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The management of academic workloads: Social and technical dynamics

Barrett, LC 2007, The management of academic workloads: Social and technical dynamics , PhD thesis, Salford : University of Salford.

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The focus for this thesis has been on the management of academic workloads, stimulated by surveys highlighting high levels of stress in the sector. To get some appreciation of the subject and its context a literature synthesis was conducted revealing that the subject has received little critical attention. As a consequence the research methodology involved theory building, rather than hypothesis testing, and Grounded Theory has been used for this. Case studies were conducted in eight diverse universities involving interviews of a range of staff in each. Two non-educational case studies were also carried to get wider insights into potential approaches. In all fiftynine interviews were conducted. Case and cross case analyses were carried out on particular aspects, these were then mapped, using cognitive mapping, to give a visual representation of the relationships at work. A second more focused literature synthesis was carried out to widen understanding of the findings and from there an initial model was developed for workload allocation processes. This model was re-examined using the case study material and through a further longitudinal case study. Conclusions were then drawn, highlighting contributions to theory, practice, and methodology, together with recommendations for future work. The main elements of the findings are that practice in the sector varies considerably between and within UK universities, but that drawing on the elements of good practice seen it has been possible to propose the features of a broad, generic approach. This approach stresses the importance of both the social and technical aspects of the issue and the necessity of actively addressing the reciprocal relationships between individual, department and university levels.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Barrett, PS (Supervisor) and Aouad, G (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of the Built Environment
Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of the Built Environment > Centre for Built Environment Sustainability and Transformation (BEST)
Depositing User: Institutional Repository
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2012 13:34
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2015 01:15

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