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Exploring Departmental Leadership: How Department Chairs Can Be Transformative Leaders

Abstract

This article explores the role of departmental leadership in the context of transforming departmental climate and culture to be supportive work and family balance. The issue of work and family is ideal for framing discussions of leadership and cultural change because efforts to improve the "family-friendliness" of careers tend to focus on the creation of family-friendly policies, but leadership is needed to transform the workplace culture before employees feel safe using the policies. Discussions of leadership, including critically oriented and transformative qualities of leadership, support the claim that department chairs can be transformative leaders – leading their departments to become supportive environments for faculty with caregiving responsibilities.

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