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An empirical examination of knowledge and community within the higher education matrix

Edera, Cat; (2021) An empirical examination of knowledge and community within the higher education matrix. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This study is a conceptual and empirical investigation into the knowledge base of university administrators and thus their position as an emerging profession, which has been a hitherto neglected area of research. The aim is to examine what this knowledge consists of and how it is configured across academic and administrative staff working together on academic activities. I begin by discussing the changing nature of academic work in response to evolving external influences and show that it is now process-based. It involves academic staff and administrative staff working together, with the latter providing a different type of expertise in response to external sector needs. This knowledge base has been neglected up to this point by researchers. I go on to use the principles arising from Bernstein’s concepts of knowledge structures (Bernstein, 2000) and Adler’s concept of the collaborative community (Adler et al, 2006; 20008) to formulate a theoretical framework which I use as a lens to explore the knowledge held by university administrators working with academic staff in two different academic departments within a multi-faculty university. My research finds an increasingly identifiable knowledge base alongside a more generic type of expertise which is born of experience and tacit learning, but this group’s professionalisation and development is currently limited. I elaborate on how this knowledge has been acquired by the administrators interviewed and identify that it is situated on the axis of the organisation, as opposed to being part of academic subject expertise; academic activities such as delivering a degree programme are a product of these different type of knowledge. I conclude the study by defining the knowledge base utilised by university administrators, clarify the organisational relationship between this group and academic staff and thus the contribution of the former and then make suggestions for their professional development.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: An empirical examination of knowledge and community within the higher education matrix
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Education, Practice and Society
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10131960
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