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Research leadership in writing for publication : a theoretical framework

Murray, Rowena and Steckley, Laura and Macleod, Iain (2012) Research leadership in writing for publication : a theoretical framework. British Educational Research Journal, 38 (5). 765–781. ISSN 0141-1926

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Academics experience difficulty in managing competing tasks, particularly in relation to writing for publication. In a study conducted on a writing retreat, analysis of data obtained from academic writers revealed that facilitative leadership provided at a writing retreat was central to managing task complexity and writing-related anxiety. The question remains, however, about how this leadership can be modelled in campus settings in order to continue to support academics in managing the complexity of their multiple roles as teachers, researchers and writers, beyond purely technical-rational approaches. This article outlines one approach to answering this question: it explains how containment theory was used to shed light on the leadership role at the writing retreat, and it proposes a model—strategic engagement—for the leadership role in writing for publication in campus settings.