n South African Journal of Labour Relations - Management competencies for the development of heads of department in the higher education context : a literature overview

Volume 35, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0379-8410
  • E-ISSN: 2520-3223



The increasing changes in and demands made on higher education institutions in the 21st century have had a considerable impact on the roles and responsibilities of heads of department (HODs), and have led to increasing emphasis on the development of core HOD management competencies. The aim of this study was to identify the management competencies deemed necessary for HODs to function effectively within the higher education context. A systematic review of the management literature was conducted. A qualitative data analysis revealed forty managerial competencies that could be clustered under 18 higher-order dimensions. A survey revealed that HODs deemed leadership, financial management and project management to be the most important higher-order dimensions required to function effectively within their roles. The information obtained in this study could potentially serve as a foundation for the development of an HOD training programme in the South African higher education environment.

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