16 SES 06 A, ICT and Assessment / ICT in Higher Education
ICT is a strong concern for socio-professional organisations in higher education. Unions reactions testify of this, as expressed early in 2016, to the change of the policy about the acceptable use of IT resources at Rogers University, or at the beginning of 2017, when King’s College London (KCL) made clear that students and staff using the computer system are subject to having all their activities on this system monitored and recorded, as part of the British government’s Prevent programme. Trade unions also have the opportunity to invest in ICTs to pursue their strategy (Pierson, 2007).
For instance, the low cost of information, communication, and interaction on the web offers unions opportunities to improve services and attract members (Diamond & Freeman, 2002). In this regard, Stevens and Greer (2005) observed that union technology and communications professionals indicated a strong belief in the efficacy of websites and e-mail in providing members with a voice and in disseminating information to members and the public.
The importance of ICT to trade unionism led to much research work, not only over the perceived need for unions to invest in ICT, but generated also studies on how unions use ICT. Emphasis has been placed on the use of social media. Emphasis has been placed on the use of social media. Thus, Panagiotopoulos and Barnett (2014) realised an international survey with 149 unions affiliated with UNI Global Union to assesses the use of social media in union communications. More recently, Hodder and Houghton (2015) realised a case study involving the University and College Union (UCU) Twitter account. Yet, the organisational dimension of unions' use of ICT in higher education has not been clearly investigated.
French central administration has long communicated its vision of the use of ICT by civil servant socio-professional organisations. But, according to structuration theory (Giddens, 1987), it can be predicted some heterogeneity at a local level. Even in public service organisations, historically anchored in a bureaucratic model, the rule does not replace all modalities of coordination (Solle, 2001). Thus, there are no fully stable rules but only regulatory processes and particular social practices, including applying standards and procedures and making decisions other than regulatory ones.
Therefore, it is important to consider more particularities of higher education in the French context: as Dutercq (2005) pointed out the financial regulation voted in 2001 and put into force for all public bodies, implies the transition from a logic of means to a logic of results. Besides to this frame which encourages local monitoring, public HEIs tend to adopt corporate behaviour as a corollary of University Autonomy introduced by the law (RF, 2007) and of constrained financial means, even tempered by notions of accountability and social responsibility in their activity.
The present study aims to highlight the outcome of local regulations and practices, not only as it reflects social dialogue in HEIs, but also as it characterises agents relationship to ICTs and to ICT in democratic life. The focus on discrepancies between laws and the reality of academic's practices, in this perspective, is to asses the interest of structuration theory (Giddens, 1987) about the use of digital information and communication technologies by public Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) faculty members socio-professional organisations. Structuration theory has known developments in relation to technology (eg. Orlikowski, 1992 ; Orlikowski & Robey, 1991). But, these developments do not properly address the link between structuration theory and technology in the field of education.
Chapon, E. (2008), Pilotage des établissements scolaires : les apports de la théorie socio-économique. Management & Avenir, v. 3, 17 : 26-43. URL : http://www.cairn.info/revue-management-et-avenir-2008-3-page-26.htm, DOI : 10.3917/mav.017.0026 Diamond, W. J. and Freeman, R. B. (2002), Will Unionism Prosper in Cyberspace? The Promise of the Internet for Employee Organization. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 40: 569–596. doi:10.1111/1467-8543.00247 Dutercq, Y. (2005), Les chefs d’établissement entre rationalisation moderniste, contraintes culturelles et désir de justice. Politiques et management public, v. 23, 1: 125-134, mars. Giddens, A. (1987), La constitution de la société. PUF. Paris. Hodder, A. and Houghton, D. (2015), Union use of social media: a study of the University and College Union on Twitter. New Technology, Work and Employment, 30: 173–189. doi:10.1111/ntwe.12055 Masters, M. F., Gibney, R., Zagenczyk, T. J. And Shevchuk, I. (2010), Union Members’ Usage of IT. Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, 49: 83–90. doi:10.1111/j.1468-232X.2009.00588.x Orlikowski, W.J. (1992), The duality of technology : rethinking the concept of technology in organizations. Organization Science, 1992, v. 3, 3: 398-429. Panagiotopoulos, P. and Barnett, J. (2015), Social Media in Union Communications: An International Study with UNI Global Union Affiliates. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 53: 508–532. doi:10.1111/bjir.12060 Pierson, F. (2007), Le syndicalisme face aux TIC : réalité du changement et implications managériales. Management & Avenir, 3/2007, 13, p. 106-113, URL : http://www.cairn.info/revue-management-et-avenir-2007-3-page-106.htm, DOI : 10.3917/mav.013.0106 République Française (2016), Décision du 26 avril 2016 relative aux conditions et aux modalités d'utilisation des technologies de l'information et de la communication par les organisations syndicales. JORF, 0119, 24 mai 2016, texte n° 20. URL : https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/eli/decision/2016/4/26/MENH1610318S/jo/texte. République Française (2014), Circulaire n° SE1 2014-2 du 3 juillet 2014 relative à l’exercice du droit syndical dans la fonction publique de l’Etat. Ministère de la décentralisation et de la fonction publique, DGAFP. URL : http://www.fonction-publique.gouv.fr/files/files/textes_de_reference/20140703-circulaire-droit-syndical.pdf République Française (1982), Décret n° 82-447 du 28 mai 1982 modifié. Journal Officiel de la République Française. Version consolidée au 16 janvier 2017. URL : https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichTexte.do?cidTexte=JORFTEXT000000880484 Solle, G. (2001), Rénovation des outils de gestion et faits sociaux : le cas des organisations universitaires. Comptabilité - Contrôle – Audit, v. 7, 1: 147-159. doi: 10.3917/cca.071.0147. URL: http://www.cairn.info/revue-comptabilite-controle-audit-2001-1-page-147.htm Stevens, C. D. & Greer, C. R. (2005), E-Voice, The Internet, And Life Within Unions: Riding The Learning Curve. WorkingUSA, 8: 439–455. doi:10.1111/j.1743-4580.2005.00028.x
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