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India holds a central place in the global education system and has one of the largest networks of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). So far, academic research has focused on competency mapping of teaching staff in Higher Education Institutions while the same needs to be addressed for academic leaders as well. Competency mapping plays a significant role in identifying key talent which has a significant bearing on performance curve of an organization. The present study addresses this research gap through the construction of Academic Leadership Competency Framework using the grounded theory in qualitative research. The triangulation method was used for convergence of information from different sources. Data was collected from academic leaders, faculty members, administrative staff and students through Focus Group Discussions and In-depth interviews. Conventional and summative content analysis of the qualitative data was done to produce thematic codes resulting in a seven dimensional framework of academic leadership competencies. This study contributes to existing body of literature by constructing the Academic Leadership Competency Framework (ALCF) for recruitment and development of talent in the higher education sector.
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