Post-16 Research Interest Group – Strategy Workshop


Date: Thursday 23rd November 2017
Venue: University of Derby
Time: 11:00 - 15:30

The notion of ‘strategy’ as the task of organisation leaders is now taken for granted in both higher education and Further Education Colleges in the UK. This is true both of universities, where a segmented hierarchy of institutions competes for students and research income at global and national levels, and of colleges, whose activities are far more severely constrained by the demands of policymakers and funding bodies. The making and implementation of strategy is seen as the core activity of senior managers, shaping the purpose of the whole organisation. Yet both the processes by which strategy is created and its significance for organisational life remain shrouded in ambiguities, largely resistant to the critique and contribution of research.

Two key public figures will share their insights at an event organised by the Post-16 RIG. Professor Martin Doel was Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges prior to taking up a chair at the Institute of Education, UCL. Dr Tony Strike is University Secretary and Director of Strategy and Governance at the University of Sheffield and has been Chair of the Russell Group’s Directors of Strategy and Planning. They have contributed to post-16 education both as researcher and strategist. Each will be offering their answers to the key questions of post-16 education management: what is strategy and how can research respond to its discontents?

Martin Doel’s session is entitled: ‘Defining Purpose and Strategy in Further Education.’

Martin will be drawing on:

Richard Rumelt: Good Strategy: Bad Strategy (Crown 2011) and indirectly on Stephen Bungay: The Art of Action (Brealy 2011)

Carl Von Clausewitz: On War (synopsis pp 671-723 The Art of War in World History Ed Gerard Chaliand University of California Press 1994).

Tony Strike’s title is: 'Exploding the Myth: an analysis of universities' strategic plans and strategic planning processes.'

You can read Tony’s work in:

Strike, T. (Ed.) (2017) Higher Education Strategy and Planning: a professional guide, Routledge.

Strike, T & Labbe, J. (2016) 'Exploding the Myth: Literary analysis of universities' strategic plans' in Positioning Higher Education Institutions Pritchard, R.M.O., Pausits, A., and Williams, J. ((Eds.) Sense Publishers.


11:00 - 11:30 Welcome and introductions
11:30 - 12:30

Professor Martin Doel, Institute of Education, UCL

Defining Purpose and Strategy in Further Education

12:30 - 13:30 Lunch
13:30 - 14:30

Tony Strike, University of Sheffield

Chair of the Russell Group’s Directors of Strategy and Planning

Exploding the Myth: an analysis of universities' strategic plans and strategic planning processes

14:30 - 15:30 Review of delegates’ research interests and future activities for the RIG

Registration for this event is free and full venue details will be provided to registered delegates in the form of joining instructions.

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