Optimising the Potential of Third Space Professionals in UK HigherEducation

Whitchurch, Celia and Law, Patrina (2010). Optimising the Potential of Third Space Professionals in UK HigherEducation. LFHE, London.

URL: http://www.lfhe.ac.uk/download.cfm/docid/011A4791-...


This Small Development Project builds on an earlier study funded by the Leadership Foundation entitled Professional Managers in UK Higher Education: Preparing for Complex Futures (Whitchurch, 2006; 2008a). One of the outcomes of this study was to identify the fact that as higher education institutions, and their workforces, have expanded and diversified to meet the demands of contemporary environments, boundaries between professional and academic spheres of activity are becoming blurred. As a result, what Whitchurch has termed a “Third Space” has opened up, requiring contributions from a range of professionals, and creating new dimensions to the workforce map, as shown in Figure 1 (Whitchurch, 2008a and b). In this space, individuals have emerged who are capable of performing “blended” roles, comprising elements of both academic and professional activity (Whitchurch, 2009). However, this has been a relatively un-remarked development, and the current study addresses in more detail the nature of Third Space, and working practices within it.

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