I wrote this as a contribution to the Society for Research Into Higher Education’s contribution to the ESRC Consultation on Leadership Development:
The research literature suggests a significant minority of academics use social media as part of their working life, with social trends suggesting this number will only grow with time. It has become an informal back channel through which news, opportunities and ideas circulate, with important consequences for the structure of academic networks. This informal character is supplemented by official embrace of social media by academics departments, universities, research centres, research networks and learned societies. Increasingly large swathes of academic interaction take place through these platforms, leaving their absence from the consultation document slightly surprising. There is still a distinct lack of consensus about scholarly comportment online, what it is to use social media professionally and the role it ought to play in professionalisation socialisation. Its current uptake and likely expanding significance means it ought to be considered in terms of what leadership development will entail for present and forthcoming generations of academics.
If anyone would like to help me get this conversation going then please get in touch!