PurposeTo investigate the first-line manager-academic role against a guiding hypothesis that ‘The first-line manager-academic role is not clearly defined or understood; there is great variety of practice and of recognition of the role across the business school sector’.Design/methodology/approachA descriptive, deductive approach through three linked (internet) surveys of Deans of UK Business Schools, FLMAs in UK Business Schools and UK University Human Resource Directors.FindingsThe FLMA role in UK Business Schools is important to organizational effectiveness, personal development and career progression yet is poorly defined and supported, inconsistently enacted and perceived. FLMAs struggle to balance academic and management demands, with line management a particular issue and HR support and development systems are inadequate. Differences between chartered ‘old’ and statutory ‘new’ UK universities provide an additional layer of complexity.Research limitations/implicationsFLMA roles need to be better defined and FLMAs better supported to ensure that FLMAs are effective in role contributing to organizational performance and personal development.Practical implicationsThe paper throws light on a neglected aspect of management in UK business schools that has potential value for University HR Directors, University Managers and Business School Deans.Originality/valueFirst empirical study into the role of the first line manager academic in UK business schools.
Journal of Management Development – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 8, 2016
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