Reconceptualizing the Academic Community for More Inclusive Knowledge Advancement – Breaking the Divide between Academic and Non-Academic Staff

Alicja Rybkowska*, Ana Godonoga

*Korrespondierende*r Autor*in für diese Arbeit

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung


This article takes the collective character of knowledge advancement in institutions of higher education as a starting point to critically examine the predominant understanding of the academic community. The authors make a case for a reconceptualization of the academic community as a community of experts devoted to the advancement of knowledge, regardless of whether they conduct academic research or not. Such reconceptualization will lead to higher work efficiency and satisfaction among all staff and positively contribute to their well-being. This reconceptualization identifies a number of factors that currently undermine the communal and collective aspects of knowledge advancement, such as the diffusion of New Public Management practices, entanglement in professional hierarchies, competition for scarce financial resources, and lack of career incentives for cross-unit collaboration. An overview of existing responses to these challenges shows that they are insufficient for creating a sustainable and relatable sense of community among employees of higher education institutions. In response, the authors suggest interventions on an individual, institutional and policy level, including unionizing and reframing the work of academic and non-academic staff as centered on shared goals and values, which provides opportunities for exchange.
Seiten (von - bis)133-152
FachzeitschriftAcademic Labor: Research and Artistry
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2023