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.
- SoE Centre for Higher Education Transformations
- focus of awareness
- qualitative research
- university policy