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Article
Publication date: 30 May 2013

Ren Ding and Feicheng Ma

The purpose of this paper is to assess student web searching competency. The paper aims to determine varying levels of university student competency in web searches and to…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess student web searching competency. The paper aims to determine varying levels of university student competency in web searches and to investigate and compare their competency levels of searching academic and daily‐life tasks.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted a quantitative research method of giving study participants a controllable experiment, a task‐based online test (TBOT), to evaluate web searching competency based on student searching performance. Participants included 141 undergraduate and graduate students from Wuhan University, China. Their searching competency level was assessed by testing their searching effectiveness and searching efficiency.

Findings

Student average web searching competency level was found to be comparatively low overall, within preliminary stages of development. A lot of students are unable to search the web with efficiency. Competency levels for searching academic tasks were higher than those of daily‐life tasks, especially when the degree of difficulty increased. These two levels, however, have a significant positive correlationship. In information literacy education it is therefore vital to teach students comprehensive web searching competency that includes knowledge and techniques for both academic and daily‐life search tasks.

Originality/value

Using the TBOT to assess student web searching competency is novel in the field of library and information science. By conducting this pilot experiment, librarians and teachers will be able to design and promote an improved information literacy education according to students' specific web searching competency status, instead of assumed goal levels.

Article
Publication date: 4 March 2020

Susana Pasamar, Karen Johnston and Jagriti Tanwar

This paper aims to further the understanding about the relationship between work–life conflict and possible barriers to career progression due to the perception of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to further the understanding about the relationship between work–life conflict and possible barriers to career progression due to the perception of anticipated work–life conflict, considering the unbounded nature of academic work through features such as its intensity, flexibility and perception of organizational support.

Design/methodology/approach

The model was tested using survey data from academics in a public university in the south of Spain. Hierarchical regression analyses were used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The results reveal that current work–life conflict, job intensity and perception of support have a direct effect on the anticipation of work–life conflict in the event of progression in academic careers. The flexibility that academics enjoy is not sufficient to prevent the expected conflict. Academics' age is relevant, but gender or having childcare responsibilities have no significant effect of the anticipation of conflict.

Research limitations/implications

This study addresses the gap in the literature on anticipated work–life conflict, expanding the focus to nonfamily commitments in unbounded jobs such as academic posts. The authors are not aware of any other study that focuses on the anticipation of work–life conflict in the case of career advancement among current employees with professional experience or accurate knowledge of what job they will be doing instead of students. Work–life balance should not be restricted to women with caring responsibilities, as conflict is no longer only related to gender roles.

Originality/value

This paper not only explores existing work–life conflict but also empirically analyzes anticipated work–life conflict in unbounded careers such as academia. It represents a significant contribution in an underresearched field and may lead to future research in other settings.

Details

Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. 42 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 February 2020

Xiaoni Ren and Darren John Caudle

This paper aims to explore and compare academics’ experiences of managing work-life balance (WLB) in the British and Chinese contexts. The authors have three specific…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore and compare academics’ experiences of managing work-life balance (WLB) in the British and Chinese contexts. The authors have three specific purposes. Firstly, to investigate whether there are marked gender differences in either context, given female and male academics’ work is considered fully comparable. Secondly, to examine contextual factors contributing to gender differences that influence and shape decisions in WLB and career paths. Thirdly, to explore the gendered consequences and implications.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-national and multilevel analytical approach to WLB was chosen to unpick and explore gender land contextual differences and their influence on individual academics’ coping strategies. To reflect the exploratory nature of uncovering individual experience and perceptions, the authors used in-depth, semi-structured interviews. In total, 37 academics participated in the study, comprised of 18 participants from 6 universities in the UK and 19 participants from 6 universities in China.

Findings

This study reveals gendered differences in both the British and Chinese contexts in three main aspects, namely, sourcing support; managing emotions; and making choices, but more distinct differences in the latter context. Most significantly, it highlights that individual academics’ capacity in cultivating and using coping strategies was shaped simultaneously by multi-layered factors at the country level, the HE institutional level and the individual academics’ level.

Originality/value

Very few cross-cultural WLB studies explore gender differences. This cross-national comparative study is of particular value in making the “invisible visible” in terms of the gendered nature of choices and decisions within the context of WLB. The study has significant implications for female academics exercising individual scope in carving out a career, and for academic managers and institutions, in terms of support, structure and policy.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal , vol. 35 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 28 March 2022

Eoin Whelan, Willie Golden and Monideepa Tarafdar

Social networking sites (SNS) are heavily used by university students for personal and academic purposes. Despite their benefits, using SNS can generate stress for many…

Abstract

Purpose

Social networking sites (SNS) are heavily used by university students for personal and academic purposes. Despite their benefits, using SNS can generate stress for many people. SNS stressors have been associated with numerous maladaptive outcomes. The objective in this study is to investigate when and how SNS use damages student achievement and psychological wellbeing.

Design/methodology/approach

Combining the theoretical perspectives from technostress and the strength model of self-control, this study theoretically develops and empirically tests the pathways which explain how and when SNS stressors harm student achievement and psychological wellbeing. The authors test the research model through a two-wave survey of 220 SNS using university students.

Findings

The study extends existing research by showing that it is through the process of diminishing self-control over SNS use that SNS stressors inhibit achievement and wellbeing outcomes. The study also finds that the high use of SNS for academic purposes enhances the effect of SNS stressors on deficient SNS self-control.

Originality/value

This study further opens up the black box of the social media technostress phenomenon by documenting and validating novel processes (i.e. deficient self-control) and conditions (i.e. enhanced academic use) on which the negative impacts of SNS stressors depend.

Details

Internet Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 28 October 2005

Anthony Potts

Currently a number of countries around the world grapple with the alleged issues of “brain drain” and “brain gain”. These twin areas are especially felt in smaller nations…

Abstract

Currently a number of countries around the world grapple with the alleged issues of “brain drain” and “brain gain”. These twin areas are especially felt in smaller nations such as Australia. They are particularly the subject of analysis with respect to the academic profession, which seeks to recruit the next generation of academics in an increasingly global and competitive world. Academic migration itself is not a new issue being as old as the profession itself. What perhaps is novel is that in a mass system of higher education with a great diversity of institutional types migration and migration decisions are even less one-dimensional than perhaps they once, if ever, were. If ever academic migrants were motivated only by academic decisions in making their migration choices does this also apply to those who work in newer and less traditional universities. This study using life history methods examines academic migrants and their migration choices with reference to two new Australian universities. The data is related to the wider literature on recent migration studies and academic migration. Questions are posed and conclusions drawn for academic recruitment by universities facing the challenges posed by imminent large-scale retirement of academic staff.

Details

International Relations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-244-3

Article
Publication date: 20 April 2013

Eleanor Davies and Andrew Jenkins

The purpose of this paper is to examine the significance of the work‐to‐retirement transition for academic staff from a life course perspective and the manner in which…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the significance of the work‐to‐retirement transition for academic staff from a life course perspective and the manner in which individuals have managed the transition.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 32 semi‐structured interviews were conducted with academic staff from ten Universities in England. The data are analysed using matrix analysis.

Findings

Marked differences in the experience of the work‐to‐retirement transition were found and five groups are identified which characterise the significance of retirement. Clean Breakers view retirement as a welcome release from work. Opportunists and Continuing Scholars use retirement to re‐negotiate the employment relationship. The Reluctant consider retirement as a loss of a valued source of identity and the Avoiders are undecided about retirement plans.

Research limitations/implications

The focus of the study is at the individual level. A more complete understanding of retirement decisions would encompass organisational approaches to retirement issues.

Practical implications

There are practical implications for academics approaching retirement. Not all academics wish to continue to engage in academic work in retirement. For those who do, opportunities are predominantly available to staff with stronger social and professional capital. Continued engagement necessitates personal adaptability and tolerance to ambiguity. Staff who are planning their careers might build such factors into retirement planning.

Social implications

Organisations need to rethink their responsibilities in managing retirement processes as they face an increasing variety of retirement expectations in the workforce. Given the unfolding de‐institutionalisation of retirement, both individuals and organisations need to re‐negotiate their respective roles.

Originality/value

The paper characterises the diversity of modes of experiencing retirement by academic staff, highlighting differences between the groups.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 May 2014

Jenny Neale and Kate White

The purpose of this paper is to explore the issues arising for women and men in senior management in New Zealand and Australian universities where life course and career…

511

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the issues arising for women and men in senior management in New Zealand and Australian universities where life course and career trajectories intersect, and analyses how the stereotypical masculinist culture of universities can create additional problems for women.

Design/methodology/approach

The data presented here comes from 47 interviews undertaken with women (27) and men (20) senior managers – a total of 26 interviews from New Zealand universities and 21 from Australian universities. “Senior Management” was defined in this study as those academic managers with university wide responsibilities, who were currently in senior management positions.

Findings

Life-course issues for women aspiring to senior management roles in universities are framed around hegemonic constructions of masculinity; notions of academic careers subsuming personal life in professional roles; and structural constraints making rational choice impossible for many women. Furthermore, the excessive hours worked in such roles equate with the definition of extreme jobs. The paper concludes that the way in which women and men in senior HE endeavour to balance work and family life differs but creates issues for them both.

Research limitations/implications

The structure and operation of Australian and New Zealand universities make gender diversity and management difficult to operationalise, given the competing imperatives of work and other life course trajectories. It is crucial to reframe life course and career intersections are conceptualised to ensure that diversity can be maximised.

Originality/value

This paper focuses on women and men in senior management positions in New Zealand and Australian universities, but the findings can be generalised to other countries with HE systems based on the British University model. In discussing how institutional culture affects the intersection of career and life course trajectories, this paper highlights the detrimental outcomes for individuals and the resultant lack of diversity in the sector.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 33 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 6 October 2014

Marjukka Ollilainen and Catherine Richards Solomon

With the rise in the number of women faculty since the 1970s, the traditional academic model of an exclusive devotion to work has been increasingly contested. Broad…

Abstract

Purpose

With the rise in the number of women faculty since the 1970s, the traditional academic model of an exclusive devotion to work has been increasingly contested. Broad changes have occurred in academic culture and policies to make many universities more family-friendly. Recent research on graduate students points to a shift in attitudes about work/family management as well. Graduate students, both male and female, seem to balk at expectations for a sole devotion to an academic career to the exclusion of family life. We examine how faculty members carry out acts of resistance to this traditional model.

Methodology/approach

This article presents research from two separate but related qualitative studies for a combined sample of 74 faculty members with children.

Findings

Women and men faculty make professional and personal choices and engage in behaviors that, in essence, are acts of resistance against the dominant but perhaps “old” culture of academe.

Originality/value

Resistance to the ideal worker norm in academia has been largely overlooked in studies about faculty parents (particularly fathers) and work/family balance. We demonstrate how faculty members act as agents of social change in academia.

Details

Gender Transformation in the Academy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-070-4

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 1998

David Davies

This account aims to introduce contrasting perspectives on teaching and learning methods, and to detail the growth of new forms and vocabularies of access to learning. As…

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Abstract

This account aims to introduce contrasting perspectives on teaching and learning methods, and to detail the growth of new forms and vocabularies of access to learning. As we move towards the new millennium, the development of national, yet diversified, credit frameworks and systems will provide an essential underpinning for the organisational culture that will be needed to sustain the wellbeing and growth of the educational system. These new systems are already being incorporated into the practice of ‘virtual’ education. Lifelong learning has widespread support across the social and political spectrum and its importance can hardly be over‐stated as we seek to maintain competitiveness in a changing world. Increasing knowledge and understanding to serve both the needs of the economy and of individuals to play a major role in democratic life has become an agenda of necessity as well as desire. An open society requires open systems of knowledge. A prognosis for the future is submitted where the significance of part‐time modular and open flexible learning is evaluated in terms of a curriculum rooted in useful knowledge and competences, acquired at different sites of learning, including the workplace. It is argued that modular structures, using the potential offered by credit accumulation and transfer to different institutions with different missions, can transcend and transform the learning opportunities for students in a mass system of higher education which is rapidly becoming part of a global market economy and society. Continuous lifelong learning involving its key features of open access, recognition of learning wherever it takes place and the growth of new learning networks and partnerships, is at the conceptual heart of the development of the virtual university.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 3 May 2022

Vijay Kumar

I worked as an academic in Malaysia prior to taking on a similar position at a research-intensive university in New Zealand. In this chapter, I discuss challenges I faced…

Abstract

I worked as an academic in Malaysia prior to taking on a similar position at a research-intensive university in New Zealand. In this chapter, I discuss challenges I faced in the early stages of my career. I provide insights into my academic mobility strategies, adapting to a research-focused environment, understanding academic standards, becoming a prolific researcher/writer, transitioning to be a ‘slow’ academic and finally the pursuit of striving for work-life balance. I also share my success stories with a view that these would be of benefit to aspiring international academics.

Details

Academic Mobility and International Academics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-510-4

Keywords

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