Female Professors Developing Intellectual Leadership in Hong Kong

Considering Disciplinary, Institutional and Gender Factors


  • Nian Ruan the University of Hong Kong




intellectual leadership, female professors, academic career, higher education, hong kong


Women scholars’ participation in higher education has been on the rise, but many obstacles (e.g., the gendered academic and cultural bias) are still in their way of academic advancement. Intellectual leadership in universities constitutes the key competence for academics. It implies faculty members’ capacity to influence the innovation of science and technology, the growth of institutions, the changes in society and culture. Compared with women’s formal leadership in academia, little is known about their development of intellectual leadership. This doctoral project applied the multiple-case study of twenty-two female full professors in Hong Kong. An integrated theoretical lens was used, referring to the cumulative advantage theory (Merton, 1968 &1988), the four-role framework of intellectual leadership (Macfarlane, 2013), and cultural factors affecting gender equality. This study reveals that disciplinary characteristics, neoliberal and managerial practices in universities, and patriarchal culture interplay and shape women scholars’ paths of accumulating intellectual capacity.


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How to Cite

Ruan, N. (2021). Female Professors Developing Intellectual Leadership in Hong Kong: Considering Disciplinary, Institutional and Gender Factors. Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education, 12(6S1). https://doi.org/10.32674/jcihe.v12i6S1.3010



2024 Emerging Scholar Summary - 16(6) 2024