Reconstructing Relationships in Higher Education: Challenging Agendas, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Reconstructing Relationships in Higher Education

Challenging Agendas, 1st Edition

By Celia Whitchurch, George Gordon


192 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138810822
pub: 2017-06-02
Hardback: 9781138810815
pub: 2017-06-06
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pub: 2017-06-14
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Drawing on two international research projects, Reconstructing Relationships in Higher Education: Challenging Agendas looks behind formal organisational structures and workforce patterns to consider the significance of relationships, particularly at local and informal levels, for the aspirations and motivations of academic faculty. In practice, and day-to-day, such relationships can overlay formal reporting lines and therefore inform, to a greater or lesser extent, the overall relationship between individuals and institutions.

As a result, from an institutional point of view, relationships may be a critical factor in the realisation of strategy, and can in practice have a disproportionate effect, both positively and negatively. However, little attention has been paid to the role that they play in understanding the interface between individuals and institutions at a time of ongoing diversification of the workforce. For instance, they may provide space, which in turn may be implicit and discretionary, in which negotiation and influence can occur. In this context, Reconstructing Relationships in Higher Education also reviews ways in which institutions are responding to more agentic approaches by academic faculty, particularly younger cohorts, and the significance of local managers, mentors and academic networks in supporting individuals and promoting career development.

The text, which examines the dynamics of working relationships at local and institutional level, will be of interest to senior management teams, practising managers at all levels, academic faculty, and researchers in the field of higher education.

Table of Contents

Preface Part 1 Structures 1 Introduction 2 Organisational frameworks Part 2 Workplace relationships 3 Working relationships 4 Individual responses 5 The role of middle managers Part 3 Towards a constructive alignment 6 Emergent practices – bottom up 7 Emergent practices – top down 8 Reconstructing relationships 9 Conclusions References Appendix 1 Details of the two studies

About the Authors

George Gordon is Emeritus Professor, University of Strathclyde and Honorary Research Fellow, University of Durham.

Celia Whitchurch is Senior Lecturer in Higher Education, University of London Institute of Education

About the Series

Research into Higher Education

Co-published with the Society for Research into Higher Education

This exciting new series aims to publish cutting edge research and discourse that reflects the rapidly changing world of higher education, examined in a global context. Encompassing topics of wide international relevance, the series includes every aspect of the international higher education research agenda, from strategic policy formulation and impact to pragmatic advice on best practice in the field.

For more information, or to express an interest in writing for the series, please contact Sarah Tuckwell,

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Educational Policy & Reform / General