Flexibility at work: a study of further education

Edwards, Richard; Clarke, Julia; Harrison, Roger and Reeve, Fiona (2001). Flexibility at work: a study of further education. Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 53(3) pp. 373–390.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13636820100200167


This article draws on the analysis from a 2-year empirical study of flexibility in further education. It outlines some of the major themes for managers and staff in attempts to introduce greater organisational flexibility into colleges: increased bus(i/y)ness, shifting identities, and notions of good and bad flexibility. The analysis suggests that insofar as increased ‘busyness’ is associated with shifting roles and responsibilities with consequent shifts in identity, for those who have worked in further education for some time there is a tendency to certain forms of nostalgic narratives about the good forms of flexibility in the past, compared with the present. The interview data suggests a complex picture of the ways in which flexibility is experienced in further education.

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