Document Type

Theses, Ph.D


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


5.3 EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES, Social issues, Social sciences

Publication Details

Successfully submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy (ph.D) to the Technological University Dublin, 2015.


Academic work-life in the universal phase of higher education has reportedly involved an extreme intensification and diversification of academic roles. International empirical research supports the hypothesis that academic staff are spending more time at work, are reporting diminishing morale, and are experiencing erosion of their values of academic freedom, autonomy and collegiality. What has not yet been adequately investigated is the extent to which this experience of academic work-life is the same or different depending on institutional type, thus identifying the research problem addressed in this thesis. This study takes a historical investigative approach to the initial literature review, illustrating the fluid creation and re-creation of different institutional types, internationally and in Ireland, and describing the academic work-lives they define. The research employs social institutional theory to hypothesise that normative isomorphism is occurring at the academic staff level in different institutional types in Ireland, making them more homogenous. The study uses a comparative cross sectional research design to test a range of hypotheses through an extensive survey instrument. It employs a quantitative data analysis plan that facilitates controlling for other possible factors aside from institutional type that may influence academic work-lives, thereby isolating the particular influence of institutional type.