11 SES 03, From Academia to Real Life
The university as a work context is a highly complex matter, since the specificity of academic work creates environments different from other organizations. Especially if one takes into account the capabilities and potential for teaching, research, create art and play culture of teachers, are the capacities and potentialities of universities. Teachers are then the main actors in the processes of quality assurance. While teaching is the main activity at the university, within higher education institutions different roles and working conditions are given, creating tensions in the workplace largely due to external pressures (El-Khawas, 2009).
Teachers have different affiliations and ways to get involved in the work environment; they suffer from high tension between professional values and expectations of the bureaucratic system, and then, demand autonomy at work because of their experience and expertise in their field, preferring the evaluation and peer regulation peer (Baldridge, et al., 1974; Ecker and Baldridge, 1973). The work context of teaching cannot be reduced to a matter of infrastructure and material resources.
The school organization, division of labor, micro-political aspects (Gewerc and Montero, 1996), organizational culture (Dill, 1982), academic culture and disciplinary culture (Ecker and Baldridge, 1973) and the work environment and satisfaction (Mujica de González and Perez de Maldonado, 2007) have proven to be important aspects of the context in which teachers are performing and which may condition their work. Trying to address this dimensions the overall objective of this research is to:
Determine from the perspective of teachers, what work environment dimensions affect academic work aimed to achieving educational and institutional quality. So, the general guiding research question is:
How the work environment affects their academic work towards quality?
We took a public education higher education institution of Mexico as the context for this research; nevertheless we are sure that general work conditions are a constant for academics all over the world, so we hope the results derivate from this approach can serve as a reflexive framework for academics outside our country.
Baldridge, J. V. (1974). The Impact of Individuals, Organizational Structure, and Environment on Organizational Innovation. Research and Development Memorandum No. 124. Ecker, G. P., & Baldridge, J. V. (1973). Academic Politics, Morale, and Involvement: Preliminary Findings of the Stanford Project on Academic Governance. El-Khawas, E. (2009). Emerging Academic Identities: A New Research And Policy Agenda. From Governance to Identity. En A. Amaral, I. Bleiklie y C. Musselin (Eds.), (Vol. 24, pp. 31-44): Springer Netherlands. Gewerc, A., & Montero, L. (1996). Profesores universitarios: contextos organizativos y desarrollo profesional. Enseñanza, 14, 65-79. Dill, D. D. (1982). The management of academic culture: Notes on the management of meaning and social integration. Higher Education, 11(3), 303-320. Dill, D. D. (2003). An Institutional Perspective on Higher Education Policy: The Case of Academic Quality Assurance.. En J. C. Smart (Ed.), Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research (Vol. 18, pp. 669-699): Springer Netherlands. Mujica de González, M., & Pérez de Maldonado, I. (2007). Gestión del clima organizacional: Una acción deseable en la universidad. Laurus, 13(24), 290-304.
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