and Systems Management. Nigel is the co-founder of  Responsible Project Management and is the co-editor of the Handbook of Responsible Project Management (Degruyter). He is a Board Member of the PMI UK Chapter and a board member of the UK Systems Society and leads the activities in Responsible Project Management. 

Alex Hope is Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor and Associate Professor of Business Ethics in the Faculty of Business and Law, Northumbria University where he leads the faculty's education strategy. His research focuses on responsible business, responsible management education, CSR, and energy policy. Alex is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA), Chartered Manager CMgr), and Certified Management and Business Educator (CMBE). He holds positions on the Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS) Learning, Teaching and Student Experience (LTSE) committee, sits on the AACSB Responsible Management Education affinity group, and is a member of the Business in the Community (BITC) North-East Board. He has a long association with the United Nations Principles of Responsible Management Education (UN PRME) initiative, is currently a PRME board member and has held leadership positions as Vice-Chair for the UK and Ireland Chapter and Co-Chair of the Climate Change and Environment working group. His dedication to responsible management, sustainability, and business ethics positions him as a prominent figure in business ethics and sustainable development.

Dr Scott Foster’s scholarly practice research involves the active engagement of stakeholders, especially those who create a more equal partnership between doctoral students and institutions. A strong focus of interest concerns the potential of management research to change student experiences that are enacted through engagement and a co-creation of innovative ideas and knowledge. In this way, his approach concerns ‘impact’ and collaborative working with user groups. His research approach further extends to exploring ways managers develop policies and procedures to enable student-centred practice, especially in the development of an understanding of diversity and doctoral well-being within workforce culture. Scott has supervised in excess of 30 doctoral students to successful completion and has examined 60+ PhD and Professional Doctorates as an external and an internal examiner at both UK and international Institutions.

We look forward to seeing you there!