22 SES 07 C, Academic Work and Professional Development
Parallel Paper Session
Since 2001, newer universities in the Netherlands have expanded their core business of teaching by including research activities. The installation of professors and research groups at these institutions is one example of the change in policy. The current innovations place serious demands on the flexibility and innovative power of the lecturers. They have to engage in novel research roles, while maintaining the quality of their current teacher roles. In our study, we focus on theexpansion of lecturers’ role portfolios.
New frameworks in Human Resource Management and in the field of Higher Education are needed for questions around the development of portfolios consisting of multiple roles and the preparation for academic roles including training for multi-skills and flexible career paths (Brew, 1996). Notions of careers as series of upward moves are becoming increasingly rare. Individuals are constantly moving between and through various roles, their attached identities, and their various relationships (Ashforth, 2001).
Role transitions are an essential characteristic of the expansion of lecturers’ role portfolios. Ashforth (2001) defines these role transitions as the psychological and physical movement between roles, including disengagement from one role (role exit) and engagement in another role (role entry). A micro role transition involves frequent and recurring movements between roles, for instance, teacher and research roles. In the context of this study, lecturers switch between worlds of teaching, research and professional practice. In the international literature on organizational behavior relatively little attention is paid to the nature of micro role transitions. Macro transitions between roles can be identified during entry into a new professional domain such as research. Regarding certain highly complex roles, such as research roles, there is a need to acquire or restore competences.
Our study is focused at the novel research roles as part of lecturers’ entire role portfolios. There is a developing body of literature exploring lecturers’ conceptions of research. In an integrative literature review supplemented with an empirical study, Akerlind (2008) clarified relationships between academics’ experiences regarding five dimensions: research intentions (who is affected by the research), research outcomes (the research impact), research questions (the object of study), research process (how research is undertaken), and researcher affect (underlying feelings about research). There is little research addressing lecturers’ conceptions of micro and macro aspects of role transition regarding teaching and research (Van Winkel et al, 2011). Aim of our current study is to increase our understanding what determines the salience of the expanded role portfolio to lecturers at newer universities. The experienced salience of a role depends on the subjective importance and the situational relevance of the role (Ashforth, 2001). We aim to contribute to the understanding of lecturers’ global identities, role (portfolio) attributes, such as the research role itself, the received support for functioning in research roles, and the affirmation from the environment. The questions guiding this study therefore are:Which conceptions do lecturer-researchers have of their portfolio of researcher and teacher roles in the context of the Dutch UAS in transition and what determines the salience of this portfolio?
Akerlind, G.S. (2005). Learning about phenomenography: Interviewing, data analysis and the qualitative research paradigm. In J.A. Bowden & P. Green (Eds), Doing developmental phenomenography (pp. 63-73). Melbourne: RMIT University Press. Akerlind, G.S. (2008). An academic perspective on research and being a researcher: An integration of the literature. Studies in Higher education, 33(1), 17-31. Ashforth, B. E. (2001). Role transitions in organizational life. An identity-based perspective. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Brew, A. (2006). Research and teaching. Beyond the divide. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Brew, A., & Boud, D. (1996). Preparing for new academic roles: A holistic approach to development. International Journal for Academic Development, 1(2), 17-25. Marton, F., & Booth, S. (1997). Learning and awareness. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Van Winkel, M.A., Poell, R.F., Van der Rijst, R.M., & Jurriëns, J.A. (2011, December). Lecturers’ second chance in their careers: An integrative literature review on the transition into research roles. Paper presented at the annual Newer Researcher Conference of the Society for Research into Higher Education, Newport, U.K.
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