Lead with heart, manage with care: Emotional experience of departmental leadership at Georgian and English universities
Natia Sopromadze, University of Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Single presentation - 30 Minutes
The paper examines the emotional experience of departmental leadership from the perspectives of heads of department (HoDs) and academic staff across Georgian and English universities. While scholarly interest in the emotional side of educational leadership is growing, cross-cultural research on the emotional dynamics of HoD-staff relationships in academia remains fragmented. To understand the interplay between emotion, higher education (HE) leadership and culture, a sequential mixed-methods design was adopted. An online bilingual questionnaire and semi-structured individual interviews were used to collect data from 20 universities, eight in Georgia and 12 in England. The study found that the emotional experience of departmental leadership was shaped by unique contextual features of the comparison academia. The findings carry practical implications that inform departmental leadership selection and development across culturally diverse universities.