The premise of Exploring Consensual Leadership in Higher Education is that the nature of academic work is both creative and consensual. Higher education relationships, whether between managers, staff, learners or the public sphere, are at their most effective when rooted in partnership, teamwork, collaboration and collegiality. The term ’consensual’ is used because it situates new leadership models as structures based on consent, reflecting ideas of leadership in other settings, including emerging industries.
The contributors offer a range of alternative perspectives on leadership, reflecting the diverse forms and ways of working practised in different national higher educational contexts and cultural settings. The volume incorporates a variety of approaches and points of view, including stories of leadership and change; innovation projects and case studies; key interviews and insights, and collective team writing.
The aim is to celebrate achievements, encourage engagement opportunities, add to the problem-solving knowledge-base. However, issues and problems in participatory engagement are also considered. In addition, the borderlines between consensus (collective assent and agreement) and ’dissensus’ (widespread, serious, disagreement) are examined critically.