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ERIC Number: EJ762245
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 34
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0022-1546
Role Strain in University Research Centers
Boardman, Craig; Bozeman, Barry
Journal of Higher Education, v78 n4 p430-463 Jul-Aug 2007
One way in which university faculty members' professional lives have become more complex with the advent of contemporary university research centers is that many faculty have taken on additional roles. The authors' concern in this article is to determine the extent to which role strain is experienced by university faculty members who are affiliated with a university research center but who have academic appointments in university departments. The study is based on intensive interviews with 21 academic scientists and engineers affiliated with either NSF Engineering Research Centers (ERC) or Science and Technology Centers (STC) as well as with traditional academic departments. The NSF centers are of especial interest not only because they require a tenure-eligible appointment in an academic department or program but also because they are among the most complex of university research centers. The theoretical approach of the study draws from role theory and particularly concepts pertaining to role strain, as initially developed by Merton (1957a, 1957b), Goode (1960), and Kahn, Wolfe, Quinn, Snoek, and Rosenthal (1964). The study provides evidence of role strain. The authors' conjecture is that role strain, despite the recompense of added resources, sometimes takes a toll on the individual faculty researcher as well as on the supervisors who must adapt to the multiple allegiances and crosscutting duties of their charges. University centers have provided much institutional innovation. Perhaps it is now time to focus a bit more on the personnel management and policy issues those innovations have spawned. (Contains 8 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A