Fleming, Mary-Anne (2007) Academic interest areas: translating the vision into reality. In: AARE 2006: Australian Association for Research in Education Annual Conference 2006: Engaging Pedagogies, 27-30 Nov 2006, Adelaide, Australia.
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Official URL: http://www.aare.edu.au/06pap/fle06272.pdf
[Abstract]: This paper examines, from the perspective of a ‘workplace challenge’, the ways in which the culture of an organisation can be changed from a hierarchical structure to that of a learning organisation. The paper focuses on the concept of Academic Interest Areas (AIA), which evolved from a University Faculty restructure. Firstly, the reasons for change are discussed and contextualised. Secondly, the Faculty restructure and the development of the AIA initiative are explored. The paper describes the institution and the place of the education faculty within the institution. It further outlines the faculty restructure, its impact and how the AIA initiative subsequently evolved from this restructure. A discussion of the development of workplace change, the culture of the organisation and subsequent leadership issues, provides a context for the analysis of the challenges and successes of the AIA to date. Information gleaned from documentation, collegial discussion and interviews with academic staff involved in the AIA process provides the basis upon which to reflect on the AIA initiation. The initial findings indicate that the AIA initiative is largely accepted by Faculty academics as a worthy concept but that it falls short in the transition of the AIA concept into a fully functional initiative
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