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Management and gender in higher education$
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Pat O'Connor

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719083587

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719083587.001.0001

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my own journey

(p.1) Prologue
Management and gender in higher education

Pat O’Connor

Manchester University Press

My own background was one where what you know (i.e. knowledge: favoured by my mother) and who you know (i.e. power: favoured by my father) were competing narratives. As a young woman, graduating at 19 years with a first class honours degree, I favoured my mother’s view and (unconsciously) avoided researching issues related to public power. It was not until I was in my 40s that I began to appreciate my father’s perspective and developed a research interest in public power. My own experience as the first woman to be appointed at professorial level in the University of Limerick in 1997, and the first woman to be appointed Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences there in 2000 (being re-appointed by three Presidents to that position over a ten year period) provided an interesting context for an outsider/insider, who is a ‘tempered radical’ (Myerson and Scully, 2011). This research on senior management is thus informed by my own experiential knowledge of university management as well as by the academic research itself.

Keywords:   experiential knowledge, public power, outsider/insider, ‘tempered radical’, university management, Myerson and Scully

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