Developing contextualised literature-informed competency frameworks for middle managers in education

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The role of a manager within any organisation is often complex and multifaceted. Overtime management theory has developed in an effort to appreciate these complexities and suggest frameworks from which managers should operate. However, should management and the role of a manager be considered generic? Or, instead should we appreciate the distinctions dependant on the context in which a manager is operating in? This paper focuses on education middle managers working in vocational education and training using the Further Education sector in England as a case study to investigate the role. Utilising systematic review the paper will discuss literature on management theory, competency theory and further education management. It considers a range of management theories such as scientific, human relations and open systems theory discussing how these have informed the development of competency theory and frameworks, highlighting the strengths and limitations of prior studies. Building from these studies, this paper creates a new way to develop management competency frameworks. This is illustrated by proposing a contextualised literature-informed competency framework for further education middle managers. Challenging the generic approach to management competency frameworks and providing a platform for empirical studies that develop frameworks contextualised to the external operating environment of the manager.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalEducational Management Administration and Leadership
Early online date27 Oct 2021
Publication statusEarly online - 27 Oct 2021


  • Competency
  • education
  • development
  • college
  • FE
  • further education
  • VET
  • vocational education and training


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