The pool of candidates applying to lead business schools is very small, and few among them have all the skills needed to succeed, says a report from the Association of Business Schools (ABS) and the Advanced Institute of Management Research.
The research found that neither a strong track record in teaching and research nor leadership development training will completely equip a candidate to be dean of a business school.
The complex role may call for a business school leadership team rather than an individual leader, the report says. "The logic for appointing business school leaders appears frequently out of line with approaches adopted elsewhere," it says.
"Appointments in universities tend to be based on research and teaching excellence, rather than managerial expertise, although the pattern outside academia is to recognise and reward achievement as exhibited by a successful track record as effective leaders."
Jonathan Slack, chief executive of the ABS, said he hoped that the report would help universities to better understand their leadership requirements "at a time of notable turnover in deans' positions".