ERIC Number: ED202423
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Career Change Among Academics: Dimensions of Decision.
Toombs, William; Marlier, Joyce
Faculty career changes through retirement, a move to another institution, or a move to nonacademic employment were examined through interviews with 134 faculty members who had left Pennsylvania State University, a multi-campus research university. The research design incorporated the concept of "social information processing" (Pfeffer, Salancik, 1978). Analysis of the data was aided by use of the "dual factor" notion of "motivators" and "hygienes" proposed by Hetzberg (1957, 1967). The environments from which the factors emanated were established as personal conditions, the local situation, and the external environment. Interviews were content analyzed by abstracting key phrases that were grouped to yield general findings and specific observations on each group of subjects. Findings common to the three groups confirmed the individualized nature of decision-making, the personalized choice sets, and the heavy dependence on reading the environment rather than on interpersonal exchange. High value for autonomy in areas of expertise, for control over the work conditions, and for recognition of good work rather than from advantages of position was emphasized. Moves to nonacademic work gave more importance to events outside the university. It is suggested that universities may consider developing an accelerated flow model, which would view the institutional boundaries as more open and would cultivate more exchange with the extramural environment of practice and application. Policies to make change easier would constitute the chief mechanism for opening a wide range of mid-career options. (Author/SW)
Descriptors: Career Change, College Environment, College Faculty, Decision Making, Employment Level, Employment Opportunities, Faculty Mobility, Higher Education, Institutional Research, Job Satisfaction, Labor Market, Professional Recognition, Social Influences, Teacher Persistence, Teacher Retirement
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Pennsylvania State University
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Los Angeles, CA, April 13-17, 1981).