Craft, factory, profession: institutional logics in research supervision

Rieple, A. (2012) Craft, factory, profession: institutional logics in research supervision. Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings, 2012 (sup.1). ISSN 0896-7911

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According to Halse and Malfroy (2010) research supervision should be viewed as a profession. Professions have their own institutional explicit, stated norms; these are what differentiates a profession from a craft. But in the world of contemporary higher education, the institutionalized aspects of professional life such as the organization of the university and the bureaucracy of higher education policy-making, sometimes conflict with the expectations and behaviour of professionals. This paper examines the developments in the practices of research supervision through the lens of new institutional theory, with its focus on the diffusion and adoption of norms of social practices. Our paper identifies three competing institutional logics around the creation of knowledge, with its tacit, explicit and latent dimensions: the traditional craft approach, an emerging factory mentality of measurable outcomes and targets, and a middle way – a professional logic. Knowledge in this case occurs at two levels – firstly the knowledge involved in doctoral supervision, and secondly the new knowledge inherently and essentially developed within a successful PhD thesis. The paper concludes with a discussion of the role of accountability and how it influences the legitimacy of these competing institutional logics.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: University of Westminster > Westminster Business School
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Date Deposited: 28 May 2012 13:50
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2017 11:46

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