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University Continuing Education as Teamwork: Three Case Studies
Mälardalen University, Department of Caring and Public Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3536-7182
2004 (English)In: Journal of Adult and Continuing Education, ISSN 1477-9714, E-ISSN 1479-7194, Vol. 10, no 2, p. 114-134Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Previous work has identified a lack of focused research in the field of team working in university continuing education (UCE). However, teamwork could be seen as self-evident in UCE, in part because UCE is of interest to employees, employers, universities and society. The aim of this study is to describe teamwork in UCE at three universities in the UK. The main research question asks: ‘How can the organisation of UCE be described as “teamwork”?’ A case study strategy is applied for two reasons: first, this is an empirical study involving the examination of objects in their natural environment; and second, it describes a limited but complex situation entailing many relevant factors and hence multiple sources of information. There is a built-in expectation of divergence across cases, since the cases are selected to expose and analyse variation. The chosen research methods are a document study and an interview, based on the nature of the object in question, the research question being raised and the descriptive purpose of the study. The methodological frame of reference used in this study, the ‘Organisational Context’, deals with conditions as prerequisites, team processes, results of teamwork and feedback. The model is reciprocal and basic to the contextual analysis. It has been used in earlier work by Sandberg (e.g., 1997b), and could be discussed in terms of the ‘ecological’ frame of reference (Sundstromet al, 1990). The result shows that teamwork is present in many cases in UCE, but many common conditions function as obstacles to teamwork. For example, in many teams members are not permanent, furthermore, the academic system rewards individual achievement more than teamwork. The three cases in the study have significant similarities. The discussion points out that the actors in UCE have different perspectives beyond a common UCE-perspective. The difficulty in establishing the genuine teamwork necessary in UCE could be viewed as rooted in universities not having been originally created to meet the expectations of lifelong learning and continuing education.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 10, no 2, p. 114-134
National Category
Information Systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-3546DOI: 10.7227/JACE.10.2.3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-3546DiVA, id: diva2:116211
Available from: 2007-06-07 Created: 2007-06-07 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved

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Sandberg, Håkan

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