Show Less
You do not have access to this content

How to be an Academic Superhero

Establishing and Sustaining a Successful Career in the Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities

Iain Hay

In universities across the world, academics struggle to establish and sustain their careers while satisfying intensifying institutional demands. Drawing from the author’s decades of observation and experience in academia, this exceptional book responds to the challenges of fostering and sustaining a successful academic career.
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 10: Learn about local cultures and use ‘the system’

Establishing and Sustaining a Successful Career in the Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities

Iain Hay

Extract





Human activity is enabled and constrained by the context within which it occurs. Most departments, faculties and universities have cultural norms that guide and shape the behaviour of members. These may have been produced and reproduced by academics over many years and can be very important in setting the local tone for behaviour and ‘productivity’ standards. For instance, some departments may have a long tradition of serving relevant professional societies. Others may value research productivity at all costs. And still others may emphasize collegiality, cooperation and the individual contributions diverse staff can make to the collective whole. Academic staff who fail to understand or ‘fit in’ to these local cultures are likely to find themselves at a significant disadvantage. For example, in the context of a department characterized by ruthless self-interest, an individual’s collegiality may be exploited mercilessly by others. Or, by contrast, a self-absorbed scholar may find themself ostracized by colleagues in a department that understands itself to be a ‘community’. It really is vital to learn about and work with these local cultures. Though important for all academic staff, this can be especially important for academic leaders who may, for instance, come into an institution from outside and find that their particular leadership style sits uneasily and unproductively with local ways of acting and thinking. Not surprisingly, for example, an autocratic leader is likely to be poorly received in an institution with a long tradition of effective consultation and democratic decision-making. So, find out...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.


Further information

or login to access all content.