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Developing middle leadership in a Vietnamese university- perceptions and practices : a case study from the Mekong Delta

The area of educational leadership in higher education is well documented in western literature. However, this area is largely under-researched in Vietnam, and this has inhibited the development of educational leadership in this country. Drawing on the experiences of ten middle leaders of a university in the South of Vietnam, this study explored some important aspects of educational leadership to help provide guidance for improving the quality of leadership work for this university, and more broadly, for other universities throughout the country. These aspects included professional learning, and participants' perceptions of effective leadership and sustainable leadership. This investigation also examined participants' perceptions of the relationship between leadership and management, and some challenges in their leadership work, to provide a comprehensive picture of the research topic. This qualitative research was located within the interpretive research paradigm and used a case study method to explore human leadership experiences and perceptions. It adopted two data collection methods, semi-structured interviews and an online questionnaire, and used thematic analysis as the data coding framework. The findings revealed that the particular context of Vietnam with the cultural influences of Confucianism and the political system of Socialism had significant influence upon educational leadership at this university. The study also indicated some tensions between the participants‟ perceptions and the literature that deserve consideration for changes to be made. Furthermore, it identified gaps in understanding in this field that necessitated further attention and investigation. In addition, this research disclosed major issues this university faces within its shifting process from a hierarchical bureaucratic model to a more shared distributed one. More broadly, it uncovered the socio-cultural, historical and political complexities of the country's transitional period. Overcoming these barriers will require effort, and awareness of the wider cultural context and the prevailing socio-political norms of Vietnamese society.
Type of thesis
Truong, T. M. D. (Annie). (2012). Developing middle leadership in a Vietnamese university- perceptions and practices : a case study from the Mekong Delta (Thesis, Master of Educational Leadership (MEdLeadership)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/6625
University of Waikato
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