One Team, One Mission: Faculty and Department Development

Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Physical Education

Publication Date


Publication Title

National Association of Kinesiology in Higher Education

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


This presentation argues that effective faculty development occurs when faculty are embedded in a healthy, team-oriented department, where individuals feel safe and welcome. There is a body of evidence that the primary role of a leader is the development and maintenance of these team-oriented conditions. Dan Coyle in The Culture Code makes the argument that good leaders prioritize building a sense of belonging on their teams, and they do so by structuring and leading the department in ways that facilitate unit social identity, and which is congruent with developing a sense of self-identity that is consistent with best practices of faculty life. When successful the leader is then in a strong position to help the department establish a sense of purpose and mission that facilitates proficiency and creativity on the part of each individual in the group. Leadership in this environment is seen as an interactive process rather than a thing to be had, and leaders who lead well are seen as fulfilling certain roles for the group: as an in-group prototype of group values and behaviors, as an in-group culture champion, as an entrepreneur of the group's social identity, and is an embedder of identity to new members of the group (Haslam, et al, 2011). This presentation will provide the theoretical background for these leadership processes, and provide examples of kinesiology leaders who have been, and are, successful in creating environments where faculty development is most likely to occur.

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