Leadership in business schools: Contributions from traditional leadership approaches





Leadership; Academic leadership; Business School;


For many years, leadership in universities and business schools has been investigated and explored (see Thomas 2011). Many changes and new requirements from a variety of stakeholders have arisen. For instance, there has been an increased focus on impact from the state, companies, and organizations and a greater need to obtain external funding for research projects. Additionally, current debates regarding sustainability and digitalization and the prevalence of mission-based research have made it necessary to revisit the challenges inherent in leading universities and business schools. It is relevant to revisit traditional approaches to leadership to explore how these concepts and factors can inspire the development of business school leadership.

This article is not a comprehensive literature review of the leadership differences that business schools face. Rather, we present recent literature on leadership in business schools that, in combination with our own experiences as part of a management team in a newly established business school in Denmark, showcases the contemporary challenges faced in business school leadership. We use traditional leadership approaches to discuss how business school leadership can benefit from these approaches to confront new challenges and requirements.