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Article
Publication date: 9 September 2020

Tuija Muhonen and Hanne Berthelsen

The aim of the current interview study was to investigate how the university staff and their immediate managers perceived the academic work environment after a transition…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the current interview study was to investigate how the university staff and their immediate managers perceived the academic work environment after a transition to activity-based workplaces (ABW).

Design/methodology/approach

Interviews were conducted with 11 university lecturers/researchers and 12 academic middle managers, that is, heads of departments or units in a Swedish university.

Findings

The qualitative content analysis revealed four central themes indicating how the academic environment had been affected: challenges related to decision-making and implementation of ABW, interpersonal relations and communication, consequences for academic identity and issues related to the physical work environment.

Research limitations/implications

The non-purposive sampling of participants coming from a single university is a limitation of the current study. More studies are needed to deepen the knowledge and to further corroborate the transferability of the findings.

Practical implications

The savings the universities expect to achieve in terms of reduced costs for premises, when introducing ABW, may lead to other kinds of costs, such as jeopardizing employee performance, comfort and well-being. It is therefore important that the academic staff is empowered and involved during the planning and implementation process of new offices.

Originality/value

The study contributes new knowledge concerning implementation of ABW and its consequences for the academic work environment.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2011

Jennifer K. Parkin, Simon A. Austin, James A. Pinder, Thom S. Baguley and Simon N. Allenby

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of two different academic office environments in supporting collaboration and privacy.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of two different academic office environments in supporting collaboration and privacy.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach takes the form of case studies involving post‐occupancy questionnaire surveys of academic occupants.

Findings

The combi‐office design was found to be associated with higher levels of occupant satisfaction than the open‐plan office design, with respect to support for collaboration and privacy.

Research limitations/implications

The findings highlight the importance of understanding user requirements and the role of office space as a cognitive resource.

Practical implications

Designers should consider the default location of occupants when designing academic and other creative workspaces.

Social implications

Academic creativity and innovation are seen to be important for society. However, there needs to be a better understanding of how to support this through workspace design.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the small but growing body of research on academic office design and creative workspaces in general.

Details

Facilities, vol. 29 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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Article
Publication date: 15 June 2021

Nicola Beatson, Paul de Lange, Brendan O'Connell, Meredith Tharapos and Jeffrey K. Smith

The purpose of this paper is to consider what factors influence the ability of academic staff to remain motivated and to persist in their work environment during the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider what factors influence the ability of academic staff to remain motivated and to persist in their work environment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tinto’s (2017) model of student motivation and persistence is reconceptualised to apply to the academic staff by considering their self-efficacy beliefs, sense of belonging and perceptions of career relevance on their motivation levels and adaption to a new environment.

Design/methodology/approach

Utilising Tinto’s (2017) reconceptualised model for academics, this study provides insights into motivation and capacity to adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper presents observations and reflections from five academics from three universities across two countries in relation to self-efficacy, sense of belonging and perception of career relevance.

Findings

The findings of this study state that self-efficacy beliefs, a sense of belonging and perceptions of career relevance combine to drive both academics’ motivation levels and their ability to adapt to the changing landscape. Self-efficacy was influenced by factors such as struggles with adaptation to new online technologies and researching and teaching in a virtual environment. Academics’ sense of belonging was found to be challenged in unprecedented ways because of physical isolation and sometimes unfavourable home working environments. Perceptions of career relevance were found to be challenged by adverse developments such as reduced promotional opportunities, cuts in resourcing and job insecurity.

Originality/value

This paper makes three important contributions. First, Tinto’s (2017) model of student motivation and persistence is extended to examine academic motivation, adaption and persistence. Second, the model is applied to a crisis where staff face greater strain in maintaining connection to their colleagues and their university. Third, the influence of the COVID-19 crisis is examined by using the reconceptualised Tinto (2017) model in the context of accounting, as accounting international student enrolments and associated revenue streams have been impacted significantly more than those of many other disciplines.

Details

Accounting Research Journal, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1030-9616

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Article
Publication date: 2 June 2020

Majid Ghasemy, Mahdiyeh Erfanian and James Eric Gaskin

The rapid pace of progress in academic institutions in developing economies has created stressful and relatively toxic workplaces, resulting in different negative…

Abstract

Purpose

The rapid pace of progress in academic institutions in developing economies has created stressful and relatively toxic workplaces, resulting in different negative organizational outcomes indicating the need to transform universities into healthier academic workplaces. However, a review of the higher education literature in both developed and developing countries shows that the antecedents and consequences of academics' affective states has been a relatively unexplored area. Hence, our study aims at testing basic tenets of Affective Events Theory (AET) in a higher education context to address this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a quantitative study which applies CB-SEM methodology in analyzing the collected data from 2,324 academics in Malaysian higher education sector. We analyzed the data using EQS software package.

Findings

Our results provided substantial support for the applicability and relevancy of AET in higher education domain. Specifically, welfare and supervisory support were identified as the two work environment features which significantly and equally contribute to academics' job satisfaction. In addition, the results showed that positive affect, in comparison with negative affect, was three times stronger in influencing academics' job satisfaction.

Practical implications

Given the considerable role of positive affect in our study, higher education policy makers are urged to make relevant policies to transform universities into more emotionally safe workplaces. In addition, policies should be formulated in a way that encourages supervisory support and decreases workloads to ensure that the conflicts in general are reduced among academics.

Originality/value

This work is the first large-scale study testing the main tenets of AET in the higher education context. In addition, it addresses the problem of multivariate normality and solves this problem based on the robust methodology which corrects standard errors and fit indices, thereby providing more precise and unbiased results.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Sehrish Khan Saddozai, Peng Hui, Umair Akram, Muhammad Saad Khan and Suhail Memon

The purpose of this paper is to explore broader and dynamic features of talent, talent management, its policies and its impact on academic working environment.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore broader and dynamic features of talent, talent management, its policies and its impact on academic working environment.

Design/methodology/approach

This research was based on qualitative research in the form of unstructured interviews containing open-ended questions. Data were collected from the university management, deans, heads of departments (HoDs), assistant professors, associate professors and lecturers. The research was conducted in the form of interviews and the participants were asked to define talent, talent management (TM) policies, its usefulness and its impact on the working environment within the university. This study was conducted into two parts. In the first part, all deans, HoDs and human resource management (HRM) (stakeholders) were interviewed, and in the second part, all professors, associate professors, assistant professors and lecturers (talents) were interviewed.

Findings

The present study investigated that talent and TM are very important in any academic organization. The impact of HRM on TM is very important, as it defines how an academic organization works to retain its talent and improve working conditions within the organization. In addition, this paper details the barriers that the human resource department faces with regard to TM and vice versa. Further, the authors attempted to ascertain the academic staff’s perspectives, their needs and the difficulties they face within the university.

Originality/value

This research paper shows the difficulties faced by the government institutions in China and Pakistan and how they cope with the current situation of TM within the available resources, polices and the impact of these on the working environment.

Details

Chinese Management Studies, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-614X

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Article
Publication date: 15 May 2017

Mohammed Yasin Ghadi

The purpose of this paper is to examine a hypothesized model investigating the influence of workplace spirituality on turnover intentions through the academics loneliness…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine a hypothesized model investigating the influence of workplace spirituality on turnover intentions through the academics loneliness in universities in Jordan.

Design/methodology/approach

A translated pre-determined survey on a sample of Jordanian academics from universities was used. A total of 381 usable returns were collected for the analysis (i.e. response rate of 84.6 percent). Structural equation model (SEM) and tow-step modeling approach using AMOS were implemented to obtain the best fit model and to determine the role of loneliness in work as a mediator between workplace spirituality and voluntary turnover intentions.

Findings

As predicted, the hypothesized model best fits the data. The results of simple mediation analysis and SEM also contribute to the clarification of the causal relations between workplace spirituality and turnover intentions in one hand and workplace spirituality and loneliness in work on the other hand. Moreover, the results revealed that the influence of workplace spirituality on voluntary turnover intention was partially mediated by loneliness in work. The results support a partial mediation relationship as the total effect of workplace spirituality on voluntary turnover intentions attenuated slightly but remained significant upon the introduction of loneliness in work.

Research limitations/implications

The results of this study might only be generalized to universities and similar contexts. Moreover, although the sample of the study was yielded from sample in Jordanian universities, the common methods bias might be a problem in generalizing the results.

Practical implications

The findings could provide decisions makers with valuable insight to focus on building training programs in order to understand the benefits of enriching spiritual environment and be more supportive of spirituality movement. Furthermore, organizations can design some of activities that make work environment more meaningful.

Originality/value

This study is unique as it is the first that examined theoretically and empirically the influence of workplace spirituality on turnover intentions through loneliness in work on a sample of Jordanian academics.

Details

Journal of Economic and Administrative Sciences, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1026-4116

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2014

Nurdan Çolakoğlu and Esra Atabay

This study aims to highlight the differences between the public and foundation universities determining the level of job satisfaction of academic personnel working at…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to highlight the differences between the public and foundation universities determining the level of job satisfaction of academic personnel working at vocational schools within the body of public and foundation universities in Turkey.

Design/methodology/approach

In the present study, the questionnaire developed by Ardic and Bas and used in a similar study is taken as the basis for this study. Some amendments have been made to the instrument. The reliability of the questionnaire was evaluated using the Cronbach alpha coefficient and some statistical methods such as independent samples t test and chi-square test depending on the data. Differences of opinion based on demographic characteristics are presented giving the frequencies and percentages of demographic characteristics of the data.

Findings

Three questions were focused on in the present study: the first is to present the most important factor affecting the job satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the academic personnel working at the public and foundation universities; the second is to determine whether there is a difference between public and foundation universities and the third is to set forth the reasons of these differences, if any.

Research limitations/implications

The current study selected 12,160 academic personnel throughout Turkey and the questionnaire was used as a data collection instrument. The instrument could not be delivered to all the personnel. This is because it was not possible to have access to the e-mail addresses of some of the academic personnel, some of the e-mail addresses were not in use or out of date while some personnel do not use the internet.

Originality/value

The aim of this study is to determine job satisfaction level of academic personnel working in vocational high schools operating under the umbrella of state and foundation universities, which offer educational services in Turkey. Since no study is encountered as a result of the literature survey made, that addressed especially the level of the job satisfaction of the academic staff working in the vocational schools in Turkey in a way to cover all public and foundation universities, such a study was made for the purpose of removing the deficiency in this subject.

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 24 November 2010

Gretchen L. Hoffman

The user-centered approach to understanding information use and users has shaped research in library and information science (LIS). In a user-centered environment

Abstract

The user-centered approach to understanding information use and users has shaped research in library and information science (LIS). In a user-centered environment, catalogers are told to focus on users and adapt standards to meet users’ needs while following standards in order to be efficient in their jobs. This study describes three academic cataloging units as they negotiate both the demands to follow and adapt these standards to meet users’ needs. New institutional theory served as a framework for the study. The results suggest that standards and users are pressures that cataloging units negotiate in their jobs, along with demands for work efficiency and professional legitimacy. While negotiating these pressures, catalogers and cataloging units redefine their work jurisdiction and maintain legitimacy to remain relevant in a complex work environment. Understanding how catalogers negotiate the normative institutional pressures of standards and users leads to an understanding of the complex nature of work in areas that deal with issues of standards and users, shows how an area within a profession maintains legitimacy when the profession no longer values that work, and, finally, shows the limits of the user-centered focus in LIS practice.

Details

Advances in Library Administration and Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-287-7

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Article
Publication date: 30 October 2020

Mohd Yusoff Yusliza, Juhari Noor Faezah, Nora’aini Ali, Noor Maizura Mohamad Noor, T. Ramayah, M. Imran Tanveer and Olawole Fawehinmi

This study aims to examine the relationships for the following: supportive work environment, person–organisation fit and employee retention among academic staff in one of…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the relationships for the following: supportive work environment, person–organisation fit and employee retention among academic staff in one of the Malaysian public universities.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used a conceptual framework to assess the direct impacts of supportive work environment (i.e. perceived climate, supervisory relationship, peer group interaction, perceived organisational support), person–organisation fit and employee retention. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to 225 respondents.

Findings

The findings present the mediating influence of person–organisation fit on the relationships between supportive work environment and employee retention. The results reveal a direct and positive relationship between supportive work environment and academic staff retention. These results imply that individuals’ perceived towards an organisation can influence their decision to stay at the university.

Research limitations/implications

This study had filled in the knowledge gap about the role of supportive work environment with person–organisation fit and the relationship for employee retention in Malaysia. Previous research emphasised on organisations’ role in employee retention and engagement in the manufacturing and service industry.

Originality/value

The findings of this study reveal how a supportive work environment can impact employee retention among academic staff. Specifically, the person–organisation fit describes the relationship between supportive work environment and employee retention.

Details

Industrial and Commercial Training, vol. 53 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0019-7858

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 11 September 2017

Ibrahim Osman Adam, John Effah and Richard Boateng

The purpose of this paper is to understand how higher education institutions (HEIs) in developing countries can migrate their physical administrative work environment to a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand how higher education institutions (HEIs) in developing countries can migrate their physical administrative work environment to a virtual platform to improve information management.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employs an interpretive case study approach and a combined lens of activity and agency theories to understand how a developing country HEI attempted to improve its information management by migrating from a physical to a virtual administrative work environment.

Findings

The findings show how contradictions caused by role conflicts, administrative staff’s fear of elimination and external consultants’ limited understanding of administrative rules and procedures can hamper work environment virtualisation. Such challenges should be resolved in order to achieve a successful virtual work environment that supports timely and accurate information management.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited by its single case perspective in one developing country. However, future studies can compare the experiences of HEIs from developed and developing countries in order to account for contextual differences.

Practical implications

The study provides practitioners with insight into how to address conflicts between employees (as potential users) and external consultants during virtual system development and implementation. In particular, role conflict, fear of eliminating some administrative staff and consultants’ limited understanding of administrative work procedures should be resolved for successful work environment virtualisation.

Originality/value

The study is the first attempt to offer rich insight into the challenges associated with administrative work environment virtualisation for improved information management in HEIs, through the principal-agent relationship.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 30 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

Keywords

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