Congresos y reuniones científicas
New administrative and managerial functions: emerging roles and reconfiguration of identities in Argentine universities
Congreso; CHER 27th Annual Conference; 2014
Institución organizadora:
Consiglio Nazionale delle Richerche
New non academic functions and roles resulting from the impact of changes in contextual conditions are identified; we call them emerging roles. It is possible to distinguish two types of non academic emerging roles: those related to the overall function of university governance (type 1), and others related to activities previously performed by academic staff, and now professionalized and also performed, as academic support activities, by non-academic staff (type 2 ). We differentiate these two types of roles, by considering the following dimensions: ? Role: set of functions performed by an actor. ? Formal post: contractual relationship with the institution. There are different formal posts in each of three formal sectors: academic, non academic and political. ? Profile: knowledge, skills, attitudes, which are consistent to perform a role. ? Work identity: awareness of belonging to a formal sector, profession or working group, which contrast from others. There are two dimensions that require further explanation: profiles and identities. Thus, the profile observed for type 1 is the same, regardless of the formal post: ? Professional work. ? Social skills. ? Ability to work in a team. ? Ability to communicate and to interrelate the academic and non-academic sectors. ? Holistic perspective of the institution. Type 2 shows a similar profile, although the absence of management responsibilities, enables specific expertise focused profiles. As regards the identities for both types 1 and 2, the following are identified: ? Academic identity. ? Non academic identity. ? Authority identity: actors who hold an authority post, usually come from and identify with academia, although cases of professionalization of university governance may be verified, which affects the very identity of the agent. ? Consultant identity: the actor is an independent professional, identified with a professional group of peers, with expertise in certain fields of management, education, research or services. ? Hybrid identity: the actor, generally permanent employment non academic staff, is not identified with any of the above cases, which can lead to a state of identity crisis or to attempt the construction of a reference group (usually peers from other institutions). The dimensions applied here to conceptualize and differentiate the emerging roles, allow a more accurate analyse of other researchers findings on the general subjet of new roles and functions in universities. Hence, the concept of para-academic from Macfarlane (2011), identifies with Type 2 (upskilled non academics), to which we should add the category deskilled academic (specialized academic) to complet the author´s concept. For this reason, in the reference table, the space given to the concept of para-academic, moves beyond Type 2, towards the traditional academic sector. Furthermore, Higher education professionals (Hepros) from Schneijderberg and Merkator (2012) include Types 1 and 2, but cross to the traditional non-academic sector. This is because such a concept also encompasses traditional functions and roles which are much more complex in present time, requiring professional and innovative approaches (e.g., budget management, human resources management, etc.). Finally, the third sector (Whitchurch, 2008) fully agrees with Types 1 and 2. Conclusions ? In Argentina, the changes of the last two decades impacted on universities generating new functions that configured emergent roles. ? This scenario did not lead to the constitution of a new sector, different of the traditional ones. ? This is so, because, even when new specific profiles are identified: - Emergent roles are assigned to academic, non academic or political formal posts. - Identities are linked to traditional sectors, although there are cases of actors in search of new reference groups. ? It is important for future surveys to make explicit and, as far as possible, to agree among researchers, the dimensions of analysis in order to compare, contrast and thus, integrate, different findings.