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Dynamics of Academic Leadership in Research Groups

07 October 2011
The research question of this study is, ‘how does academic leadership affect performance of research groups?’




Dissertation of Maaike Verbree.

In order to conduct excellent research that contributes to solving complex scientific and societal issues, the availability of talented, creative, innovative, and enthusiastic researchers is crucial. However, researchers can excel only in an adequate environment. Increasingly, the work environment for researchers is their research group. And the challenge for academic group leaders is to create adequate conditions for meeting individual and collective goals, such as high research performance. Group leaders facilitate research meetings, supervise junior researchers and generate exciting new ideas. Their external activities are increasingly important, such as acquiring funding, maintaining collaboration networks and disseminating knowledge to society at large.

Two key factors are identified that positively influence the performance of research groups. The first is academic leadership: the way researchers are guided and stimulated by the vision and inspiration of the group leader. The other key factor is network management: the way academic leaders position their groups in scientific and societal environments and how they respond to environmental opportunities and constraints. The study ends with a discussion on the implications for organising research and for science policy.


Preferred citation
Verbree, Maaike: Dynamics of Academic Leadership in Research Groups. Den Haag, Rathenau Instituut, September, 2011