Researchers in Higher Education : a neglected focus of studyGloria-Anne MOSS
The literature on higher education acknowledges the importance of context to the effective completion of research by postgraduate students but overlooks to study the importance of this factor for academics in higher education. The research reported here explores the extent to which academics in higher education sense that their research engages them in a collective effort, as against individualistic effort and the extent to which, in the latter case, they feel isolated. It also explores the extent to which their sense of teamwork or isolation is perceived as impacting on their abilities to perform effectively. The study reports on interviews with fifteen academics in a higher education institution (HEI) in the UK and reveals the widespread sense that, for the most part, research is not conducted in a teamwork setting, leading to feelings of isolation. The paper reveals the extent to which isolation is perceived as impacting negatively on the conduct of knowledge management and suggests that the kind of issues impacting on students appear to pertain also to academics. The article explores ways of overcoming these problems as well as future avenues for research.