Self and identity processes in higher education staff development

Marriss, DEL 2007, Self and identity processes in higher education staff development , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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This thesis describes four inter-related studies that, together, explore aspects of self and identity in relation to staff development in higher education (HE). Staff development in higher education is reviewed with particular reference to one of the newest and fastest growing subjects, nursing. Approaches to the exploration, understanding and measurement of self and identity are reviewed, culminating in an exposition of a comprehensive synthesising approach known as Identity Structure Analysis and its associated measuring tool Identity Exploration. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with a small sample of lecturers and managers to identify key concepts and issues regarding staff development. The results of these interviews were then used to develop a unique attitude inventory, the Marriss Attitude to Staff Development in Higher Education Inventory (MASDHE), which was administered to a selected sample of lecturers in nursing in six institutions and, more widely, through an open access internet portal. The results of the interviews together with elements and constructs derived from the literature were used to develop a customised Identity Exploration Instrument (IDEX 1) drawing on the theories and methods of Identity Structure Analysis (ISA). This instrument together with the MASDHE and a biographic information sheet were then administered to a sample of 96 participants, all lecturers in nursing in six contrasted Higher Education institutions. The ISA results of this survey allowed for group comparisons using the IDEX software employing variables based on gender, seniority, educational qualifications, and positive/negative attitudes. In the second study a refined IDEX instrument (IDEX 2) was administered idiographically to six participants, together with the attitude inventory, to enable in-depth case studies relating biographical material to identity variables and attitudes. The results of the survey indicate that differences in identity structures and processes are not significantly related to gender or attitudes to staff development, but display certain homogeneity across the nursing group that made up the sample. The two idiographic case studies were selected to present interestingly different profiles: a self-oriented and vulnerable identity profile contrasting with an other-oriented less vulnerable profile. The implications of the identity structure and development profiles for staff development are considered. Overall the thesis has explored identity in relation to staff development in four main ways, giving insights into identity formulations in relation to perceptions and aspirations both idiographically and nomothetically. The study has developed a standardised attitude inventory and in-depth identity exploration tools which may be useful in the conduct of staff development and in further research.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Grugulis, I (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School
Depositing User: Institutional Repository
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2021 14:45
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2022 11:21

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