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Evolving roles of academics in Irish institutes of technology and technological universities

McGreevy, Sharon (2021) Evolving roles of academics in Irish institutes of technology and technological universities. Doctor of Education thesis, Dublin City University.

This research critically explores the changing roles and demands on academics in Irish Institutes of Technology and Technological Universities amid profound changes in HE in the past decade. Professional roles are dominant themes in the discourse of occupations yet currently there is a lack of empirical research on professional roles amongst academics working in Irish Institutes of Technology (IoTs) and Technological Universities (TUs). This study critically explores how academic roles are conceptualised and constructed. The central research problem explores how everyday roles are evolving and are perceived amongst experienced academics in IoTs and TUs in Ireland. This research is situated within an interpretivist framework and uses an exploratory case study design to address the research questions. A multiple case study design is used with four Irish IoTs selected, two moving to TU status and two currently remaining outside of the process. Qualitative data is drawn from twenty-seven interviews with academic staff, Academic Managers as well as document analysis. The qualitative interviews enabled the perceptions and understandings of individual academics and their Academic Managers and the way in which they navigate their local context to be critically explored and explained. Documentary analysis of institutional policies was used to supplement the interviews and provide a contextual evidence base as part of the qualitative aspects of this study. The research draws on the personal accounts and local perspectives focusing on the voice of the “ordinary” academics. This study provides insight into how academics navigate their everyday roles within an IoT/TU context. This research reveals evidence of both continuity and change and of divergence and convergence in academic roles. This research finds that more fluid, multifaceted and holistic roles exist among the academics in this study. This research dispels the myth of the academic “all-rounder” and finds academics in the present study focusing on elements of practice primarily involving teaching, service and to a lesser extent research.
Item Type:Thesis (Doctor of Education)
Date of Award:November 2021
Supervisor(s):O'Brien, Shivaun
Uncontrolled Keywords:academic roles; higher education
Subjects:Social Sciences > Education
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Institute of Education > School of Policy & Practice
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:25851
Deposited On:01 Nov 2021 10:12 by Shivaun O'brien . Last Modified 01 Nov 2021 10:12

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[thumbnail of 16212077 Sharon McGreevy EdD Final Post Viva 17 May 2021.pdf] PDF - Archive staff only. This file is embargoed until 1 October 2025 - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader


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