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Title: Identity construction amongst knowledge transfer staff in English Higher Education Institutions
Author: Lock, D.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8499 1242
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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This research uses a case study approach to explore identity construction amongst Knowledge Transfer (KT) staff in English Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). A Bourdieusian framework is employed to organise and interpret the key factors of identity construction. Specifically, notions of capital, habitus, field and practice are used to examine and analyse the notion of the KT professional. In this context, the thesis attends to five factors that are influencing identity work. First, institutional understandings of, and responses to, the KT agenda and the catalytic nature of KT on institutional philosophies and structures are considered. Second, I discuss the various types of capital that KT staff bring to the institution and the tensions that exist between individual and institutional (mis)recognition of its relative value are discussed in the context of the impact on an individual's credibility. Third, individual and institutional dispositions are identified as key mechanisms for field and context constructs which define the space in which KT staff operate. Fourth, the role of capital, field and habitus within practice are considered against the various strategies which KT staff appear to use in the KT process. In this area, the case study analysis reveals KT practice to be multifaceted and in constant flux: that is, KT work provides a conduit through which an individual's habitus (their sense of being) converges with their everyday actions to create multiple KT identities. Finally, individual and collective understandings of KT as a profession are examined, and suggest that KT identity constructs are not dependent on membership of a recognised professional association or body, but instead are the result of a combination of attributes and assumptions. The study concludes by arguing that KT staff exist within a world of ambiguity that is subject to internal and external forces which are sometimes beyond the control of the institution, and at other times at the behest of the institution as it struggles to articulate the KT agenda. For practitioners, the struggle over KT identity produces issues with credibility, validity and clarity of position that results in the juggling of a plurality of roles as they restructure and reposition their identities in response to the shifting expectations and assumptions of KT antagonists and protagonists.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available