Occupational knowledge and practice amongst UK university research administrators

John Hockey, Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (SciVal)


With the exception of lecturing staff, research on occupational groups and cultures within the UK higher education system is relatively sparse. This paper focuses upon one specialist group, to-date under-researched but which plays a central role in contemporary higher education administration: graduate research administrators. This occupational group is of particular interest as its members administer and manage an increasing complex and key area of university life, which in many cases appears to span the putative occupational divide between ‘academic’ and ‘administrative’ work. Based upon qualitative interviews with 27 research administrators, and using some of Bourdieu's conceptual devices, the paper analyses particular kinds of informal occupational knowledge and practice, necessary in order effectively to ‘do’ the complex task of research administration in the pressurized environment of contemporary British higher education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-159
Number of pages19
JournalHigher Education Quarterly
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009


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