University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

Academics lives, experiences and location independent working at a UK university.

Lee, Amanda L. (2017) Academics lives, experiences and location independent working at a UK university. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

[img] Text (PDF document of PhD Thesis)
Amanda Lee Final Thesis after Viva Corrections April 2017.pdf - Version of Record
Restricted to Repository staff only until 28 April 2020.
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.

Download (4MB) | Request a copy
[img] Text (Restricting Access to thesis form)
Amanda Lee RestrictingAccessThesisForm.docx
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.

Download (71kB)

Abstract

Location independent working (LIW) is a term used by the case study organisation, Mercia University, to describe the practice of working in locations other than a traditional office setting. Staff wishing to become LIW sign up to a new working arrangement whereby they are provided with a laptop, printer and smartphone, and forgo the right to an office on-campus. A longitudinal ethnographic research strategy incorporating interviews, diaries and the author’s own reflective journal were used to explore issues associated with academic employees following the formal introduction of an LIW scheme into the Business School. An interpretivist reading of labour process theory was adopted to examine and make sense of academics’ daily, lived experiences. Data were analysed using the Framework method (Ritchie and Spencer 1994) and findings revealed an entrenched managerialist culture driven by private sector business models. Work intensification and long-work hours were common and this was exacerbated by constant connectivity to mobile technologies. Academics displayed a strong sense of academic identity and a desire to be treated as professionals. Nevertheless, a fundamental shift in the nature of the relationship between academics, managers and students was observed and socially constructed divisions arose between LIW and office-based academics. A new conceptual model of control-resistance-compliance is proposed to explain the complex interplay that exists at and between structural and organisational contexts, managerial strategies of control and individual experiences of academics. As such this study extends and refines existing theoretical understandings of the academic labour process. It is recommended this study be extended beyond the Business School and Mercia University to other establishments. Further research should also be carried out to consider gendered and cross-cultural perspectives on the issues raised and more investigation is needed into the impact of LIW on student and personal relationships. Finally, it is suggested formal adoption of LIW practices in other institutions could facilitate opportunities for academics to exercise greater levels of freedom, autonomy and control.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects : location-independent-working, labour process theory, ethnography
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Lee, Amanda L.UNSPECIFIED0000-0002-6708-4566
Date : 28 April 2017
Funders : Not applicable
Contributors :
ContributionNameEmailORCID
Thesis supervisorDiDomenico, Maria Lauram.didomenico@surrey.ac.uk <m.didomenico@surrey.ac.uk>UNSPECIFIED
Thesis supervisorSaunders, Mark N.M.N.K.Saunders@bham.ac.uk <M.N.K.Saunders@bham.ac.uk>UNSPECIFIED
Depositing User : Amanda Lee
Date Deposited : 05 May 2017 08:50
Last Modified : 05 May 2017 08:50
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/813965

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year


Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800