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Article
Publication date: 24 October 2023

Kaja Indergård and Geir Karsten Hansen

The purpose of this paper is to map and describe the activities taking place in the academic workplace. It considers whether academic work is something completely different from…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to map and describe the activities taking place in the academic workplace. It considers whether academic work is something completely different from traditional knowledge work and identifies differences and similarities between the two.

Design/methodology/approach

The data was collected through in-depth interviews with thirteen academics from different disciplines at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology within a case study approach. A document analysis of the university’s disciplines was carried out in advance of the interviews.

Findings

Four important similarities between knowledge work and academic work and three distinctive features of academic work were identified. Balancing the need for interaction and concentration is most important for both knowledge work and academic work, and the most prominent differences are the academics’ constant alternation between supervision, teaching, concentration work and administrative tasks, as well as some academics’ close links to practice. Academic work is not completely different from knowledge work, and learning from experiences from other sectors can be valuable when designing workplaces for academic staff. It is necessary to understand the activities taking place in the academic workplace and at the same time plan for future flexibility.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the research on workplace design for academic staff to better understand the characteristics and variations of academic work and differences in academic cultures and traditions. This will contribute to a better understanding of how workplace design, work processes, technology and how the institution is organised can support the university’s visions and goals.

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate , vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

Keywords

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Abstract

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate , vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

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