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Sustaining a collegiate environment: colleagueship, community and choice at an anonymous business school

Jandric, Jakov, Delbridge, Rick ORCID: and Quattrone, Paolo 2023. Sustaining a collegiate environment: colleagueship, community and choice at an anonymous business school. Sahlin, Kerstin and Eriksson-Zetterquist, Ulla, eds. Revitalizing Collegiality: Restoring Faculty Authority in Universities, Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Emerald, pp. 51-73. (10.1108/S0733-558X20230000087003)

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The increasing push towards centralisation and bureaucratisation in higher education, further exacerbated by the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, calls for a better understanding of the nature of collegiality in contemporary universities. We address this issue by looking into the necessary conditions and barriers to sustaining a collegiate environment. The empirical focus is on academics, academic leaders and professional support staff at Anonymous Business School (ABS), a department in a large civic UK university. We interviewed 32 participants across the school, ranging from early-career academics to experienced professors and members of department leadership teams. The findings suggest multiple emerging perspectives on collegiality, with features of horizontal collegiality perceived as key to successful academic responses to the crisis. The findings also indicate how sustaining a collegiate environment within the department requires both choice and effort from leadership and from staff, particularly when decision-making is primarily located at the centre of the university. The choice and effort made across different collegiate pockets contribute to the department becoming an ‘island of collegiality’ within the increasingly centralised and bureaucratised university hierarchy. In this sense, the actions of the department leadership to establish supporting mechanisms, and the actions of the staff to, in turn, embrace and build interpersonal relationships and professional identities, are key to sustaining a collegiate environment.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Emerald
ISBN: 978-1-80455-821-8
ISSN: 0733-558X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 29 November 2023
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2024 13:37

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