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University roles and career paths: trends, scenarios and motivational challenges

Gordon, George (2003) University roles and career paths: trends, scenarios and motivational challenges. Higher Education Management and Policy, 15 (3). 100-117(18). ISSN 1682-3451

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The substantial pressures upon higher education systems and institutions are impacting upon individual roles and career paths. Yet recent research on academic identities (Henkel, 2000) suggests the responses are largely adaptive and evolutionary. This article starts by briefly revisiting some of the key aspects of the study by Kogan, Moses and El-Khawas (1994), and the paper by Gordon (1997), before turning to a short discussion of the principal trends which have affected the scene subsequently. It then explores three scenarios in terms of roles and career paths: evolution, selective restructuring, and step-change restructuring. The possible characteristics and implications for various stakeholders of each are considered, as is the connection to current trends, and indicators of change. The paper concludes with suggestions as to how institutions and systems might strategically plan for, and manage, changes in roles and career paths in order to ensure that individuals are motivated and perceive the changes positively and creatively...