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The effects of change on culture and identities: A case study of a higher educational institution undergoing transition.

Conway, Ann T (2015) The effects of change on culture and identities: A case study of a higher educational institution undergoing transition. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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The primary aim of the research was to identify those factors that drive change and mergers in higher education. It reflected on how changes and mergers affect cultures and professional academic identities. Therefore, this study presents an account and analysis of which significant changes and mergers in higher education can affect cultures and professional academic identities by applying a micro-case study viewing changes in an Institute undergoing transition. The case study reviews a number of government policies and institutional strategy documents and determines if and how they are affecting the current situation in the Institution. Academic staff interviews also helped analyse how the changes planned through these documents influenced the discourse, culture and identity within the College. Document analysis carried out via CDA, together with narratives from the interviews provided some interesting findings. Some questions asked of the interviewees were what they considered to be important in realizing change within their institutions. The interviewees were also asked about their views on which factors bring about strategic change from both external and internal drivers and how these drivers influences their own culture and professional academic identities. They also discussed possible future mergers in higher education. The results were interpreted using a theoretical framework acquired from both the literature and arising from the interviewee responses. The findings provided were via both a narrative and discourse analysis based on the following: policy influences; economic limitations and impacts; technology in education; and academic workload. Findings also significantly highlighted internal influences via leadership, decision-making procedures, communication and history of the Institute. The findings also revealed that although the changes are constant, if the same people are working in the disciplines and communities within the Institute, it might retain the status quo. It became evident that some academics were beginning to distance themselves from the Institute because the changes have led to disrespect of their identity. The study views higher education developments on strategic change within the higher education landscape and provides insights into mergers and their imminent impact on culture and professional academic identity.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Keywords: Change, Culture, Professional Academic Identities, Higher Education
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.668773
Depositing User: Ann T Conway
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2015 09:25
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2018 09:23
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10638

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