Higher-degree research being undertaken by Tess Howes




Associate Professor Deb Hayes and Honorary Professor Andrew Gonczi

Thesis title:

Leading strategic planning in Australian universities: a case study



Project description

This research project presents nine case studies from a qualitative study conducted in Australian universities. The study participants include a Vice-Chancellor, two former Vice-Chancellors, a Deputy Vice-Chancellor, a Dean, and four senior members of the professoriate. The raw data published in this study explains when, and for what purpose, strategic planning was introduced to the Australian university sector; what forms of leadership were most effective in driving this change; and what organisational impact this had on Australian universities. The strategic planning approaches described in the case studies are discussed and referenced against Mintzberg’s Ten Schools of Strategy Development (1999, 2000). The leadership styles are compared and contrasted against the four leadership styles offered by the Situational Leadership Model II (SLII) developed by Blanchard, Zigarmi & Zigarmi (1985). As the case studies are also reflective, the participants consider how their approach to leading strategic planning has changed during their career, and offer recommendations for practice for the next generation of leaders tasked to lead strategic planning in Australian universities in the future.

Tess Howes has twenty years of experience as a senior professional member of staff at three Australian universities: The University of Technology, Sydney; Sydney University, and Macquarie University. She holds a Master of Educational Leadership (Higher Education) with the Vice-Chancellor’s commendation for academic excellence, a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Australian feminist history and a Bachelor of Arts in History and Legal Studies. Tess has a range of research interests in leadership, strategic planning, strategy development, management, the history of the Australian university sector, particularly the Dawkins Reforms, as well as turn of the century Australian feminist self-expression having completed a History Honours thesis on Louisa Lawson and The Dawn 1888-1905. Tess took several months off paid work to finalise her thesis for submission at the end of this semester and is scheduled to commence a new professional position in June. She has excellent time management skills and managed to raise a large, boisterous family while working full-time and studying part-time for the last twenty years.

Conference presentations