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Complex Transitions of Early Career Academics (ECA): A Mixed Method Study of With Whom ECA Develop and Maintain New Networks

Rienties, Bart and Hosein, Anesa (2020) Complex Transitions of Early Career Academics (ECA): A Mixed Method Study of With Whom ECA Develop and Maintain New Networks Frontiers in Education, 5.

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The purpose of this article is to explore how Early Career Academics (ECAs) cope with their complex and multiple transitions when starting their new role. By focussing on the participants’ lived experiences in a professional development (PD) training program to discuss and share practice, we explored how ECAs developed and maintained social network relations. Using social network analysis (SNA) with web crawling of public websites, data was analyzed for 114 participants to determine with whom they shared practice outside PD (i.e., external connectors), the seniority of these connectors, and similarity to their job area. The results highlight that ECA networks were hierarchically flat, whereby their sharing practice network of 238 external connectors composed of their (spousal) partner and (male) colleagues at the same hierarchical level. The persons whom ECAs were least likely to discuss their practice with were people in senior management roles. The results of this study highlight that the creation of a community of practice for discussing and sharing of practice from PD programs appear to be insular. Activities within the organization and the formation of learning communities from PD may become lost as most of the sharing of practice/support comes from participants’ partners. Organizations may have to create spaces for sharing practice beyond the PD classroom to further organizational learning.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Department of Higher Education
Authors :
Rienties, Bart
Date : 28 July 2020
DOI : 10.3389/feduc.2020.00137
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2020 Rienties and Hosein. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Professional development; Early-career; Transition; Social network analysis; Web crawling
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 02 Oct 2020 13:31
Last Modified : 02 Oct 2020 13:31

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