Navigating the demands of academic work to shape an academic job

Angela Brew*, David Boud, Karin Crawford, Lisa Lucas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
265 Downloads (Pure)


Findings from interviews with mid-career academics in English and Australian universities elucidate how academics interpret and navigate complex institutional contexts in shaping academic jobs. The paper argues that how they do this is a function of what they notice and respond to as well as the mode of reflexivity they employ. Three core areas are seen to affect academics sense of agency as they shape their own jobs: how they orient themselves to the world around them including the academic institution and department; their underlying goals and purposes as they seek to have a fulfilling role; and how they relate to structural conditions of the workplace. The paper argues that understanding academics’ differing foci of awareness in these areas is helpful to institutional policies and strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2294-2304
Number of pages11
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Issue number12
Early online date10 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2018

Structured keywords

  • SoE Centre for Higher Education Transformations


  • focus of awareness
  • qualitative research
  • Reflexivity
  • university policy

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