Title

The ‘double-edged sword’ of a sessional academic career

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Higher Education Research & Development

Publisher

Routledge

School

School of Business and Law

Comments

Originally published as: Richardson, J., Wardale, D., & Lord, L. (2019). The ‘double-edged sword’ of a sessional academic career. Higher Education Research and Development, 38(3), 623-637. Original article available here

Abstract

There have been widespread changes to working arrangements and employment relationships, including significant decreases in continuing/full-time employment contracts. This trend is particularly notable in academia, with more universities relying on the expertise of sessional, teaching-focused academics. This qualitative study extends understanding of this important group of professionals, identifying sessional work as a ‘double-edged sword’ and suggesting a typology of sessional academic careers to be tested in future research. It reports on the diversity among sessional academics, some enjoying the autonomy and flexibility of this working arrangement, others seeking more job security and greater alignment with continuing employment. It also identifies synergies and contradictions between sessional academic careers and key themes in the contemporary careers literature. © 2018, © 2018 HERDSA.

DOI

10.1080/07294360.2018.1545749

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