Academic artisans in the research university

Brew, Angela, Boud, David ORCID logoORCID:, Lucas, Lisa and Crawford, Karin (2018) Academic artisans in the research university. Higher Education, 76 (1) . pp. 115-127. ISSN 0018-1560 [Article] (doi:10.1007/s10734-017-0200-7)

PDF - Final accepted version (with author's formatting)
Download (6MB) | Preview


In the changing context of universities, organisational structures for teaching and research problematize academic roles. This paper draws on a critical realist analysis of surveys and interviews with academics from universities in England and Australia. It identifies important academic work, not captured simply in descriptions of teaching or research. It shows that many academics, who are not research high flyers nor award-winning teachers, carry out this essential work which contributes to the effective functioning of their universities. That work is referred to as academic artisanal work and the people who do it as academic artisans. Characteristics and examples of academic artisans are presented and the nature of artisanal work is explored. Implications for higher education management and for future studies are discussed. The paper points to an urgent need to better understand the complex nature of academic work.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Education
A. > Work and Learning Research Centre
Item ID: 26059
Notes on copyright: This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Higher Education. The final authenticated version is available online at:
Useful Links:
Depositing User: David Boud
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2019 14:24
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 19:49

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview
6 month trend
6 month trend

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.